Bologna Travel Guide

  • Cheeses at A.F. Tamburini
    Cheeses at A.F. Tamburini
    by PDXdepartures
  • Palazzo del Podesta
    Palazzo del Podesta
    by croisbeauty
  • Garisenda e Asunelli
    Garisenda e Asunelli
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Bologna Things to Do

  • Towers - Torri

    The two towers are Bologna’s iconic landmark. In Pisa they make such a fuss about their leaning tower, while Bologna has two… Their full names are Torre Asinelli (the taller one) and Torre Garisenda, but everyone simply refers to them as le Due Torri. These two towers are the most prominent among the medieval tower houses built by the noble and...

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  • Santo Stefano

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The back wing behind the main cloister contains a small museum with artefacts from the churches and the convent: altarpieces, religious paintings, vasa sacra, statues and handwritten documents. My favourite piece were the beams from a wooden ceiling (photo 1) painted with animals. The museum fills three or four rooms. Behind the exhibition there...

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  • Historical Buildings

    Casa Isolani, a 13th century building in Strada Maggiore, is the most impressive among the medieval palaces which are the precedessors of Bologna’s arcades. The protruding third storey is carried by a construction of oak timbers that reach a height of about nine metres. The wooden construction stayed strong for centuries but at a certain point...

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Bologna Hotels

See all 165 Hotels in Bologna
  • Grand Hotel Baglioni

    Quite expensive but situated right in the centre of the city , very nice hotel ,rooms and bar , and...

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  • Savhotel

    Modern 4**** Hotel in Bologna. Plus: - value (esp. weekend rate) - cleanliness - comfortable rooms...

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  • Hotel Paradise

    I chose this hotel partly because of its central location (10 minutes' walk from the railway station...

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Bologna Restaurants

  • Da Nello al Montegrappa

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    The restaurant is celebrating its 65th year in 2011. Most of the waiters here have been working in this restaurant for over 33 years or more. They all have a profound knowledge of their wonderful food and excellent wines on the menu. The ambiance is cozy-elegant with wooden panels on the wall and white tablecloth. Everything is home made and even...

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  • Trattoria Danio

    5 out of 5 stars

    Typical Bologna restaurant, where the tables of wood still of the 60' are prepared with the whitetablecloth more traditional, the menù is much traditional one: tortellini, passatelli, lasagne, beyond to tortelloni and the others first homemade ones... se there are the tortellini is also the bubbled one, that is the meat with which has been prepared...

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  • Trattoria Gianni

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    Trattoria or Osteria is kind of trade-mark for good quality food, made in traditional way and colloquialy called grandma's cuisine. It in particularly goes for trattoria Bolognese. The ambient, in trattoria, is usualy rustical and very simple but the atmosphere is just great. The moment you step inside you'll be accepted as "the member of the...

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Bologna Nightlife

  • Bars/pubs

    I am not good in writing nightlife tips, simply because I am not the person who goes out in bars and pubs when I am travelling alone. And I would not have listed this one under nightlife if I wouldn’t know that many people like to have a pre-dinner drink. On my third day in Bologna, in late afternoon, I was in the northeastern section of town and...

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  • Discos

    Salsa is one of my passions, so while I was studying in Bologna I went to all the different salsa clubs in and around the city. Of all the clubs I went to, the best one by far was Sala Paradiso. It's packed every Friday (and only Friday) with intense Cuban salsa dancers. The majority of the dancers are above average, and occasionally a Rueda can...

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  • Family spots

    When your young one will get tired of walking (his dad wouldn't mind to go on, right dad?) darling mum can put him into this children train. There are a lot more 'Salle di giocco' as Italians call amusment parks... Just have fun! Mum, if you please to ride that plastic cammel in your long evening dress, just be my guest! Amusment park will get one...

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Bologna Transportation

  • Train

    Italian trains are safe, comfortable and efficient enough with an extensive network. Getting to or from Bologna by train is very easy. Bologna Centrale station has been fairly recently extended to cope with the super-fast Freccia trains. I caught the fast Frecciarossa from Milan Centrale, travelling at 296km/h at times and making the journey in...

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  • The car

    I never travel by public transportation, instead I am traveling by car. To get to Bologna there are tree possible road directions: - A4 plus A13 from direction of Trieste - A1 from direction of Milano - A22 from direction of Brennero. As in most of Italian cities, parking in the central part of the town is a huge problem. There are too many cars...

