Bologna is the largest city (and the capital) of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, located in the heart of a metropolitan area (officially recognized by the Italian government as a città metropolitana) of about one million.

Info Bologna


Bologna is the largest city (and the capital) of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, located in the heart of a metropolitan area (officially recognized by the Italian government as a città metropolitana) of about one million.

The first settlements date back to at least 1000 BC. The city has been an urban centre, first under the Etruscans (Velzna/Felsina) and the Celts (Bona), then under the Romans (Bononia), then again in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality (for one century it was the fifth largest European city based on population). Home to the oldest university in the world, University of Bologna, founded in 1088, Bologna hosts thousands of students who enrich the social and cultural life of the city. Famous for its towers and lengthy porticoes, Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre (one of the largest in Italy) thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s, on the heels of serious damage done by the urban demolition at the end of the 19th century as well as that caused by wars.

An important cultural and artistic centre, its importance in terms of landmarks can be attributed to a varied mixture of monuments and architectural examples (medieval towers, antique buildings, churches, the layout of its historical centre) as well as works of art which are the result of a first class architectural and artistic history. Bologna is also an important transportation crossroad for the roads and trains of Northern Italy, where many important mechanical, electronic and nutritional industries have their headquarters. According to the most recent data gathered by the European Regional Economic Growth Index (E-REGI) of 2009, Bologna is the first Italian city and the 47th European city in terms of its economic growth rate.

Bologna is home to numerous prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions as well as one of the most impressive trade fair districts in Europe. In 2000 it was declared European capital of culture and in 2006, a UNESCO “city of music”. The city of Bologna was selected to participate in the Universal Exposition of Shanghai 2010 together with 45 other cities from around the world. Bologna is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country: in 2011 it ranked 1st out of 107 Italian cities.

POPULATION : 387,057 (urban)
1,004,615 (metro)
TIME ZONE : • Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE :   Italian (official)
RELIGION :  Roman Catholic
AREA :  140.7 km2 (54.3 sq mi)
ELEVATION :   54 m (177 ft)
COORDINATES :  44°30′27″N 11°21′5″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 48.6%
 Female: 51.4%
ETHNIC :   Italian
AREA CODE :  051
POSTAL CODE :   40100
DIALING CODE :  +39 51


Bologna is famous for its cuisine (la cucina Bolognese). It is also viewed as a progressive and well-administered city. It is considered second only to Venice in beauty by many Italians and certainly has one of the largest and best preserved historic centers among Italian cities. Its architecture is noted for its palette of terracotta reds, burnt oranges, and warm yellows, hence the name ofBologna la rossa (Bologna the red). The extensive town center, characterized by miles of attractive covered walkways, known as "porticos," is one of the best-preserved in Europe.

Bologna is the seat of the oldest university in continental Europe, founded in 1088. A significant portion of its population consists of away-from-home university students. In common with other Italian university towns, it is in parts marred by excessive graffiti on its historic palaces.

Main sights

Until the late 19th century, when a large-scale urban renewal project was undertaken, Bologna remained one of the few remaining large walled cities in Europe; to this day and despite having suffered considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's 350 acres (141.64 ha) historic centre is Europe's second largest, containing an immense wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments.

Bologna developed along the Via Emilia as an Etruscan and later Roman colony; the Via Emilia still runs straight through the city under the changing names of Strada Maggiore, Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi, and San Felice. Due to its Roman heritage, the central streets of Bologna, today largely pedestrianized, follow the grid pattern of the Roman settlement. The original Roman ramparts were supplanted by a high medieval system of fortifications, remains of which are still visible, and finally by a third and final set of ramparts built in the 13th century, of which numerous sections survive. No more than twenty medieval defensive towers remain out of up to 180 that were built in the 12th and 13th centuries before the arrival of unified civic government. The most famous of the towers of Bologna are the central "Due Torri" (Asinelli and Garisenda), whose iconic leaning forms provide a popular symbol of the town.

The cityscape is further enriched by its elegant and extensive porticoes, for which the city is famous. In total, there are some 38 kilometres (24 miles) of porticoes in the city's historical centre  (over 45 km (28 mi) in the city proper), which make it possible to walk for long distances sheltered from the elements.

The Portico di San Luca is possibly the world's longest. It connects Porta Saragozza (one of the twelve gates of the ancient walls built in the Middle Ages, which circled a 7.5 km (4.7 mi) part of the city) with the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, a church begun in 1723 on the site of an 11th-century edifice which had already been enlarged in the 14th century, prominently located on a hill (289 metres (948 feet)) overlooking the town, which is one of Bologna's main landmarks. The winding 666 vault arcade, almost four kilometres (3,796 m) long, effectively links San Luca, as the church is commonly called, to the centre of town. Its porticos provide shelter for the traditional procession which every year since 1433 has carried a Byzantine icon of the Madonna with Child attributed to Luke the Evangelist down to the Bologna Cathedral during Ascension week.

Other churches in Bologna include:

  • Basilica of San Petronio, one of the world's largest churches
  • Basilica of Santo Stefano and sanctuary
  • Basilica of San Domenico and sanctuary
  • Basilica of St Francis
  • Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi
  • Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore (13th–14th century), featuring Renaissance artworks such as the Bentivoglio Altarpiece by Lorenzo Costa
  • Church of San Michele in Bosco

Bologna Welcome (Convention & Visitor Bureau of Bologna), Piazza Maggiore 1/e,  +39 051 239660. M-Sa 9:00-19:00, Su 10:00-17:00.


Middle Ages

After a long decline, Bologna was reborn in the 5th century under Bishop Petronius. According to legend, St. Petronius built the church of S. Stefano. After the fall of Rome, Bologna was a frontier stronghold of the Exarchate of Ravenna in the Po plain, and was defended by a line of walls which did not enclose most of the ancient ruined Roman city. In 728, the city was captured by the Lombard king Liutprand, becoming part of the Lombard Kingdom. The Germanic conquerors formed a district called "addizione longobarda" near the complex of S. Stefano. Charlemagne stayed in this district in 786.

In the 11th century, under the Holy Roman Empire, Bologna began to aspire to being a free commune, which it was able to do when Matilda of Tuscanydied, in 1115, and the following year the city obtained many judicial and economic concessions from Emperor Henry V. Bologna joined the Lombard League against Frederick Barbarossa in 1164 which ended with the Peace of Constance in 1183; after which, the city began to expand rapidly (this is the period in which its famous towers were built) and it became one of the main commercial trade centres thanks to a system of canals that allowed large ships to come and go.

Traditionally said to be founded in 1088, the University of Bologna is widely considered to be the first university. The university originated as an international centre of study of medieval Roman law under major glossators, including Irnerius. It numbered Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca among its students.

In the 12th century, the expanding city needed a new line of walls, and at the end of the 13th century, Bologna had between 50,000 and 60,000 inhabitants making it the fifth largest city in Europe (after Cordova, Paris, Venice, and Florence) and tied with Milan as the largest textile industry area in Italy. The complex system of canals in Bologna was one of the most advanced waterway systems in Europe, and took its water from the Savena, Aposa and Reno Rivers. The main canals were Canale Navile, Canale di Reno and Canale di Savena. Hydraulic energy derived from the canal system helped run the numerous textile mills and transport goods.

