Would you believe it, this shop was established in 1273, which means 840 years ago and still standing! It can be seen in Piazza della Mercanzia although its adress is Via San Stefano 1 but fact is, this street starts right from the square.
Actually, the shop is situated in the base of the Torre degli Alberici and is considered the oldest surviving shop in Bologna. The local guy told me; the shop still smells of cheese and he was convinced about it. I can't tell you about because the shop was always closed during my last couple of visitings to the town. Noteworthy is the door of the shop which look alike drawbridge. It is very typical medieval shop with a wooden lock in the shape of a leaf.
Florists have a special gift for harmony and beauty, Italian florists in that are widely known and recognized. If one lives in the city of exceptional beauty, where every house or street excudes charm and harmony, what else we could expect from the local florists then to make the floral arrangments which are equally beautiful, harmonious and charming as the city of Bologna is.
What to buy: Flowers is a gift from appretiation or love and must be given on a same day because it live shortly. If travelling along with your sweetheart she would love to get flowers, even if single one. Buy her a flower and after you do it she wont complain that you are stolling around like unstopable maniac.
Via dell'Indipendenza is the longest street inside of the historic centre of Bologna, cutting it from Piazza del Nettuno all the way down to the Railway Station. It is porticoed in most of its parts with hundreds of shops, cafe-bars and a few restaurants. Via dell'Indipendenza is real shopping paradise, especially for young people. Here one can find a brand new fashion trends for very affordable prices. In fact, some of the shops have permanent sales for really small money. Don't miss it if not ready to spend alot of money for the cloths.
I am not sure about location weather this is via Foscherari or Massei, anyway, the small green market is in one short and narrow street which lead directly to the Piazza Maggiore.
Emilia Romagna is best known for its agricultural production and I was expected to see more favourable prices for fruits and vegetables. However, the prices are higher than those in Veneto or Lombardy!
Even many Italians will describe Bologna like shopping paradise for clohs and shoes, offering very affordable prices for high quality garments. Galleria Cavour is situated in the heart of the historic centre, just a foot from the main city square. It is where the most of big designers names in clothing and shoes held their shops, such as Versace, Cavalli, Max Mara, Rossini or Pollini.
What to buy: Most items are very expensive and not many people cannot afford to buy such a garments....
This is an amazing store in the Mercato area of Bologna. The door was open, and I could not walk past it without going into the store and checking their enormous selections of meats, cheeses, vinegars, pastas, oils, and all imaginable sorts of delicatessen food. The smell of mortadella and cured meats will have you crave for a sample. We overheard people say there is a small cafeteria in the upstairs space. It was the best choice we could make for a delicious lunch. Great sandwiches, cold meat cuts, wine, salads - all available to order and as fresh as they can be. After lunch we shopped there for balsamic vinegar of Modena. They have a great selection for any budget. A must to visit when in Bologna!
What to buy: Vinegar, olive oil, condiments, other deli products.
What to pay: It's probably overpriced because it's in the very center of touristy route but it's worth it because of the high quality.
A collection of various lether bags designed by world map on it. The quality of lether is Italian one, that means the best on the world market. Ladies adore handbags, especially if leather made. If buying bag as a present for you lady make sure it is of leather but if cannot afford to pay the price do not go for the substitute of other cheaper materials, your lady would never forget it to you.
What to buy: Leather bags and accessories.
There is a number of exclusive fashion shops inside of the Isolani Palace, worth to see. Bologna is known for its fashion and style and affordable prices, even Italians who visiting Bologna like shopping here.
What to buy: Those who have preferable designer wont look for other names, those who have alot of money and nouveau riches do shopping acompaigned by the "coolie". The most important is to do it with the class and style.
There are several Antique shops in Via S. Vitale. All of this shops have an excellent offer. Bologna is "old lady" alike place and people here admiring good life style.
What to buy: It could be nice piece of antique furniture or lamp, could be present for our friends, all depend on how much one could afford to spend.
What to pay: According to the offer the prices are resonable, of course it depend wether one can afford it or not.
august 2011 - this shop too, like Pasquini, is disappeard.... a new brand is in it, new brand you can find in all the main city of the world...massification!
"this is one of the anciet shop in Bologna, the forniture are not changed and u can see the liberty style architecture."
What to buy: Hats...from the most femouse brand to the special hats for marrieges and special party.
U can find also skarf and gloves.
Update may 2008- Unfortunately this old shops is closed now cause they moved into another location, not in city center, but in a neighboorood district...it's a pity that all the old fashinating shops have to close due to a lot of problems...the high locations prices, no parking in city center, too much shopping centers............
"If u need fabrics, in this store you will be able to find all what you wished.
Disposed on five floor you will be able to find from the silk to the the furnishing fabrics too. The store has been recently restructured,but it maintain the original shape and the windows of the beginning of the century... this store is a piece of the recent history of this city"
As I wrote under LOGGIAS I HAVE KNOWN, this is an ecclectic and eccentric fushion of fashions and furnishings in a beautiful building, with very interesting items from the world of haute coture and design. (If I fall asleep another tie while typing, I swear I will go to bed...)
What to buy: Well, you could choose between a 5.000 Euro black cocktail dress or a funky foto retouched with colour of some jovial Maharaja's during the Raj...
What to pay: Credit Card, don't carry that much cash unless you are laundering money!
In business since 1985, Bruno e Franco upholds an old tradition of the Bolognese namely the sale of pork.
In addition to meats and fresh pasta, made exclusively for the store, Bruno e Franco offers a wide range of regional cheeses, ready-made food, and a nice assortment of olive oils from all regions of Italy, wine and balsamic vinegar of Modena. Do not miss the jams, preserves, and specialties of all kinds.
What to buy: Some of the spring and summer ready-made salads, for quick lunches and light dinners, include Zuppa toscana fredda, Tuscan soup cold; Insalata di riso, Rice salad; Caprese di mozzarella e pomodoro, Caprese of mozzarella and tomato; Insalata di pollo, Chicken Salad; Insalata di farro e verdure crude, Spelt salad and raw vegetables; Insalata di riso con gamberi e surimi Rice salad with shrimp and surimi; Insalata capricciosa Salad capricious; Insalata di mare Seafood salad; Insalata di polipo e rucola, Octopus salad and rocket.
Located in the most ancient part of Bologna, within a Roman street plan, il Mercato di Mezzo has been Bologna's traditional market are for at least two millennia. While the types of businesses have mostly changed in modern times, the names of the streets have eternalised the traditional businesses that were once thriving. Streets names, such as Pescherie, Calzolerie, Orefici, and Clavature, translate to fishermongers, shoemakers, jewellers, and key makers. This area, which is also known as il Quadrilatero, is located behind Palazzo dei Banchi on Piazza Maggiore, and Piazza della Mercanzia, just south of le Due Torri. Nowadays, the shops in the area sell mostly delicious-looking fresh produce, as well as gourmet Italian food and wine products.
Corte Isolani is a complex of shops selling wonderful art pieces, antiques and trendy fashion - and for English culture afficionados - the British Council. Located in a beautiful refurbished medieval building, it is perhaps one of the best representation of Bologna's innate spectacular sense of style that comes so natural. I never bought anything from any of the shops here, but I thought this place truly captures that distinctive Bolognese flair for the good and the beautiful.