If your travel route runs through the central or northern Italy, stop at least for a couple of days in Bologna and, for sure, you won’t regret it. Bologna has a special spirit and atmosphere due to the merging of cheerful modern students with ancient traditions. In all the guidebooks this small, but unique city is listed as the founder of the idea of university education and the place for the fans of cooking. But it would be wrong to suppose that there’s nothing more remarkable in Bologna except for the abundance of students and unsurpassed cuisine. This is not true at all: the architecture of Bologna affects not less than all the wonders of Italy, and its active cultural life won’t leave anyone indifferent. So, do you already look forward to visit Bologna? Then take up a few tips before you set off.
How to get to Bologna?
Bologna is easily reachable, since there is airport nearby with regular flights from almost the whole Europe. The airport has a very convenient location – only seven kilometers from the city center. You can choose one of the following ways to get to Bologna from the airport:
Using Aerobus, the fare for which will be €6. The bus runs every 15 minutes from 5.30 till 23.00
By taking a taxi, which will cost you around €15
By renting a cheap car. Rentalcar24h car rental will let you move around conveniently without big expanses.
When to go to Bologna?
The climate in Bologna is continental, not exposed to marine influence. The weather in Bologna is rainy and wet throughout the year, but the greatest amount of precipitation falls in the cold season. In winter it is quite cold there, although the temperature rarely drops below zero, and in summer it is hot and stuffy due to the high humidity. The most favorable time to come to Bologna is from April till October, when the average temperature varies from +20 C to +23 C, while in July and August it may be quite hot – up to + 30 C.
Where to stay over?
Bologna offers plenty of night’s lodging options. Remember that Bologna is the city of business meetings and theme exhibitions. So, in the midst of trade fair and exhibition season you might have difficulties with finding a cheap place for overnight stop.
On average, the prices in the local hotel complex can range from €30 to €80 per day. In luxury hotels the price may double or even triple. If you choose a hotel with 2 or 3 stars, count on the price from €50 to €60 per day. The price for a studio apartment, equipped with everything required for a comfortable stay, will cost around €65-€75.
But there are some nuances with regards to the place of temporary lodging in Bologna, which must be considered separately:
“Monolocale” – an overnight in a studio apartment, designed for a couple of guests and equipped with all the necessary communication and technical devices. This kind of lodging is meant for the minimum of 10 days of stay. An average price will be around €650 for 10 days. It is very easy to find such an apartment, even in the midst of the exhibition season. The visitors of Bologna love this kind of temporary accommodation.
Standard hotel room. If you don’t want to overpay, make sure you book a room in advance. The price starts from €25 per person and depends not only on the season, but also on the quality of negotiations with a manager when searching for the hotel. In Bologna almost all the hotels are private. Respectively, a discount that you might get depends on the mood of a host, his goals and the strategy he chose for the development of the hotel.
“Agriturismo” is an accommodation distant from the city center. In most cases you will need to get there by taxi or with a rental car. The price will be either little lower than in a city apartment or the same. “Agriturismo” is a combination of a small cozy hotel and a restaurant, where the dishes are cooked according to the centuries-long cherished family recipes and many of the ingredients are home grown.
Where to go in Bologna?
Towers of Bologna
Towers of Bologna is one of the most vivid and memorable sights of the town. Indeed, they are considered a symbol of Bologna. Their height is 97 meters (Asinelli) and 48 meters (Garisenda).
Location: Bologna, Piazza di Rorta Ravegnana.
Admission fee to Asinelli tower is €3. Opening times: in summer from 9:00 till 18:00; in winter from 9:00 till 17:00.
The entrance to Garisenda tower is closed.
This is a great place to relax. There is everything that in the main park of the city should be – sculptures, benches, fountains, jogging and walking paths.
The park lies not far from the major Bologna railway station.
The Basilica of Santo Stefano
Santo Stefano is a complex of seven churches. Each church is worth attention and has the unique attractions that include paintings, sculptures and relics. There’s also a museum where the ancient shrines, vestments, frescoes and mosaics are displayed.
Location: Piazza Santo Stefano.
Opening times: Daily from 9:00 till 12:00 and from 15:30 till 18:30.
Civic Archaeological Museum of Bologna
Exhibits of prehistoric era, of the Gallic and Etruscan civilization are provided there. There are ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian collections which are one of the most important in Europe. The museum is also proud of its collection of coins and medals.
Location: Via dell`Archiginnasio, 2.
Opening times: on Fridays from 9:00 till 14:30.
Admission fee: €5
To cut it short, in Bologna you can get something that any guest would like: friendly atmosphere, the spirit of antiquity, external and internal beauty. So, when designing a route of the trip around Italy, look closely at the point with the inscription of “Bologna” on a map – this place is really worth to come to!