Bologna is one of the most expesive towns in Italy, before entering in the restaurants check the price-list in front. The same goes for the hotels which are about 20-30% more expensive than in other towns.
Bologna is known for its ready garments shops which are everywhere in the city cemtre. If you don't care for the prices visit the shops under Portico del Pavaglione or Galleria Cavour, those in Via D'azeglio and in Corte Isolani, otherwise go to Via dell' Indipendenza or back streets of the town. But if you care how much cloths cost and not ready to spend much, check the shops along Via dellIndipendenza or even better suggestion, go to nearby Centro Grosso.
Beware of the Bologna "Fat City Scam" The full scam is outlined in the scams section of the Bent Society blogsite http://bentsocietyblog.blogspot.com/
Essentially you watch out for vendors using fake plasitc statues to con you that these statues are artists pretending to be statues.
Yes the irony is wonderful. But the fake statues get more money from tourists then the poor art students becuase...well they stand still for longer and look more like statues. Ouch it stings does it not.
Unique Suggestions: Look into the eyes of the statue. But watch out because its "minders" as are not happy about tourists doing this.
Fun Alternatives: Find a fake and then sit at a table outside, order your drink and sit back and watch how the scam works. It is trully a fun experience.
Oh, what was I thinking about? I left Lido degli Estensi on sunday afternoon. What do you think happened? Of course: half of population of Bologna, two thirds of population of Ferrara and all the people living in Ravenna decided to do the same thing - after week-end spent on the sea side. The result? The longest 3 miles in my entire live; it needed me ower 2 hours to reach the main road. So, if you are leaving, don't choose sunday afternoon!
Prices for coffee or beer on the main square...but we did it anyway. It is worth the price of a seat as night is falling. And it was close to our hotel!! This picture, also from Parma, is typical of the baroqueness of even the small cafes.