16 W. Maple Street, Chicago | Phone: (312) 335-8200 | Hours: Sun.-Thu: 5:30PM-9:30PM | Fri. & Sat: 5:30PM-10:30PM


BolognaThe city of Bologna has been an Italian cultural hub for centuries. The value the city placed on education hundreds of years ago is what led to its cultural rise.

Because of the emphasis Bologna placed on education and the amount of powerful and influential people that resulted from it, the art of cooking got a huge boost. Preparing a delicious meal was a great way to impress an important citizen of Bologna.

You will find Bolognese cuisine (and the cuisine at Merlo on Maple) to be Italian food that relies on freshness all around. From the meats to the cheeses to the produce, fresh ingredients give the food the solid foundation it needs.

Italy Trips

Map of Italy

Planning a trip to Lo Stivale? You’ll love it! But new countries and different languages can also be a little intimidating—we remember what it felt like when we first came to the United States.

So if you want some tips such as where to eat, essential words and phrases, and places you absolutely must visit, let us know where you’re headed and we’ll happily guide you on your way.

And if you have some great photos from a trip to Italy, especially of restaurants you enjoyed, send us a picture or two! We’d love to put it up on the website along with your comments to help others.  With your help, we can make this page a go-to destination for those who are looking for some inside information on Italy.

And, just so you know, Lo Stivale is Italian for The Boot.