In 1256, Bologna promulgated the "Paradise Law", which abolished feudal serfdom and freed the slaves, using public money. At that time the city centre was full of towers (perhaps 180), built by the leading families, notable public edifices, churches, and abbeys. In the 1270s Bologna's politics was dominated by Luchetto Gattilusio, a Genoese diplomat and man of letters who became the city Governor. Like most Italian cities of that age, Bologna was torn by internal struggles related to the Guelph and Ghibelline factions, which led to the expulsion of the Ghibelline family of the Lambertazzi in 1274.

After this period of great prosperity, Bologna experienced some ups and downs: The city were home to some 50,000 people in the early 1300s. it was crushed in the Battle of Zappolino by Modena in 1325 but then prospered under the rule of Taddeo Pepoli (1337–1347). Then in 1348, during the Black Plague, about 30,000 inhabitants died, and it subsequently fell to the Visconti of Milan, but returned to Papal control under Cardinal Gil de Albornoz in 1360. In the following years, Republican governments like that of 1377, which was responsible for the building of the Basilica di San Petronio and the Loggia dei Mercanti, alternated with Papal or Visconti resurgences, while the city's families engaged in continual internecine fighting.

Early modern

In 1337, the rule of the noble Pepoli family, nicknamed by some scholars as the "underground nobles" as they governed as "the first among equals" rather than as true nobles of the city. This noble family's rule was in many ways an extension of past rules, and resisted until March 28, 1401 when the Bentivoglio family took over.

The Bentivoglio family ruled Bologna, first with Sante (1445–1462) and then under Giovanni II (1462–1506). This period was a flourishing one for the city, with the presence of notable architects and painters who made Bologna a true city of art. During the Renaissance, Bologna was the only Italian city that allowed women to excel in any profession. Women had much more freedom than in other Italian cities; some even had the opportunity to earn a degree at the university. The School of Bologna of painting flourished in Bologna between the 16th and 17th centuries, and rivalled Florence and Rome as the centre of painting.

Giovanni's reign ended in 1506 when the Papal troops of Julius II besieged Bologna and sacked the artistic treasures of his palace. From that point on, until the 18th century, Bologna was part of the Papal States, ruled by a cardinal legato and by a Senate which every two months elected a gonfaloniere (judge), assisted by eight elder consuls. In 1530, in front of Saint Petronio Church,Charles V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Clement VII.

Then a plague at the end of the 16th century reduced the population from 72,000 to 59,000, and another in 1630 to 47,000. The population later recovered to a stable 60,000–65,000. However, there was also great progress during this era: in 1564, the Piazza del Nettuno and the Palazzo dei Banchi were built, along with the Archiginnasio, the centre of the University. The period of Papal rule saw the construction of many churches and other religious establishments, and the reincarnation of older ones. At this time, Bologna had ninety-six convents, more than any other Italian city. Artists working during this period in Bologna established the Bolognese School which includes Annibale Carracci, Domenichino, Guercino and others of European fame.

Late modern and contemporary

In 1796 Napoleon conquered Bologna, making it the capital of the short lived Cispadane Republic. After the fall of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 placed Bologna once again under the sovereignty of the Papal States, leading to the uprisings of 1831 and 1848, when the Austrian garrisons which controlled the city were temporarily expelled. Eventually, during the Second War of Italian Independence, on 11 and 12 March 1860 the city voted in favour of annexation by the Kingdom of Sardinia, soon to become the new Kingdom of Italy.

World War II

Bologna suffered extensive damage during World War II. The strategic importance of the city as industrial and railway hub connecting northern and central Italy made it a strategic target for the Allied forces. On July 16, 1943 a massive aerial bombardment destroyed much of the historic city centre and killed scores of people. The main railway station and adjoining areas were severely hit, and 44% of the buildings in the centre were listed as having been destroyed or severely damaged. The city was heavily bombed again on September 25. The raids, which this time were not confined to the city centre, left 936 people dead and thousands injured.

During the war, the city became a key centre of the Italian resistance movement. On November 7, 1944, a pitched battle around Porta Lame, waged by partisans of the 7th Brigade of the Gruppi d'Azione Patriottica against Fascistand Nazi occupation forces, did not succeed in triggering a general uprising, despite being one of the largest resistance-led urban conflicts in the European theatre. Resistance forces entered Bologna on the morning of April 21, 1945. By this time, the Germans had already largely left the city in the face of the Allied advance, spearheaded by Polish forces advancing from the east during the Battle of Bologna which had been fought since April 9. First to arrive in the centre was the 87th Infantry Regiment of the Friuli Combat Group under general Arturo Scattini, who entered the centre from Porta Maggiore to the south. Since the soldiers were dressed in British outfits, they were initially thought to be part of the allied forces; when the local inhabitants heard the soldiers were speaking Italian, they poured out on to the streets to celebrate. Polish reconnaissance units of the Polish 2nd Corps entered Bologna from another direction on the same morning as the Friuli Combat Group. The fighting to oust the Germans from the town had been mostly undertaken by Polish troops.

Post-war years

In the post-war years, Bologna became a thriving industrial centre as well as a political stronghold of the Italian Communist Party. Between 1945 and 1999, the city had an uninterrupted series of left-wing mayors, the first of whom was Giuseppe Dozza.

In 1977 Bologna was the scene ofrioting linked to the Movement of 1977, a spontaneous political movement of the time. The alleged police shooting of a far-left activist, Francesco Lorusso, sparked two days of street clashes that led the government to send in armored vehicles.

On 2 August 1980, at the height of the "years of lead", a terrorist bomb was set off in the central railway station of Bologna killing 85 people and wounding 200, an event which is known in Italy as the Bologna massacre. In 1995, members of the neo-fascist group Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari were convicted for carrying out the attack, while Licio Gelli—Grand Master of the underground Freemason lodge Propaganda Due (P2)—was convicted for hampering the investigation, together with three agents of the secret military intelligence service SISMI(including Francesco Pazienza and Pietro Musumeci). Commemorations take place in Bologna on 2 August each year, culminating in a concert in the main square.

In 1999 the long tradition of left-wing mayors was interrupted by the victory of the independent candidate Giorgio Guazzaloca, who led a centre-right coalition; this brief experience ended in 2004 when Sergio Cofferati, a former trade union leader, was elected. The next centre-left mayor, Flavio Delbono, elected in June 2009, resigned in January 2010 after being involved in a corruption scandal. After a 15-month period in which the city was administered under Anna Maria Cancellieri (as a state-appointed prefect), Virginio Merola was elected as mayor, leading a left-wing coalition comprising the Democratic Party, Left Ecology Freedom and Italy of Values.


Bologna has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa).

