Le Serre dei Giardini is Bologna’s metropolitan hub for innovation and promotion of start-up culture, managed by the Kilowatt association. Its main aim is to serve as a space for incubating start-up companies, and providing them with shared offices, services and events. The hub is located in Bologna’s largest park, the Margherita gardens, which becomes lively with picnic blankets, bicycles and outdoor sports whenever the sun is shining. The Serre’s main building has a glass greenhouse-shaped wing attached to it, the hub’s own restaurant and café, called Vetro after the material it is made out of.
The best thing about Vetro is its unusual outdoor seating, consisting of wooden tables in booths among the vegetable garden’s herbs and vegetables. The menu includes a brunch option, a trend that new eateries in Bologna like to adopt, breaking with the traditional Italian eating times. The food is composed of natural and healthy ingredients, with a lot of fruit and vegetables chosen according to the season. However, please take note that they do not offer special vegan or gluten-free options! The brunch menu comes to 15€, and includes two ‘sandwiches’ with roasted vegetables and fish, bread and jam (the texture of which was more like jelly), yogurt, fruit, juice and coffee. There are also smaller options if you’re not feeling that hungry, and a cappuccino is only 1,10€ for those looking for a good cup of coffee. On the other side of the central outdoor seating area is a bar, offering a great setup for a drink on summer evenings, decorated with fairy lights and accompanied with events such as film screenings or concerts. In winter months the bar is closed but the restaurant, which also has plenty of indoor seating, stays open.
This brand new meeting place is great for escaping the city’s busy streets at the weekend. The Margherita gardens are one of Bologna’s most beautiful sights, and only a short walk away from the city centre. So instead of having to bring a picnic to spend the day enjoying the green open space, when tummies start to rumble Vetro is perfect for a refreshing meal among the mint, lettuce and tomatoes.