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Essential Things to Know Before Visiting Bologna

Known in antiquity as Felsina, Bologna has charmed its way into the hearts of many people since its first settlement during the Iron Age by the Etruscans.  Since then, it has become the largest city and capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy and thrives as a vibrant metropolis boasting a historical center overflowing with artistic colossal masterpieces. On the contrary, the city’s verdant rolling hills and majestic waters showcase Bologna’s softer side. Its cobblestone trails are home to many of Italy’s most exquisite highlights, which offer its guests a step back in time to experience a world of mystery and enchantment.  With such a profound presence, it is quite easy to get lost in this fascinating city, where ancient art, music, and history never go out of style. 

Bologna street, Italy

Things to do in Bologna

A prehistoric home to the Romans, Bologna is an old city, uplifting every visitor with its young spirit.  Words cannot fully describe this Italian beauty, where its quaint spaces burst at the seams with dazzling legendary buildings. From museums and mystical gargoyles to historic theatres and porticoes, the city has many faces of culture, which are truly a feast for the eyes.  As you stroll along the cobblestone streets, its architecture appears like ghosts inviting you to enter into their magical realms. Constructed in the 13th century, the Orologio Tower is an exquisite display of architectonic magnificence.  The Basilica of San Petronio is a unique sanctuary paying homage to one of Italy’s significant bishops.  Let your imagination run wild with an antique book at one of its numerous libraries, make a wish at the Fountain of Neptune, or journey to the past as you gaze upon Bologna’s archeological findings.  No matter where you are in the city, you will be entranced by its colorful heritage and intense culture. 


In between touring Bologna’s emblematic sites, do not miss the opportunity to indulge in “made in Italy” souvenirs.  Whether you are in need of a tasty treat or designer fashions, there is a treasure to fit every interest.  Its Borgo and Lame Centres entice shoppers with their plethora of stores filled to the brim with interesting merchandise.  If you prefer a different shopping atmosphere, its markets like La Paizzola and Mercato del Vintage offer preserved Italian antiques such as jewelry and clothes.  As the moon enters the diamond-filled sky, the nightly hotspots echo the lively sounds of chatter and music.  For live jazz and other genres of music visit the local hotspots like Bar Wolf or Bravo Caffe’.  There is also a wide spectrum of bars and discos playing recorded hits and providing a taste of Italy’s authentic wines.

closeup pic of hallway

Yes, Italy is the pasta and pizza capital of the world, so what better place to experience the mouthwatering taste of authentic Italian dishes than in Bologna.  Delicacies like tagliatelle al’ ragu, ravioli Bolognesi, as well as friggione just to name a few, magnetize food lovers with their rich scents coming from rich meats and sauces that will explode in your mouth with flavor.  No matter what you may be craving, you cannot shy away from the imaginative cuisines that Bologna has in store.

Bologna Weather and Climate

Bologna experiences a Mediterranean climate.  During the months of June to September (warm season), the weather is typically dry with temperatures averaging a high in the upper-80s.  From November to March (cold season) the weather is usually mild and experiences a daily high in the 60s.

The G Marconi Airport is the main doorway into the city for international travelers.  Trains are abundant for travel throughout Italy.  However, Bologna’s attractions are best explored up close on foot.

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