Bologna Osteria Del Sole
About Osteria Del Sole
This Osteria has the unique status as being one of the oldest in Europe. Since 1465 Osteria del Sole, in the historic quarter of Bologna, has been serving wine to local traders and shoppers alike and apparently has changed little over the centuries.
One official record from 1871, states that this tavern was owned by the family of Nicholas Bartolo Sanuti in 1541 while another 100 years later indicated that the notary Graziano leased it to Count Ranuzzi Marcantonio.
The Osteria’s trademark of the sun which can be noticed around the entrance was also an official sign and only rediscovered in recent years. It was subsequently reinstated by the present owners.
Wine and beer are served here while customers are permitted to bring their own food and thus, a party atmosphere can kick off at any moment of the day or night. For local patrons though, card or board games are the norm.
Towards the back is a stable-like enclosure which may well have kept horses or animals hundreds of years ago for those staying overnight and back then, the customer would have slept upstairs. The small courtyard, now, used for smokers is also in an original state.
Historic mementos litter the bar and walls, particularly photos of famous personalities and those who careers may have depended on frequenting this place.
Considering it’s long and illustrious past, Osteria del Sole has almost come to an end several times due to a lack of family members to carry on the tradition of running the tavern. Fortunately, a third generation of the Spolaore family guaranteed the future of the osteria for many more years to come. Further still, it also means that one true corner stone of Bologna’s antiquity remains out of reach from modernisation for another while at least.
Pradelli, Alessandro Molinari. Bologna Tra Storia E Osterie, Ed. Pendragon – Bologna 2001, pp125-130.