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  • Airplane

    I have flown in and out of Bologna since 2008, many times. Once I also picked up friends (Sarah and Chris) here who came to celebrate my half century birthday a couple of years ago. So yes, I know Bologna’s airport quite well for someone who does not (yet) live in Italy. And it is my second favourite airport in Italy (my favourite is the one in...

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Bologna Shopping

See all 37 Shopping in Bologna
  • Terracotta Emiliana

    Located in Rocchetta (the basement of the Asinelli Tower), this beautiful shop offers nice local craftworks in ceramics. You wont find cheap touristy ceramics here because all items are made in art schools or workshops. Depend on how much one want to spend. Personaly, I hate those cheap souvenirs on market places.

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  • Gorgeous local pasta, bread and .....

    For any food and cooking enthusiast, Bologna is the utmost shopping paradise. Especially the area east of Piazza Maggiore is dotted with speciality shops for the typical delights of Bologna and this part of Emilia Romagna. Tortelloni, tortellini, stuffed with anything one can imagine, other homemade pasta, ravioli of course, then bread and sweets,...

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  • Fresh produces - daily

    For those who are staying in accommodation with kitchen and for anyone who wants to buy just small snacks or fruit: the fruit & vegetable market stalls east of Piazza Maggiore, in the east-west streets Via Clavature, Via Pescherie Vecchie and Via Orefici and in the north-south street Via Drapperie are ideal places to stock up or just munch on the...

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Bologna Local Customs

  • Motorini i Vespe

    They are noisy and a nuisance but an Italian city would be incomplete without them. Italians seem to be immune to noise anyway. In the narrow streets and alleys where parking is scarce a small motorcycle is the most practical means of transport. The streets of the centre are full of parked motorini. They dominate street traffic, too. “Vespa”...

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  • Street Musicians

    Piazza Maggiore and the surrounding streets attract many pedestrians, locals and visitors equally, especially on Sundays when the centre is ‘pedestrians only’. That means plenty of potential listeners and spectators with spare time, no traffic noise: perfect ground for street musicians. There are often some bands around that are worth stopping and...

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  • How to find „Spaghetti Bolognese“?

    Another nickname of the city is Bologna la grassa (Bologna the fat) because it is known as the foodie centre of Italy. The most famous dish has made the city’s name known all over the world: Spaghetti Bolognese, pasta in a spicy tomato sauce with minced meat. Everywhere in the world you find it listed on the menu, but if you browse restaurant...

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Bologna Warnings and Dangers

  • Central railway station cold in winter

    As I have seen in Italy (Bologna and Florence) it is not very popular to build huge buildings for the railway stations. The attendance room at Bologna Centrale was very small and overcrowded, so I had to wait my train outside, with temperatures around minus 1-2 in February. Unfortunately the train came 2.5 hours later and it was not very pleasant...

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  • Near Bologna: absurd waste management

    I really discourage everybody from sleeping or staying in one of the following small towns near Bologna: Casalecchio di Reno; Sasso Marconi; Zola Predosa; Bazzano; Crespellano; Monteveglio, Savigno; Monte S. Pietro. The reason is that the local authorities have recently adopted a system of waste management which is absolutely crazy. The organic...

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  • It's not quite as it looks...Via Zamboni

    The university is around the Via Zamboni - so it's noisy and lively and looks chaotic - and I think there is a church mission for drunks so you see more of them. But there seems to always be largish police presence at the side of the opera house. We passed lots of crowds at different times two or three times a day for a week, and saw no problems....

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Bologna Tourist Traps

  • Beggars

    It might sound silly to write a “trap” review about beggars, but it seems that I am not so much accustomed to them in the regions I usually travel to (the lesser known and visited parts of Italy and smaller towns). That is why maybe I had the impression to see beggars all over in Bologna. But the good thing is that the ones I saw don’t seem to push...

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  • Expensies

    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...

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  • Bologna Fat City Scam

    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...

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Bologna What to Pack

  • Pack wise: good shoes and .... memory...

    Luggage on wheels might be a good idea, but be aware there are often steps between the walkways under the arcades. I had my backpack with me, as usual, and didn’t have any problems. Good shoes are a must because you will walk and walk and walk and even if you take the bus, you will walk a bit. But then, one can walk mostly under the arcades, where...

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  • Shopping Paradise - Palazzo Majani

    The town of Bologna is shopping paradise, for those who can spend a lot and those who take care of expensis.The small Palazzo Majani, in Via dell'Indipendenza, was built in 1908 to a project of Augusto Senzanne. It is one of the best examples of Art Nouveau (Liberty) in the city, defined by tradicionalists "una saggiola di Vienna messa li a urtare...

