Inspired, inventive, classical-contemporary cooking
Italian restaurant Sotto l'Arco in Bologna, is the jewel in Villa Aretusi's culinary crown. The restaurant lies on the first floor, which can be reached by elevator, and guests can eat either in the classical dining room or on the panoramic terrace, which offers a view over the Basilica of San Luca. Chef Alessandro Panichi's gourmet menu revolves around the quality and the freshness of the prime ingredients, which are selected according to the season. It exudes taste and sophistication, while always referring to Bologna's unique landscape and atmosphere.
Born in Sarzana but adopted by Bologna, Alessandro Panichi followed his love for great auteur cuisine and devoted himself to restaurateurship, dreaming of cooking with "il signor Marchesi".
His wish came true, and he trained alongside the very same Gualtiero Marchesi, alongside chef Angelo Paracucchi. In 2011 he met Giuseppe Sportelli, who brought him to Villa Aretusi, where he now spends his days in search of what tastes good.
The son of Puglian restaurant owners, Giuseppe Sportelli went abroad to begin his career, with the intention of one day returning to the family business. His skill and savoir-faire have opened the doors to great restaurants around the world and now in Bologna, where he has managed various aspects of Villa Aretusi and Ristorante Sotto l'Arco since 2010.
He is an award-winning maître d' and fiduciary of A.M.I.R.A (Association for Head Waiters in Restaurants and Hotels).
Originating from Barletta, Nicola Castellano moved to the UK in 2010, where he stayed for nearly two years. He discovered his vocation for wine upon his return to Italy, becoming an A.I.S sommelier, and then a member of A.M.I.R.A, as a professional maître d'cum-sommelier.
In 2019 he joined the Villa Aretusi family, where he takes guests on a journey through food and wine, helping them find the perfect pairing between the two.
What our guests say about us
It's hard to put into words the time we had in this restaurant; it needs to be experienced first-hand. It's more than about eating here; it's about entertainment, experimentation. So, thanks to the chef for letting us into his way of understanding cuisine - it's a culinary journey, but it's also about origins.
When you consider the incredible quality of the cooking, location and the service, the price really isn't steep. It was truly an evening to remember. Our thanks to the chef for cooking for us, and to the waiting staff, who were attentive, courteous, and entertaining too. Good job, everyone.
Dining in this restaurant really was a pleasure, not to say a fascinating experience. Superb food, with original and surprising pairings of ingredients that made absolute sense on the palate [...] a wonderful wine list too, and the waiting staff were a joy.
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