Did you know there are two leaning towers in Bologna and you won’t find Spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna? Well, I didn’t. Today I will give you more than enough reasons to plan a trip to Bologna by sharing my experience. It is important to know that Bologna is the largest city and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Our itinerary in Italy included many touristy places, so I decided to go to Bologna as the last stop to have some rest before heading to Munich, Germany.
Bologna turned out to be very different from all the places we visited in Italy, and that’s exactly what I liked about it: a splash of color, different architecture, waterways that make you think you’re in Venice… What an adventure!
We spent 3 days in Bologna, and, since most places were closed in August, we were able to experience the city without the crowds. We were surrounded mostly by locals that would come to Pizza Maggiore in the evening to enjoy the world of cinema.
TO EXPERIENCE MORE OF BOLOGNA, YOU MUST SEE:
Asinelli Tower (leaning towers of Bologna)
Canale di Reno
Basilica of San Petronio
666 Portici in Bologna
Monte Della Guardia
St Stephen Basilica
Fountain of Neptune
at least a few parks
MUST EAT IN BOLOGNA:
Mortadella (Italian sausage), Salame Rosa, Tortellini in the broth, piscinas, sorta di Roso (sweet rice cake), Lambrusco (sparkling red wine) and gelato at Cremeria “Santo Stefano”.
If you like food markets, you may as well pay a visit to Mercato di Mezzo (oldest but quite touristy market), Mercato Della Terra, and Mercato Delle Erbe. They are not as exciting as Mercato Centrale in Florence, but the food was delicious!
I would highly recommend having dinner at Osteria dell’ Orsa where locals and tourists come together to enjoy traditional and modern dishes of Bologna. There are many delicious food options availible even for vegetarians! We ate there two nights in a row, so we got a chance to try different things, and the wait was always worth it. Make sure you find a hostess so she can add your name to the waiting list because it gets really crowded.
- The mains roads are closed during the weekends which makes the time spent in Bologna even more relaxed. But, if you stay outside of the city center, the bus schedules also change.
- If you’re planning on using public transport a lot, it would make sense to purchase a City Pass ticket that allows you to take 10 trips and save some $$. It can also be used for several people but must be validated every time and for each and every person using it. City Pass ticket can be purchased at Tabacchi shops or Newspaper Stands.
- Talk to locals, eat where locals eat. We had a few hours to spare before the train to Germany and were getting hungry. Now, even if you travel with a carry-on, it’s still uncomfortable to walk far to find a spot to eat and then come back (and make it on time). We remembered the grocery store that had a food court not far from the railway station where we saw locals dining. Visitors were avoiding it since it didn’t look fancy or attractive…and that’s where we had one of the best meals! Made by locals for locals 🙂 Lasagna Bolognese and my tortellini with ricotta cheese were top notch!
I hope the trip to Bologna will be your next adventure!