Bologna is a marvelous, ancient city with much to offer in the intellectual, cultural, artistic and of course culinary fields. It has many nicknames: “Bologna la rossa”(the red one) refers to both its red roofs and its past as a bastion of Communism, “Bologna la grassa” (the fat one) refers to its culinary tradition and “Bologna la dotta” (the learned one) refers to its academic tradition. Its 38 kilometers of porticos and numerous towers and gateways offer a unique, fascinating cityscape that impressed even Dante Alighieri, who mentioned the two main towers of Bologna in his book Inferno. There are numerous hotels and hostels in Bologna, but to get a more authentic experience of life in this fantastic city why not chose Wimdu accommodation? We have apartments, villas, cosy retreats and airy lofts that are perfect for holidays and short visits – experience Bologna like a local does and chose cheaper accommodation with Wimdu.
Apartments and Accommodation
Bologna has a wide selection of accommodation available to visitors that come here, there are many hotels and hostels but they can often become overcrowded and overpriced during peak seasons. Wimdu offer a great selection of apartments, bed & breakfast and accommodation options to suit all types of travellers and budgets. Choose from self-catering apartments.
- The University of Bologna, established in 1088 A.D, is the oldest university in the world!
- In total, there are some 38 kilometres of porticoes in the city's historical centre which make it possible to walk for long distances sheltered from the elements.
- The Towers of Bologna are landmarks of the city – there were originally built in the 12th century!
Things to do in Bologna
What is there to see and do in Bologna? Well any first time visitor to the city should definitely check out the Two Towers as they are the symbol of Bologna. They are located at the intersection of the roads that lead to the five gates of the old ring wall and they are both leaning slightly! The taller one is called the Asinelli and the smaller one is called Garisenda – they are named after the families who constructed them in the 12th century. Another must-see site in Bologna is the Basilica of San Petronio - the main church in Bologna. It is located at the Piazza Maggiore and is the fifth largest church in the world! But that’s not the only Basilica in Bologna – there is also the Santo Stefano Basilica which is a complex of religious edifices located in the square of the same name. It is known locally as ‘Sette Chiese’ (Seven Churches) and according to legend was built by the bishop of the city during the 5th century. One of the churches in the complex has the oldest nativity scene in the world! Bologna is alive with culture and there are several must see attractions to visit. The Cineteca Di Bologna is a hugely important film archive. It has a lab that conserves and restores films which is internationally famous. There is also a cinema at the archive too with an busy programme of recent films, old classics and live music.
Every summer in June and July the archive organises a summer festival where it showcases recently restored classics in the main square in the city. The Bologna Museum of Modern Art is a specially designed centre for modern and experimental artworks and includes work by artists such as Guttuso, Abramovic and Cattelan. It’s a great to spend an hour or two and there’s also a library, bookshop and restaurant located on the premises. The Museo Per La Memoria Di Ustica is another of Bologna’s fine museums. This one was opened in 2007 and commemorates the Ustica massacre where an Italian commercial flight was brought down into the sea by a missile whilst flying from Bologna to Palermo. The museum has remains of the wreckage and interesting exhibition of lights and mirrors commemorating the 81 people who died in the crash.
Eating and Drinking in Bologna
Bologna comes alive in the evening and there is a thriving nightlife scene.Via del Pratello is the most popular street for afternoon and late night drinks, for locals and foreigners alike and is very famous for its intense nightlife. The street includes a huge number of taverns, restaurants and pubs ranging from large popular clubs to smaller, more intimate bars. Walk down the street and find one that suits you! There is more nightlife and a party atmosphere to be found at nearby Piazza San Francesco, which is also surrounded by bars and students like to hang out on the pavements enjoying a drink.
Link is Bologna’s best night club and specialises in techno music.La Scuderia is a popular place with foreigners – it’s a bar/restaurant in a square (Piazza Verdi) at the very centre of the university neighbourhood, where people go for drinks before and after dinner. It often hosts blues, rock and jazz concerts. Wimdu recommends you visit Drogheria Della Rosa – it’s based in an elegant section of the city center, the restaurant is based in an ex-pharmacy (DROGHERIA in Italian) and kept the sign, the window and wooden furniture of the pharmacy. It serves delicious Bologna specialties and its wines are loved by many celebrities who visit the city include Arnold Schwarzenegger and Francis Ford Coppola! Bologna also produces great fresh produce, if you don’t feel like eating out you can always cook in your self-catering apartment. If you choose to stay in bed and breakfast accommodation, make sure to ask your host for evening meal rates, it is often cheaper when you ask before you arrive!
Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport is the main airport serving Bologna. It is 3.7 miles to the northwest of the city. The best way to reach the city from the airport is to take the Aerobus – the journey time is just 20 minutes. Getting around Bologna is straightforward and most places of interest to visitors are within walking distance of each other. The local bus service is good should you not wish to walk. Wimdu recommends you purchase the Bologna Welcome Card which for 20 euros entitles you to 2 days of free museum entry and transportation, a free 2 hour guided tour of Bologna and discounts in shops and restaurants.