Local: Bologna

Bologna has been overshadowed by other incredibly beautiful Italian cities like Rome, Florence and Venice. Yet, discerning travelers would not miss a visit to one of the most elegant and interesting cities in Italy. Located in the Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna is known as La Grossa (“The Fat”), a reference to its amazing cuisine. It has been attracting an increasing amount of gourmets and gourmands who… Read more »

The whole Archiginnasio is unmissable, and given that it is located just 5 minutes walking off Piazza Maggiore we often wonder how someone would not take the time to visit this jewel. As you enter the building you will be amazed by the ceilings and inner courtyard, with an outstanding amount of coats of arms and other references to some of the University’s students, which… Read more »

St. Stephen’s Basilica is a complex of religious buildings also known as the “Seven Churches”, an interesting reunion of small churches that form a homogeneous monument in the city. It has a replica of Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher, so perfect that when the original one was destroyed the Christian Church went to Bologna to model its reconstruction. A very interesting paper-mâché Pietá made of confiscated playing… Read more »

Modena is usually associated with carmakers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati or as opera icon Luciano Pavarotti’s birthplace. But the city is much more than that and a 26-minute train ride will take you to this very beautiful small and elegant Italian city. The Piazza Grande has some of the prettiest buildings in town, such as the magnificent Duomo (do not miss the chapels… Read more »

Visitors gather around Netuno Fountain to admire the newly renovated statues, a worthy sight and one of Bologna’s most marvellous landmarks. Most visitors continue on to the famous and stunning San Petronio Basilica, one of the largest medieval basilicas in the world, and miss a visit to this gorgeous palace that used to house the Town Hall and other administrative and trade congregations in the… Read more »

It is to be expected that a city with such longstanding cultural tradition like Bologna would have a grand concert hall. Located in the historical center, near a bohemian area of town, the classical building has rich interiors in its performance rooms and usually holds excellent operas and concerts. Do check in advance what is on before heading to town and plan your cultural program.… Read more »

One of Bologna’s most remarkable characteristics are its extensive and prominent porticoes. We were surprised to learn that there are actually 40 kilometers of them. Another curious fact is that in the past it was mandatory to have them built at least 2,66m high, so that a man on a horse could pass under the arches. The largest extension of porticoes is the one that… Read more »

Please keep the secret: this is a small restaurant tucked away in a tiny street, yet Caminetto D’Oro holds what is consider to be one of the best pastas in town (bear in mind that in Bologna the standard of comparisons is extremely high). You need to ring the bell for access to the three very small rooms holding little tables in a charming ambience.… Read more »

In the old center of town this tiny restaurant, a “gourmet trattoria” as it calls itself, is both charming and unpretentious. Good weather allowing there are enjoyable tables outside, but on colder days choose the pleasant and intimate indoor area. What about the food? As is to be expected in Bologna, simply delicious… We started with a mouthwatering board of prosciutto and buratta, followed by… Read more »

In the old days local merchants would gather in tiny streets, with names such as Pescherie, Clavature and Drapperie, to trade goods and render services. Nowadays, the cobbled streets right by Piazza Maggiore have turned into a lively street market with a colorful food display in stalls, and many cafés, eating venues and the typical Italian rotisccerie. Walk around and stop for some eating and… Read more »

If you are in the region of Santo Stefano basilica, the seven churches, and feel like eating something do not waste any time searching and head straight to this tiny trattoria frequented by locals, and living proof that excellent food does not necessarily have to be expensive. Tucked away in a cross street, we were surprised with the very tasteful lunch, as well as the… Read more »

In a city that has a gelato university one expects to find amazing ice cream. Bologna will not disappoint. How to choose the best one to recommend with such good options around? We selected this Cremeria as the ice cream, as the name suggests, is creamy, made with first class ingredients and delicious flavors. The Nocciola from Piemonte was superb, as was the chocolate with… Read more »

The former mansion of the traditional Bentivolglio family is now one of the most beautiful bars in Italy, or maybe in the world (and this is no exaggeration). Located in the propertys old chapel, Le Stanze has afrescoes in walls and ceiling, all of them original, a jaw dropping view as soon as you enter its rooms. Other rooms also carry original works of Italian… Read more »

We stepped into this Osteria by chance and were really surprised to see such a crowd of local Italians considering it is located near one of Bologna’s most popular attractions, the Piazza Maggiore. Two large rooms (the one upstairs is smaller) with a sweet decoration and touches of Italian cucina objects provided for a very good meal. Skip the bread and head straight for the… Read more »

Conveniently located in the heart of the old city center, Diana is a very traditional Italian restaurant in Bologna, truly old style in its décor and service, with waiters serving the same clients for decades in their white jackets. The food is considered very good and traditional, there are no mousses, spheres or any sort of modern dishes to be found. The good-old tagliolini in… Read more »

We consider this boutique hotel one of the best options for a stay in Bologna. Located on a small street just off Via Independenza, which will take you to basically all attractions in the city, the Metropolitan is walking distance to all the great spots you will likely intend to visit, as well as eating venues, bars, theaters and shops. A trendy atmosphere and fashionable… Read more »

This lovely hotel is conveniently located on handy Via Independenza that takes you to all of Bologna’s attractions, and near the train station. It is right by Parco della Montagnola park, perfect for exercising or taking relaxing strolls. The recently renovated classical building has beautiful interiors with a contemporary and cozy décor. The in-house restaurant attracts non-guests for its delicious food, gardens views and mellow… Read more »

One of our preferred boutique hotels in town, the Novecento lies on a perfect spot, on the edge of a delightful and quiet small square, the Galileo, steps away from Bologna’s main attractions. The staff was one of the most attentive we met in Bologna, the complimentary walking tour offered by the hotel was a lovely touch as were the bicycles available for summer rides.… Read more »

Just off busy Via Rizzoli lies this small charming hotel, perfectly located on a little street with nice shops and hidden eating venues. It is stone’s throw away from the iconic Two Towers and so many other great Bologna’s attractions. It is a delightful hotel with a comforting and classical European décor, and its rooms are equally gracious. Even though the hotel’s street is a… Read more »

We found the Art Orologio to be the perfect stay if you are on a very quick visit to Bologna. Located in the very heart of the historical center, practically on the corner of Piazza Maggiore and only a few blocks from the Two Towers. Most of the hotel’s rooms face Palazzo Accursio’s medieval walls and the ancient Clock Tower (thus the hotel’s name). The… Read more »