Despite ringing the manager at this hotel who seemed to have good English the directions to find the bus to this hostel were just totally incorrect - it took me an hour and a half to realise that the main bus station was just not where the buses to the hostel leave from even after ringing the manager several times.
Then following his directions to find the bus stop proved also totally incorrect and after an hour and a half I had to just give in and catch a taxi. During the hour and a half I had tried to get an idea of prices from the taxi drivers but their 'estimated' prices and the differings between those in the group just sounded like a bunch of vultures at the time.
When I did catch a taxi it was the price I thought it was but went up about 5 euro on arrival to the price that the 'estimate' was.
There are apparently two hostels right next to each other but served by the same phone contact. The taxi will stop at the door of the main one. Only about 15 euro for the bed in a dorm, which I only had one room mate during the off season just before christmas in December, plus 5euro for the dorm door key, plus a charge to rent a towel.
Breakfast was included.
After yet another Italian communal bathroom experience of finding the place so dirty and wet there was hardly anywhere to put ones towel, clothing or feet we were both in agreement of our findings that service mentality in Italian was notably lower than the countries we came from or other european coutnries travelled.
Unique Quality: A good on your budget place to stay, rooms and beds and bedding were clean. Just the bathrooms not clean.
Once you can see your way about in the daylight you can see where the bus stop is back into town - but even then I had difficulty working out which side of the road was the correct direction of the bus I needed to catch. And getting to the destination wanted in town such as the town centre or the bus station in which to store baggage while going to see the town centre was about 10 minutes walk from the closest point that the bus went to. So no wonder I couldnt find it the night before!
Directions: 6 km north east of the town centre, ? bus 21B, 93-301 - whereever they leave from?
I arrived at the Bologna train station too late to get a bus to the Youth Hostel so I took a cab.
The ride seemed to last forever, and seemed to take me farther and farther away from anything interesting... like FOOD! I asked the cab driver if there were restaurants near the hostel, he said there surely would be 'one'...
A long and expensive cab ride later, I registered at the Hostel. The receptionist told me he was ordering pizza for the gang drinking wine outside and did I want to order? I asked for a real restaurant and he gave me directions to one, supposedly 10 minutes away.
If you ever find yourself in THAT spot, order pizza with the gang. I walked along a dark road to a deserted highway for half an hour, to see an old shack with a busted neon "R...sto...an...t..." - not lit, but readable by the moon. Obviously abandoned since Roma, città aperta times. At the junction, I was on the highway all the way back to the Hostel. It was hellish, and I was hungry.
The Hostel reception was friendly and all but just not too aware of the amenities in the area.
As for public transport to Bologna centre, there's a bus across the field in front of the Hostel but it's not that frequent in the day. At night, it's worse so you go back to the Hostel in the boondocks way ahead of your bedtime, leaving the fun in the city behind, just to be sure you don't miss the curfew.
Nevertheless, I made a couple of friends over the next few days at the Hostel, we had dinner and wine in the Hostel park, and we traveled on together to Ravenna and Venice eventually. It was all worth the boondocks. :-)
Unique Quality: The pic is of Torre Asinelli, one of the two remaining medieval towers in Bologna. The other is not as high, and is called Garisenda I think. It's right in town, nowhere near the Hostel and that dreadful highway.
Another thing, my Hostel guide shows two Hostels for Bologna. Both of them are on the same street, a mere ten numbers difference in the street number. I really think the Due Torri is the main one, probably even associated with the other. Due Torri is the bigger one so try there first, they'll direct you to the other one if need be.
Directions: 6NE from city centre
10 km from Marconi Airport
6 km from Centrale Train Station
150 m from 21/B bus stop
100 m from 93-301 bus stops
In Bologna: Due Torri - San Sisto 1 and 2 (two hostels in neighbouring buildings functioning as one)
Unique Quality: As a cheap option in an otherwise expensive city, this hostel was my first accommodation choice, so I tried to book it a week in advance. However, it was full despite its more than 100 beds! So what could I do but opt for the nearest cheap place... Which could be found only in surrounding towns like Modena, Ferrara or Reggio Emilia.
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