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Bologna Travel Information

With winding streets, charming palazzos and ancient churches, mediaeval Bologna is Europe's oldest University City.

The historic quarter is a maze of narrow streets and mediaeval porticoes.

Bologna
Bologna

It is also Italy's gastronomic capital, Bologna offers a wealth of cafes and restaurants. The city's many charms ensure a rewarding choice for the second time visitor to Italy.


Bologna Travel and Flight Information

Bologna is a cosmopolitan, vibrant and prosperous city with a medieval heritage to rival that of the more renowned Venice or Florence. An appealing destination with superb gastronomic delights, architectural treasures and a youthful university population.

Most of interest to holiday visitors lies within the ring road, which follows the ancient walls and forms a boundary to the fairly compact city centre. The vast square of Piazza Maggiore is the focus of the well-preserved historic inner core of charming old lanes. The city is particularly noted for its great vaulted walkways and 25 miles of porticoed streets.

The lively university area is host to many cafes, nightspots and trattorias. As one of Europe's largest exhibition venues, Bologna receives a large number of business visitors. The city is also a good base from which to explore the other surrounding towns and Itanlian countryside. Many locals themselves head for the cooler hills of the Apennines in the summer, with late spring and early autumn good times to visit.

Area
Bologna occupies the flat land between the rivers Reno and Savena. Backed by the northern foothills of the Apennine Mountains, with the wide, fertile plains of the Po basin spreading out to the North of the city.

Based in northern Italy, 370km (230 miles) north of Rome. 145km (90 miles) south west of Venice. 96km (60 miles) north of Florence. 96 km (60 miles) north west of Rimini. Marconi International Airport is 8km (5 miles) north west of the centre.

Where to Stay
Mostly middle market hotel options are concentrated in the centre, by the railway station and around the trade-fair complex in the north suburbs. Availability gets very limited and prices rise during the city's many trade fairs and exhibitions. Many characterful, traditional-style choices.

What to Do
Daytime: numerous medieval churches, including San Petronio (huge brick-built Gothic edifice), San Stefano (a collection of Romanesque churches) and San Giacomo Maggiore (impressive frescoes); museums of art, astronomy and archaeology, notably Palazzo Poggi with numerous themed exhibits; Asinelli tower (one of two leaning towers) for a stunning city panorama - though a climb of 500 steps; walking tours embracing piazzas, mansions, gardens and beautiful porticoed walkways.

Nightlife: open-air concerts during the summer arts festival, dance and theatre performances in some piazzas and courtyards (August generally quiet); live music venues and popular bars in the university district, stylish bars in the centre, with many traditional pub-like "osterias" in the narrow lanes; multiscreen cinema (English-language films are rare); piazza cafes for people watching and pricey drinks.

Must See
Piazza Maggiore and Neptune Fountain Duomo with Cassini's sundial Due Torri (2 famous mediaeval towers.)

Duo Torri
Duo Torri

Must Do
Climb the Torre Asinelli (one of the 2 towers) for fantastic views of the city's terracotta rooftops, for the more agile only as it's a long way to the top!
Santo Stefano which is famed for its 7 churches, an antiques market often convenes here on Sunday mornings. Archeaological museum featuring international and local Roman and Etruscan artefacts.
Pinacoteca Nazionale - housing a collection of Bolognese art.

Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

Restaurants
Dining in Bologna is a favourite local pastime. From top restaurants to traditional trattorias, quality is high and fresh pastas (particularly tortelli and tortellini) are specialities. Pretty good value, but more expensive in the centre.

Shops
A good quality and variety of shopping, from specialist food shops along Via Drapperie to designer boutiques. Top fashion outlets line the narrow lanes around Piazza Maggiore, with more cost effective options along the Via dell'Indipendenza thoroughfare and bargains at the university district. Several food markets and antique shops worth browsing.

Excursions
Half day tour: hills around Bologna for walks, scenery and cooler summer temperatures; superb portico at the Madonna di San Luca shrine.

Full day tour: exploring the region's many towns, such as Parma, with its fine restaurants, Ferrara and Modena (both medieval cities); villages and countryside in the foothills of the Apennines, such as charming Vignola and Zocca, and the spa town of Porretta Terme; Verona; Florence.

Getting Around
Bologna is an easy city to explore by foot and has good train links to other Italian cities. The compact, largely pedestrianised historical centre makes for easy walking, cycle hire is popular. A network of buses throughout. Good rail links to major Italian cities and regional towns. Car hire is also available at the airport.

Who is it for?
Bologna is for business travellers and convention goers. Backpackers and weekend breakers. Those interested in medieval architecture, brickwork, churches, culture, art and food. Good base for exploring Emilia-Romagna province and the Apennines.

To Relax
Stoll along the winding streets and porticoes enjoying the mediaeval architecture. Shop in the streets off Piazza Maggiore, where many designer boutiques can be found.
Enjoy the fine cuisine for which Bologna is famed in the many cafes and restaurants. Tortellini in Brodo is the local speciality.

Weather
Daily average temperatures (Approx) 'C

JAN 10 FEB 12 MAR 15 APR 19 MAY 23 JUN 27 JUL 31 AUG 30 SEP 26 OCT 21 NOV 15 DEC 10

Bologna Highlights

> Bologna is famed for its arcaded streets, definitely a city to be explored on foot

> See the two 12th century leaning towers which dominate the skyline

> The culinary Capital of Italy

> Visit the bustling Piazza Maggiore

> Home to the oldest university in the western world, this city is a thriving centre of learning

> A good base for exploring the surrounding region


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