Bologna Travel Information
With winding streets, charming
palazzos and ancient churches, mediaeval Bologna is Europe's oldest
The historic quarter is a maze of narrow streets
and mediaeval porticoes.
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
Bologna is a cosmopolitan, vibrant
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.
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
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.
Piazza Maggiore and Neptune Fountain Duomo with
Cassini's sundial Due Torri (2 famous mediaeval towers.)
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.
Nazionale - housing a collection of Bolognese art.
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 is famed for its
arcaded streets, definitely a city to be explored on foot
the two 12th century leaning towers which dominate the skyline
The culinary Capital of Italy
> Visit the bustling Piazza
> 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