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  • Some like it hot

    Although things tend to cool off at night, if you're an American and used to air conditioning, you may find that it is well worth your while to bring a small battery-powered fan with you, or to purchase a slightly larger fan which has the appropriate plug for Italian current. I brought two of the former and we never did get around to buying the...

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Bologna Off The Beaten Path

  • Excursions

    perfect for a day trip from Bologna, only 40/60 min by train and you arrive in the town center...or half an hour by car...the best way to visit Ferrara is by bike inthis website you can find address where you can rent a bike %L[http://www.ferrarainbici.it/index.phtml?id=25 ]Ferrara in bici ...have a look to my Vt Ferrara pages to have some...

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  • San Luca church

    Leave the city behind by following the longest uninterrupted arcade in the world up into the hills to the San Luca Monastery. The arcade starts at Porta Saragozza and winds its way across roads and up to reach the monastery which looks over Bologna. Its a pleasant walk, not too strenuous and the arcade provides shade on a hot or rainy day. At the...

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  • Cars show

    When I have visited Bologna, 14/09/2002, there was big Oldtimers show at Piazza Maggiore. I have took the picture of the most interesting cars. This is, so-called pedomobile, type Mercedes, the oldest car on the show.

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Bologna Sports & Outdoors

  • Football (soccer) and basketball

    The local "Bologna FC" used to be one of the best Italian football clubs of Prime division. However, there are lots of scandals in Italian football because certain club managers think they are God in person, "cutting" championships as they like it. Bologna FC was one of their victims and although having very good tram was transfered into the second...

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  • Bicycle tracks inthe country

    If u have a look to this web page u can find some good info about trip in the county and itinerary.http://iat.comune.bologna.it/IAT/IAT.nsf/0cf4445e25a35c5dc1256e6a004f5ad1/3edb1c3cf6257825c1256f420054974f?OpenDocument

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  • Forza Bologna!

    Luckily for me, Serie A football team Bologna had a home game against Cagliari while we were there. Nobody else wanted to go so I was there on my own, sad?Anyway a 1-0 home win on a very cold evening (18:00 kick off). In truth not a great game but the crowd were entertaining.At €15 for a ticket in the Curva Sud, very good value. A top flight match...

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Bologna Favorites

  • Churches and Squares

    I stole this term from my Polish colleagues who invented it to describe their favourite research and pastime, as opposed to all those other activities ending in –ing which have adapted from English by other languages. Befitting the location, we then translated it into Italian as “Chiesare” ;-) Bologna is full of churches, big and small. San...

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  • Portici

    The invention of the “portici”, arcades along the facades of the houses that cover the walkways and enlarge the ground plan of the upper storeys, had a precedessor already in the middle ages. The oldest palazzi do not have arched arcades but timber constructions made from strong beams that look quite archaic. Palazzo Isolani in Strada Maggiore is...

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  • Food and shopping

    Shopping and window-shopping in Bologna is not about chain stores but about the little, locally owned shops. This applies to most of Italy, by the way. Underneath the portici there are countless small shops of all kinds and genres. Many still have their old shop fronts, like the hat shop in photo 4. Some sell everyday goods, but the majority...

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Explore Deeper into Bologna
Piazza Maggiore
Things to Do
University
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San Petronio
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Piazza Nettuno
Things to Do
San Domenico
Things to Do
San Luca
Things to Do
La Felina
Restaurants
Trattoria Tony
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Osteria Bottega
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Nutelleria
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Teresina
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Caffè Zanarini
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old building
Favorites
Piazza Nettuno
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Piazza Maggiore
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Excursions and map
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Towers
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Don't miss the Bolognese cuisine
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Strada Maggiore
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San Domenico
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Santo Stefano: Museum and Chiesa della Benda
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Santo Stefano: Cloister
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Santo Stefano: Cortile di Pilato
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Santo Stefano:Basilica dei Santi Vitale e Agricola
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Santo Stefano: Basilica del Sepolcro
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Duomo San Pietro
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Santo Stefano: Approach and Overview
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Archiginnasio: Sala dello Stabat Mater
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Archiginnasio
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Facoltà di Giurisprudenza
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Casa and Corte Isolani
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The Wooden Ancestors of the Arcades
Favorites
Piccola Venezia - Little Venice
Off The Beaten Path
FScire
Off The Beaten Path
Via dell’Independenza
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Medieval Tower Houses
Favorites
„Churching“
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Piazza Maggiore
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Market Streets in Quadrilatero
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Santa Maria dei Servi
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Map of Bologna

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