Annual precipitation oscillates between around 450 mm (18 in) and 900 mm (35 in), with the majority generally falling in spring and autumn. Snow occasionally falls during winter and heavy snowfalls; the last major event was in February 2012, when almost a meter of snow fell in the city.

When to visit

Bologna is at its best from March/April to October, when it is warm and there is much outdoor sipping and dining, or just sitting in squares such as Piazza Santo Stefano and Piazza Maggiore. However, during July and August it can be very hot and sticky. In August, as is the case in much of Italy in the summer, many shops and restaurants are closed for the summer vacation.

Winter can be cold, but Bologna is beautiful the two weeks before Christmas. January and February often feature cloudless blue skies, but the clear weather is often the coldest: you will need a coat, scarf, hat and gloves.

Climate data for Bologna

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.7
Average high °C (°F) 5.0
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.8
Average low °C (°F) −1.5
Record low °C (°F) −18.8
Source: Servizio Meteorologico 


Bologna is situated on the edge of the Po Plain at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, at the meeting of the Reno and Savena river valleys. As Bologna's two main watercourses flow directly to the sea, the town lies outside of the drainage basin of the River Po. The Province of Bologna stretches from the western edge of the Po Plain on the border with Ferrara to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The centre of the town is 54 metres (177 ft) above sea level(while elevation within the municipality ranges from 29 metres (95 ft) in the suburb of Corticella to 300 metres (980 ft) in Sabbiuno and the Colle della Guardia). The Province of Bologna stretches from the Po Plain into the Apennines; the highest point in the province is the peak of Corno alle Scale (in Lizzano in Belvedere) at 1,945 metres (6,381 ft) above sea level.


Bologna is an important railway and motorway hub in Italy. The economy of Bologna is characterized by a flourishing industrial sector, traditionally based on the transformation of agricultural and zootechnical products (Granarolo, Segafredo Zanetti). It also includes machinery (Coesia), automobiles, footwear, textile, engineering, chemical, printing and publishing industries, as well as a strong financial, insurance (Unipol) and retail (Coop Italia, Conad) activity. The city's Fiera District (exhibition centre) is one of the largest in Europe, with important yearly international expos focused on the automobile sector (Bologna Motor Show), ceramics for the building industry (International Exhibition of Ceramic Tiles and Bathroom Furnishings) and food industry. In addition, several important firms in the fields of automobiles (Lamborghini), motorcycles (Ducati), mechanics, food, tobacco and electronics have their headquarters in the urban area of Bologna, as well as important retail and wholesale trade (the "Centergross" in Argelato, esabilished in 1973), and one of the largest Italian food processing companies (Conserve Italia).

Prices in Bologna



Milk 1 liter €1.28
Tomatoes 1 kg €1.95
Cheese 0.5 kg €8.00
Apples 1 kg €1.70
Oranges 1 kg €1.70
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l €1.60
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle €5.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters €2.15
Bread 1 piece
Water 1.5 l €0.38



Dinner (Low-range) for 2 €26.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 €50.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 €66.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal €7.00
Water 0.33 l €1.00
Cappuccino 1 cup €1.50
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l €4.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l €4.00
Coca-Cola 0.33 l €2.05
Coctail drink 1 drink €8.00



Cinema 2 tickets €16.00
Gym 1 month €70.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut €17.00
Theatar 2 tickets €56.00
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. €0.13
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack €5.00



Antibiotics 1 pack €9.00
Tampons 32 pieces €5.40
Deodorant 50 ml. €4.00
Shampoo 400 ml. €2.70
Toilet paper 4 rolls €2.30
Toothpaste 1 tube €2.25



Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 €70.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M ) 1 €28.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas ) 1 €80.00
Leather shoes 1 €115.00



Gasoline 1 liter €1.41
Taxi Start €4.00
Taxi 1 km €1.00
Local Transport 1 ticket €1.40

Tourist (Backpacker)  

65 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

185 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

The Bologna's airport is located approximately 6 km NW from the centre of the city:

  • Guglielmo Marconi (Bologna) International Airport (IATA: BLQ).The airport has numerous international connections available, including nonstop flights to Amsterdam, Brussels (National), Charleroi ("Brussels" South), Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Istanbul, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Moscow, Paris, Prague, Vienna, and Zagreb (seasonal).


  • WiFI – free, registration required.
  • Left luggage (1st floor of the main terminal). 24/7. €6 per item.
  • Bologna Welcome - Airport (Tourist Information Office) (ground floor at the Arrivals Area),  +39 051 6472201. M-Sa 9:00-19:00, Su 10:00-17:00.

Connections to the city:

  • Aerobus (the stop is just outside the main terminal building). 05:30-00:15 (from the airport); 05:00-23:35 (from the railway station). This service connects the airport with the Bologna Centrale railway station. A full journey takes about 20 minutes. On its way from the airport to Centrale it makes a stop close to the city centre (Mille). €6 tickets also can be used with 75 min. to travel around the city.
  • Bus #54 goes towards the west suburbs of Bologna, and will get you on to the other routes.
  • Buses #81 and #91 could be taken form a bus stop Birra on other side of the elevated motorway, which is within 10 min. walk distance from the airport. The both buses terminate at the Bologna Centrale. Bus tickets are valid for 75 minutes travel and cost €1.5.
  • Taxi – a journey to the city centre could cost approx. €15.

There are also direct bus connections to: Marche, Ravenna, Cervia, Ferrara,Florence, Modena, Rimini.

Transportation - Get In

By Train

Due to its central location and geography, Bologna has emerged as the main rail transport hub of northern Italy, making it very well-connected with other major Italian centers. From the 14th of December 2008 the new high speed railway line is available from/to Milan, shortening the journey to 65 minutes. Bologna is also 37 minutes from Florence, 2 hours 20 from Rome, 2 hours from Venice, 1 hour from Ferrara, etc. The new high speed train line between Rome and Bologna is now fully available and can make trips much faster.

There is also an overnight sleeper service from Paris Bercy to Bologna. Departs Paris 6:52PM in the evening, and arrives Bologna at 6AM. Return departs Bologna 10:30PM arrives Paris 9:06AM.

Side note: While taking the train south from Milan, don't forget to catch a glimpse of the Duomo perched above Bologna in the south. It is especially interesting at sunset.

Transportation - Get In

By Bus

Autostazione di Bologna (Intercity bus station), Piazza XX Settembre 6 (at the beginning of Via Indipendenza, near Porta Galliera).

Transportation - Get In

By Car

The city is at the junction of the A1, A14 and A13 highways, and so is easily accessible from anywhere in Italy. Most traffic from Milan would exit the A1 and take the Tangenziale, but beware this road at rush hour because it is horrendously packed. Expect to use 2 hours from the A1 exit to the Tangenziale to the center at certain peak times over summer busy weekends, especially at the beginning and end of August.

Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

TPER manages public transport in Bologna. Their information and ticket centres are available at some central locations in the city, including the railway station Bologna Centrale and Autostazione di Bologna, the intercity bus station. Bus maps are available there (also at the web site). Single tickets and some other types of bus tickets can be also purchased at many other resellers around the city (newspaper sellers, tobacconists, cafés, etc.).

  • TPER Via MarconiVia Marconi 4 (at the corner with Via Lame), +39 051-290290. M-Sa 7:00-19:00, Su 13:00-19:00.

As of 2016 a single journey ticket costs €1.3 (valid 75 min) or €1.5 if bought on board, a day pass costs €5, 10 journey pass — €12. 10 journey pass can be used by multiple travellers. 

Single journey tickets may be purchased prior to boarding the bus or on board at a ticket machine. There are 2 types of such machines on a bus, usually painted in red and yellow: red ones sell plain tickets, while yellow ones are used to validate multi-trip or season tickets.

Transportation - Get Around

By bicycle

Bikes are most popular among the people of Bologna. They are available for rent on various location around the city (Dynamo, the bicycle parking station, can be found nearby the train station). You can ride on the many bike trails and on the side of the road. Be sure to lock them safely with a good lock, as they get stolen all around town, especially around the University.

Transportation - Get Around

On foot

Bologna is a great place around which to travel on foot, as getting around the city is quite easy: the streets are well marked. It is also a great way to find hidden gems which are frequented by locals. Some care has to be taken crossing roads: the city centre swarms with scooters and small motorcycles (cars banned during the day) and they ride them everywhere.







The key to shopping in Italy is to look in every little shop as you walk around, paying attention to price tags. Please take note that the hours listed usually specify a closure in the afternoons. There is no one place to get the perfect pair of shoes or the perfect ties or the perfect anything: you have to look all over, but this is half the fun. If you can't find what you want at the price you want to pay for it, keep looking, chances are you will find something somewhere else that will work perfectly.

Don't miss the chance to buy local food, such as hand-made pastas and gorgeous cheeses, from any of the hundreds of small vendors and shops to be found in the city. At least half the experience of visiting Bologna is the gastronomic pleasure!

If you have money to spend (a lot perhaps ...) you have to go in 'Galleria Cavour', near 'Via Farini' with a lot of chic high fashion shops and trendy outlets (Armani, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Versace ... etc. ...)

Another "shop street" is "via San Felice" near "via Ugo Bassi" with a lot of small shops that made artigianal dresses (sugarbabe), artshop (elzapoppin), art galleries and (as usual) shoes and dresses shop.

  • Eataly BolognaVia Degli Orefici, 19,  +39 051 0952820. M-Sa 08:00-23:30, Su 10:00-23:30. Eataly is a gourmet grocery store associated with Slow movement. It styles itself as a place to "savor high quality traditional Italian food products and beverages along with local produce and artisanal products." Many different products are for sale, including not only produce but cheese, wine, olive oil, and sweets, and there are also a few smaller restaurants. Anyone who enjoys shopping or window-shopping for food-related products is likely to enjoy walking through.


There are many choices for where to eat, as Bologna is generally considered to be the gastronomic centre of Italy, the Food Capital. It is difficult to find a truly poor meal as the Bolognese, like most Italians, use fabulous quality local produce with sparkling ingenuity.

  • Osteria del SoleVicolo Ranocchi 1d. M-Sa 10:30-21:30. If you feel like picnicking on some of the cold cuts (salumi), cheeses and other fresh foods on display in the delicatessens and market stalls off Piazza Maggiore, thenOsteria del Sole at a tiny street could be a perfect venue. This traditional wine-drinkers' osteria(something of a rarity nowadays) invites you to bring along your own food. Popular with locals and travelers alike, it can get full, especially on Saturday (and don't expect to find soft drinks).
  • GamberiniVia Ugo Bassi 12. Closed Thursday afternoon and Sunday evenings.. Some of the finest appetizers in town; great pastries (paste) too.
  • Gilbertovia Drapperie 5. This enoteca/gastronomia does a goodaperitivo on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between 7 and 9PM.
  • Trattoria Del RossoVia Augusto Righi 30. Traditional Bolognese dishes seven days a week at very reasonable prices. Owned and operated by chef Stefano Curvucci.
  • Da LeonidaVicolo Alemagna. This trattoria is hard to fault, with its excellent food and service at fair prices. But service can be slow... it could take you a while to get your bill...
  • Via Oberdan has the excellent restaurant Teresina which has both fish and meat menus. Also located on Via Oberdan: the unique Cafè, Terziwith single estate coffees, and La Salumeria Bruno e Franco, which is another of Bologna's best delis.
  • Enoteca ItalianaVia Marsala 2b. It has twice been voted best in Italy. Great for a stand up sandwich ( Pancetta with Balsamic or a Mortadella Panino) and an excellent glass of the wine of your choice.
  • For down to earth home style cooking try: Da Gianni in Via Clavature,Mariposa in Via Bertiera, Meloncello in Via Sargozza.
  • For good service, good wine list and fine food at a price try Camminetto D'Oro in Via de Falegnami or Cesarina in Piazza Santo Stefano.
  • For more contemporary stylish dining try the excellent and good valueMarco Fadiga Bistro in Via Rialto or Casa Monica in Via San Felice.
  • Via del Pratello has lots of bars and restaurants/osterie for young people. There's lots to choose from here. Walk past, look at the menus. It is located towards the middle of the 'western' part of the map. Fantoni with its checkered red and white table clothes and scribbled menus, is much frequented by students and serves fantastic fish secondi and an excellent ragu'. Via Mascarella/Largo Respighi is another zone with a lot of Osterie.
  • DianaVia dell'Indipendenza 24. It is probably the most famous restaurant in the city but now it is a pale shadow of what it once was, though still high on old world atmosphere. Elderly Bolognese, tourists and businessmen dine here. The traditional regional cuisine like Lasagne Bolognese, Tortellini in Brodo and Tagliatelle with Ragu are the best choice here and the service is top notch. The daunting bolito misto is still a favorite and 35 Euros will add heaps of shaved white truffle to any dish. Diana is a favorite of Mario Batali but has fallen out of favour with many locals.
  • Al Pappagallo (at the top of the street leading into Piazza Santo Stefano).It was a famous haunt of the stars during the '60s and '70s and still attracts an exclusive clientele. Its mix of traditional Bolognese fare and nouvelle cuisine gives the Diana a run for its money. Many other restaurants offer the same food for a lot less, but you get a lot of space between the tables here and the historic building is impressive if that is what you want.
  • Once upon a time good ice cream (gelato) could only be found at Antica sorbetteria (La Sorbetteria) in Via Castiglione. Among current contenders for the Bologna's Best Gelato title is Stefino Via San Vitale 37/a(Facebook-Gelateria Stefino), not far from the railway station. Try the wonderful pistachio ice cream and try almond "granita", though this is better at the recently opened Grom on Via D'Azeglio. The other place for superb pistachio and chocolate and many unique ice cream flavors, like Parmigiano with Pears or Fig and Almond or Watermelon and Jasmine, isIl Gelatauro, in Via San Vitale, considered one of the best gelaterie in all Italy. The newly opened Cremeria in Piazza Cavour is giving everyone else a run for their money with many excellent flavor combinations.
  • L'Antica BolognaVia San Vitale 88. A smart but not particularly expensive bar and patisserie which also does an excellent pre-dinneraperitivo. Good coffee.
  • MatuselVia Bertoloni 2 (in the University zone, north-east of the center, next to Via Zamboni). A good and tasty meal for as cheap as 10 euros, coffee included. Matusel is renowned for good fish dishes.
  • Trattoria TonyVia Augusto Righi, 1b (just 1/2 block off Via Independenza). A down to earth, reasonably-priced place with simple Bolognese food—truly excellent.
  • L'Antica Trattoria SpigaVia Broccaindosso 21a. A bit hard to find, but make the effort; it has a very good risotto and wonderful traditional Cucina Bolognese (which does not include risotto). If you are blessed to visit on a Wednesday,don't miss out on the day's special, a platter with crescente bread served with cold cured meats and cheeses for savory and nutella and jams for dessert. As with most places in Bologna, be prepared to know a little Italian.
  • L'Antica Osteria RomagnolaVia Rialto 13. It is very pretty and does good food but refuse the abundant (and expensive) antipasto or have that and just one other course.
  • ZanariniPiazza Galvani, 1. Go here for a lunch. Best Terrace in town. Stylish waiters serve quality food. A 0,75 l bottle San Pelligrini only costs 2,50 EUR. Good value for your money.
  • Osteria La MattaVia Zucchini 9. This place is a hidden gem quite close to the university quartet. The name means the crazy woman. The staff and menu are 100% local, with dishes like tortellini, tortelloni andtagliatelle al ragù, all strictly handmade and delicious. The staff is friendly and funny, prices are good for value, it's a great place to enjoy a quiet dinner or mingle with the busy office people who are regulars to La Mattaat lunchtime.

Sights & Landmarks

Layout of the city

The iconic leaning towers (Due Torri) provide a useful central landmark. They are marked in the centre of the free map available from the Tourist Information Centre in the main square, Piazza Maggiore. The central area around Piazza Maggiore(including the Due Torri and Piazza Santo Stefano can be thought of as the hub of a wheel, with other roads leading out like spokes to the old city gates (Porte) that stud the Viali—a heavily trafficked beltway that surrounds the historical centre of the town. The northeast quadrant of the map is the university district (an integral part of the town rather than a separate campus). The two southern quadrants of your map are residential sections of the city, and not common tourist areas. However, Bologna's main park, the Giardini Margherita, is just outside the center (across the Viali fromPorta Santo Stefano or Porta Castiglione), beneath the surrounding hills. Also to the south, an extended portico (with 666 arches and almost 4 km long) leads out from the Viali (at Porta Saragozza) up to the baroque Sanctuary of San Luca, which provides another iconic landmark.

Around Piazza Maggiore

Large pedestrian square located in the monumental center of the old part of the city, surrounded by a number of grand buildings.

  • Basilica di San PetronioPiazza Maggiore+39 051 231 415. M-Sa 9:30-12:30, 14:30-17:30; Su 14:30-17:00. It had to be the largest church in the world and in the shape of a huge Latin cross, but was only completed the long arm and with the unfinished facade. The basilica is still one of the most beautiful examples of Italian Gothic style and is one of the greatest monuments in the city. The Basilica houses an invaluable number of treasures such as the sundial by Cassini and Guglielmini, which indicates the exact period of the current year at all times, the "S. Rocco" by Parmigianino and the marvelous Bolognini Chapel. From the left nave of the basilica, the visitor can gain access to the Museum where many bas-reliefs are collected.
  • Palazzo del PodestàPiazza Maggiore, 1. The first seat of the city government.
  • Palazzo Re EnzoPiazza del Nettuno 1/c. The palace was built between 1244-1246 as an extension of the nearby Palazzo del Podestà. It takes its name from Enzio of Sardinia, Frederick II's son, who was prisoner here from 1249 until his death in 1272. The current Gothic appearance dates from the restoration of 1905 due to Alfonso Rubbiani.
  • Fontana di Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune). A fountain built in 1563 by Tommaso Laureti of Palermo later embellished by Jean de Boulogne (called Giambologna). It is considered to be one of Bologna’s symbols.
  • Palazzo dei Banchi. The last palace to be built in Piazza Maggiore. Its current Renaissance-style palace façade dates to the 16th century.
  • Palazzo d'Accursio (Palazzo Comunale), Piazza Maggiore 6,   +39 051 203 111. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Bologna's city hall, with a very rich collection of Renaissance paintings, sculptures and antique furniture, is a 14th-century palace. Don't miss its enormous main staircase, which was designed to be used by horse drawn carriages. children under 14 – free.
  • Palazzo dei Notai. The old seat of the Notary's guild. It was built in 1381 and completely restored in 1908 by Alfonso Rubbiani. Inside there are some frescoes 15th century.
  • Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio (Archiginnasio of Bologna), Piazza Galvani, 1 (just south of Piazza Maggiore),   +39 051 276811. Teatro Anatomico & Sala dello Stabat Mater: Mo-Fr 10:00-18:00, Sa 10:00-19:00, Su 10:00-14:00. Once the main building of the University of Bologna, it currently houses the Biblioteca comunale dell'Archiginnasio (Archiginnasio Municipal Library). The major attractions of the palace which can be visited are the amazing Teatro Anatomico (Anatomical Theatre) and theSala dello Stabat Mater (Stabat Mater Hall). The both are well worth visiting. €3.
  • Corte de' Galluzzi (through a vault from Piazza Galvani, across the Archiginnasio). The medieval Torre Galluzzi (Galluzzi Tower) dominates this tiny square.

Other attractions

  • Via Rizzoli. One of the main streets of Bologna. It is a meeting point and strolling area. It opens up to Piazza di porta Ravegnana, where the two towers rise.
  • Palazzo della Mercanzia (Loggia dei Mercanti), Piazza Della Mercanzia,5.
  • Tombe dei Glossatori (Tombe dei Glossatori), Piazza San Domenico e Piazza Malpighi. Named for the lawyers who used to add glosses (notes) to documents. The tombs, which date from the end of the 13th century, are home to many of Bologna's famous scholars.
  • Basilica di San Domenico (Basilica of San Domenico), Piazza di San Dominico,,  +39 051 640 0411. Open: daily, 07:30 to 13:00, 15:30-19:30
  • Via Santa Caterina. With small houses built in the 16th century.

Medieval towers

Towers of the Asinelli are Garisenda the iconic symbols of Bologna.

  • Torre degli Asinelli (Tower of the Asinelli), Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. daily, 09:00-18:00. The tower (built between 1109 and 1119) is 97.20 metres tall (330 feet), with 498 steps and an incline of 1.3 meters (4 feet). €3.
  • Torre dei Garisenda (Tower of Garisenda), Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. closed to the public. Torre dei Garisenda is 47 m (162 feet) tall and has a lean of over 3m (10 feet). It was built in the 12th century.
  • Torre Prendiparte (Coronata). 60m tower, the second largest in the city. Presumably it used to be higher than its current height. Currently it's B&B and room for events, also hosts shows and presentations.
  • Torre Azzoguidi (Altabella). 47m, built in the 13th century. It's built into the Palazzo del Podestà.


I Portici (arcades) – visitors can walk under the typical arcades of Bologna for a total of 38 km. The arcades were originally built by order of the town authorities to house temporary visitors. They had to be wide enough that a man could lie down under them to sleep.

  • Portico Walk to San Luca. Walk through the historic 666 porticos – the longest portico passage in the world, leaving from the Porta Saragozza at the end of Via Saragozza.
  • Santuario della Madonna di San Luca (St. Luke's Basilica), Colle della Guardia. Built in mid-18th century, it offers a panoramic view of the City, although offering only a glimpse of the old historic city. It can be reached by walking along the 666 arches of its unique portico. It has a peculiar layout, being of a round shape. A widely city-known icon, the Madonna di San Luca, is held there.


  • Finestrella di Via Piella. A little window on the Moline Canal — the Little Venice of Bologna.

Parks and Gardens

Many parks were former private gardens of nobility.

  • Giardini Margherita (Margherita Gardens), Viale Gozzadini (buses # 32, 33, 38, 39, 17 (stops on the outer ring road), 13, 90, 96 (stop V. Santo Stefano) and 30 (stop Porta Castiglione).). daily 06:00 to midnight.Bologna's main park created in 1875. The chalet converts to a nightclub in the summer evenings.
  • Giardino della Montagnola (Parco della Montagnola), Piazza VIII Agosto. daily 07:00 to midnight. The oldest park in the city. A public park since the 17th century. Much of the current landscaping dates from the early 19th century. The pond in the center of the park was added in 1888.
  • Villa delle Rose (Parco di Villa Spada), Via Saragozza, 228/230 (A bit out of the city centre), +39 051 436 818. T-Su 15:00-19:00. Donated to the city in 1916, the gardens were originally owned by the Cella family. The 18th-century Villa delle Rose, which was the Cella's residence, hosts art exhibitions throughout the year
  • Villa SpadaVia Casaglia, 1 (Bus #20 and minibus D),  +39 051 614 5512. Apr-Sep T-Su 07:30-22:00; Oct-Mar Tu-Su 07:30-18:00. On the grounds of the Palazzo Ravone an 18th-century villa, it was opened to the public in 1970.
  • Villa GuastavillaniVia degli Scalini, 18 (Bus #59),  +39 051 239 660. M-Sa 08:00-14:00. Designed and built by Tomasso Martelli in the 16th century.
  • Parco CavaioniVia di Casaglia (Bus #52 from P.zza Cavour). Apr-Sep 06:00-24:00; Oct-Mar 07:00-18:00. A large park featuring meadows, fields, wooded areas, and a lake
  • CertosaVia della Certosa, 18,  +39 051 4 12606. 07:00-18:00.Bologna's main cemetery, with beautifully carved tombstones, built over the ruins of an ancient Etrusan necropolis.

Museums & Galleries

Civic museums

Istituzione Bologna Musei is a circle civic museums in the city.

  • Museo Civico Archeologico (Archaeological Museum), Via dell'Archiginnasio 2,  +39 051 2757211. Tu-F 9AM-3PM, Sa-Su and holidays 10AM-6:30PM. Located at the Palazzo Galvani – a 14th century building. This building, an old hospital, houses a comprehensive collection of antiquities including Egyptian civilization (mummies and sarcophagi), Iron Age Villanova culture, artifacts from Etruscan Velzna, funerary art, terracotta urns, ancient vases and items from Roman times. Do not miss the bronze Certosa jar which is over 1,500 years old. Free.
  • Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (City Art Collections), Piazza Maggiore 6 (in the city hall),  +39 051 2193631. Tu-F 9-15 Sa,Su, and holidays 10-18,30. Closed Mondays. he painting collection offers works belonging to various historical periods. Special attention should be given to the paintings by Giuseppe Maria Crespi (Ritratto del cardinale Lambertini- Portrait of Cardinal Lambertini), Ludovico Carracci (S. Caterina in Carcere – S. Catherine in Prison), Guido Cagnacci (Cleopatra e Lucrezia), Francesco Hayez (Ruth).
  • Museo Civico Medievale (Civic Museum of the Middle Ages), via Alessandro Manzoni, 4,  +39 051 219 3916. Part of Musei Civici d'Arte Antica
  • Museo Davia Bargellini (Davia Bargellini Museum), Strada Maggiore, 44. A collection of paintings in 17th century palazzo Davia.
  • Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo), Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14,  +39 051 649 6611. Open 10:00-18:00 Tuesday–Sunday, Th 10AM-10PM, closed on Mondays. A nice collection of modern art, if you want a break from the more classical pieces that abound in Italy.
  • Museo Morandi (Museum of Giorgio Morandi), Piazza Maggiore 6(in the city hall). Tu-F, 09.00-15.00, Saturday and Sunday 10,00-18,30.Opened in 1993, the museum houses most of the works by the Bolognese painter Giorgio Morandi. Full price entrance €4, discounts available.
  • International museum and library of music (Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica di Bologna), Strada Maggiore, 34 - Palazzo Aldini Sanguinetti,  +39 051 275 7711. From Jan 1 to May 31: Tu-Su 10AM-5PM; From June 1 to July 14: Tu-Th 10AM-1:30PM, F-Su 10AM-5PM; From July 15 to September 15: Mo-We+Fr 9:30AM-4PM, Th 9:30AM-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-6:30PM; From Sept 16 to Dec 31: Tu-Th 10AM-1:30PM, F-Su 10AM-5PM; CLOSED Mondays, Jan 1, May 1, Dec 25.. The international museum and library of music of Bologna

University museums

Sistema Museale di Ateneo (SMA) is a museum system of the University of Bologna. It consists of a number of small but interesting museums which are located at the University quarter around via Zamboni. The University of Bologna is the Europe's oldest university, founded over 900 years ago. Plethora of bars and cafés around.

  • Palazzo Poggi (Museo di Palazzo Poggi), Via Zamboni 33 (bus C, T2; stop Teatro Comunale),  +39 0512099398. Winter T-F 10.00-16.00, Sa-Su 10.30-17.30. The building houses the headquarters of the University of Bologna. The interior is decorated with frescoes by Pellegrino Tibaldi, on the ground floor is situated the Hall of Hercules with a statue by Angelo Piò (1730). On the northern side of the Palace is the monumentalAula Magna (1756). Also Palazzo Poggi hosts numerous University Museums. In the University Library of Bologna it has preserved the "Picture Gallery" with over 600 fine portraits of an iconographic collection began in 1754. The museum's collections are organised into sections:Natural History, Anatomy and obstetrics, Physics and chemistry, Military architecture, The Library, Geography and Nautical Science, East Asian Art. €5.
  • Museo della SpecolaVia Zamboni, 33,  +39 320 4365356. guided tours only for groups of 15 people max. Tu-F at 10:45, 12:15, 15:00, booking by phone; Sa-Su at 11.00, at 15.00, booking online. Located at the Specola, an astronomical tower built in the beginning of XVIII-century over Palazzo Poggi. The material exposed illustrates the evolution of the astronomic instrumentation through the centuries. €5.
  • Museo Europeo degli Studenti (MeuS), Via Zamboni, 33,  +39 051 2088690. Tu-F 10.00-13.00,14.00-16.00; Sa-Su 10.30-13.30,14.30-17.30. The Museum of European Students is about the history and culture of university students from the thirteenth to the twentieth century. Closed on Monday; Admission free. Don't miss this when you are interested in student life. It's unique. Free.
  • Museo Geologico e Paleontologico "Giovanni Capellini"(Geological and Palaeontological Museum), Via Zamboni, 63. M-F 09:00-12:30; Sa 9:00-12:30,15:00-19:00; Su 10:00-18:00. Free.
  • Museo Di Fisica (Museum of Physics)Via Irnerio, 46,  +39 051 20 9 1099. during renovation works visits are only by guided tours by appointment. Free.
  • Museo di Mineralogia "Luigi Bombicci" (Mineralogy Museum), Piazza di Porta S. Donato 1, (near Piazza di Porta San Donato). M-Sa 09:00-13:00. Rocks, precious stones, rare minerals and meteorites Free.
  • Collezione di Chimica "G. Ciamician" (Chemistry Collection "G. Ciamician")Via Selmi, 2,  +39 051 2099539. 9:00-18:00.Free.
  • Museo delle Cere anatomiche "Luigi Cattaneo" (Anatomical waxworks museum "Luigi Cattaneo"), Via Irnerio, 48,  +39 051 2091556. M-Th 10:00-13:00,14:00-16:30; Fr 10:00-13:00. If you think Bologna's towers are crooked, then you'll want to see the deformed spines and diseased oddities at this gross-out Wax Museum. Although dedicated to the history of the art of medical anatomical models of the 19th century, the real fun are the conjoined twins and tumor-laden lepers on which showcases the art. Free.
  • Museo di Antropologia (Museum of Anthropology), Via Francesco Selme 3, B+39 051 209 4196. M-F 09:00-18:00; Sa-Su 10:00-18:00.Bones, and artefacts of prehistoric Italians. Free.
  • Museo di Anatomia Comparata (Museum of Comparative Anatomy), Via Selmi, 3. M-F 9:00 to 18:00; Sa-Su 10:00-18:00.Free.
  • Museo di Zoologia (Museum of Zoology), Via Selmi, 3. M-F 9:00-18:00; Sa-Su 10:00-18:00
  • Museo di Anatomia degli Animali Domestici (Museum of Anatomy of Domestic Animals), Via Tolara di Sopra, 50 (Ozzano dell'Emilia). only by appointment. Free.
  • Museo di Anatomia Patologica e Teratologia Veterinaria (Museum of Veterinary Pathology and Teratology), Via Tolara di Sopra, 50 (Ozzano dell'Emilia),  +39 328 3624178. M-F 9.30-12.30, by appointment only, booking by phone. Free.
  • Orto Botanico ed Erbario (Botanical Garden and Herbarium)Via Irnerio, 42+39 051 351280. M-F 8:30-15:30; Sa 08:00-13:00. Created in the mid-16th century for medicinal herbs. Currently the Botanical gardens are home to over 5,000 plant species. Some of the highlights include a full-grown sequoia, and a greenhouse for cacti and carnivorous plants. Free.

Genus Bononiae museums

Genus Bononiae is yet another circle of museums in the city. It is operated by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio.

  • Palazzo Fava GhisilieriVia Manzoni, 2,  +39 051 19936305. 16th century building decorated by frescoes by Carracci. It currently hosts temporary exhibitions.
  • Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio (Museo della Storia di Bologna), via Castiglione 8,  +39 051 19936370. Tu, Su 10:00-19:00. The Museum of the history of Bologna is located there.
  • Oratorio di San Colombano. Currently hosts Tagliavini Collection
  • Santuario di Santa Maria della Vita (Sancturary of Saint Maria), via Clavature, 10,  +39 051 236 245. Open: M-Sa, 07:30-19:30, Su, 16:30-19:00. This Church contains "The Lamentation", a life-size terracotta group sculpture, Renaissance masterpiece by Niccolò Dell'Arca.
  • Casa Saraceni. 16th century building which currently hosts temporary exhibitions.
  • San Giorgio in Poggiale. A former 16th century church. It currently hosts the Biblioteca di Arte e di Storia di San Giorgio in Poggiale (Art and History Library).
  • Santa Cristina. A former church contains works of Carracci andGuido Reni. It currently used for concert perfomances.

Other museums

  • Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (National Picture Gallery), Via Belle Arti 56,  +39 051 421 1984. Open: Tu-Su – 09:00 to 19:00.Containing the city's most important art, it offers an interesting panorama of the Emilian and Venetian painting from the XIII to the XVIII century. A must: the works by Giotto, Raffaello, Parmigianino (Madonna col Bambino/Virgin Mary with Baby and the Saints Margaret, Girolamo and Petronio), Perugino, Tiziano and Tintoretto (Visitazione/Visitation and Saints Joseph and Zacharias). Free for children under 18.
  • Museo Ebraico (Jewish Museum), via Valdonica 1/5,  +39 051 2911280fax: +39 051 235430, e-mail: . Su-Th 10AM-6PM, F 10AM-4PM. Tickets sold until 5:15PM (3:15PM Friday). Closed Saturdays and on Jewish holidays. Located in the area of the former ghetto, this museum covers the history of Bologna's Jewish population. €5.
  • Accademia Filarmonica (Philharmonic Academy), via Guerrazzi 13+39 051 222 997. The Philarmonic Academy of Bologna was established in 1666. Since then it has become a reference point for the city musical life and its fame has spread throughout Europe. Here are preserved the works of many illustrious students, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s (1770) and autographed documents by Puccini, Verdi and Beethoven
  • Galleria d'Arte Moderna “Raccolta Lercaro” (Modern Art Gallery), via Riva di Reno 57,  +39 051 472078. Opening/Closing Time: W-Sa 4AM-7PM; Su 10AM-1PM, 4PM-PM. Houses about 2000 works by Italian and foreign artists with special attention to the sculptures by Manzù, Messina, Rodin and Giacometti.
  • Museo Ducati, Via Antonio Cavalieri Ducati, 3,  +39 051 641 3343. M-F guided tours at 11AM and 4PM; Sa 9AM-1PM. Closed during Easter and Christmas holidays and in August. Represents the evolution of the Bolognese motorcycle firm. An exposition of motorcycles, period materials, projects, mechanical components, pictures and videos.
  • Museo LamborghiniVia Modena, 12, Sant'agata Bolognese (50 min. by bus #576 from the Bologna bus station towards Crevalcore, take off at the “S. Agata Bolognese Chiesa Frati”, then 5 min. on foot). This famous car maker in Italy has been producing some of the most sought-after luxury sports cars in the world for decades

Things to do

Cooking lessons and culinary tours

  • Cook Italy, Via Marsala 16 (central, nr corner with Via Oberdan),  +39 349 0078 298, e-mail: . Get behind one of those huge Bologna doorways and spend a day cooking with Carmelita of Cook Italy, the longest established Bologna cooking-school. Carmelita also customises the menu. The full-day class includes a very informative and entertaining tour of Bologna's markets, where you'll learn about the city's centuries of history as a culinary capital while shopping for fresh ingredients. €200-300 per person.
  • Culinary Institute of Bologna. A great place for cooking lessons.
  • Italian Days (Hotel pickup/drop-off),  +39 338 421 6659 (book via website). 7am - 4pm. A small-group guided culinary tour of the Bologna region's famous traditional delicacies - a Parmigiano-Reggiano factory, a balsamic vinegar house, and a prosciutto di Modena ham factory - followed by a big lunch. 150€ per person (120€ on Saturday).
  • Taste Bologna,  +39 3489346282, e-mail:. Walking food tour in Bologna city centre to discover Bologna's food culture. Small groups (max 8p) visit the historical markets and unique places not on the tourist route to eat like a local. 80€ per person.

Events and Festivals

There's a great film festival with restored silent and sound films throughout July in Piazza Maggiore. In the past, these have included especially Italian and French film, animation shorts from Annecy, archive footage of Bologna (e.g. of its liberation by British and American troops) and modern classics such as The Third Man, Raging Bull, Apocalypse Now and The Pianist. In November there's a chocolate festival in Palozzo Maggiore.

Motor Show Bologna & The Car Museums

  • Bologna FiereVia della Fiera, 20,  +39 051 282 111, e-mail:. an Exhibition Centre near Bologna, that among other things has an International Automobile Exhibition every year.

There are many exciting events that are worth taking part of during your stay in lively Bologna. If you plan on spending the onset of the winter holidays in Bologna, you can complete your vacation with a visit to the Motorshow Bologna and to the museums that showcase the automobile masterpieces of Italy.

And just nearby lies the three museums you must visit in order to do this. These are the Ducati Museum, the Lamborghini Museum, and the Ferrari Museum or Galleria Ferrari. To fully appreciate the Ducati Museum you can join guided tours by obtaining advanced reservations. The museum is open daily except on Sundays and holidays. To enter, you will need to join a tour, you can choose from the 11AM or the 4PM schedule. The tour of the museum and factory costs 10 euro. Next, you can make your way to the Lamborghini Museum, which is in the area that connects Bologna with neighboring city Modena. It lies at about 21 miles from Bologna and can be easily driven to. The museum was established in 2001 and aims to celebrate one of the most expensive Italian cars in the world. To complete your unique museum-hopping, head over to Ferrari Museum or Galleria Ferrari. The museum is situated in Maranello, a town just outside Modena and located around 34 miles from Bologna. Although the museum is part of Ferrari’s headquarters, it has its own building separate from the Ferrari factory. Of the three museums in your itinerary, the Ferrari Museum is the oldest, dating back to 1990. The museum spans an amazing 2,500 sq/m and is divided into four sections, namely the Formula One collection, the special exhibits, the technological innovation exhibit, and the photo exhibits.

The Formula One collection displays the extraordinary race cars that have played a monumental role in making Ferrari the most famous automobile maker in the world. One of the most remarkable cars is the first Ferrari 125 S that was built in 1947 and won a race in the same year. And to give you a glimpse of what F1I racing is all about, you can check out the Fiorano test track next to the museum where you might even see a Ferrari racing past.

Music venues

Bologna is an Italian hub for rock, electronic and alternative music. There are almost a hundred concerts every year by international bands. Unfortunately many of these locations have moved outside the city center. The main places to check out are Covo Club, Estragon and Link .

  • EstragonParco Nord. a big ex-industrial hangar, features dj-sets and concerts by international rock bands almost every night.
  • Livello 57 (just under the bridge of Via Stalingrado phone=). Now only seldom open. It mainly features raves and techno gigs in an industrial, darkish atmosphere.
  • TPOVia Camillo Casarini, 17/5. Another occupied location that mostly features experimental music festivals and rock concerts.
  • XM24Via Fioravanti 24. an occupied ex-agricultural market where Punk-hc, rock and electronic concerts are often featured. A very cheap place, great if you don't mind the punk atmosphere. Every Thursday from 17.30 is the organic market. There is also self-managed workshop to repair bikes. it's open on Wednesdays and Sundays from 18 to 22.
  • VAG61Via Paolo Fabbri, 110. an historical occupied location that host a wide variety of activities. Every Tuesday from the late afternoon there's an organic market.
  • The Link. recently moved outside the city, is a large, 2-floor club that features mostly avant garde electronic, techno and hip-hop gigs and dj-sets. A little book shop, mainly on "alternative" subjects, can be found inside
  • Covo ClubViale Zagabria 1. 10PM-04AM. "storied and legendary Italian indie-punk venue" (Pitchfork), Covo Club is the most renowned indie rock club, features rock djsets and concerts by a number of interesting international bands. Born in 1980, open on Fridays and Saturdays only, Covo Club has hosted in its life more than 1000 concerts including bands like Franz Ferdinand, The Libertines, Mumford & Sons, The Gossip, Animal Collective, Black Lips, Wild Nothing, The Undertones, Refused, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Jay Reatard, Beach House and Teenage Fanclub
  • KindergartenVia Calzoni. next to the "Fiera", is a recently opened club that features techno, and sometimes punk and new wave concerts.
  • Locomotiv. another indie rock club.


Consider visiting the many pubs and clubs of Via Zamboni (university zone); some, such as "The Irish Pub", popular with students and foreigners, give happy hours on Tuesday/Wednesday. "Al Piccolo" down the road in Piazza Verdi is another famous student haunt, a live DJ playing techno into the early mornings. Otherwise, the Via Pratello has many bars and is the center of the city's alternative scene. Worth a look in particular is "Mutanye", whose owner is reputed to have been part of the Red Brigade in his youth, hence the many soviet posters. Via Mascarella, in the northeast area of the city, has plenty of nightspots, among them two jazz clubs. And, finally, check out the many bars and pubs hosting music contests and concerts, from rock to jazz to "liscio", the traditional folk songs in Emilia-Romagna.

  • Ai Vini SceltiVia Andrea Costa 36/B. A good enoteca (winery), just outside the center in Via Andrea Costa and only a few moments from Via Pratello, is considered one of the best in Bologna, though there are many others in the center, providing everything from a quick aperitivo to proper wine-tasting. Another good winery is "Vini d'Italia" in Emilia Levante street (Viale Lenin corner), which is one of the oldest on in the city.
  • Enoteca Italiana (see above, in EAT) has excellent and non pretentious Sommeliers on hand to advise and guide you. Great place for a lovely glass of wine.

Safety in Bologna

Stay Safe

Very High / 8.9

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Mid. / 5.9

Safety (Walking alone - night)