Artistic, historical and one of Italy's most beautiful cities, a holiday in Bologna is the perfect destination for you in 2017. The lively city is the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, in the northwest of Italy. It sits between the Reno and Savena river valleys, and its university attracts thousands of students from all over the peninsula. Hidden amongst the portico-covered streets there’s a world of art, history and music just waiting to be discovered.
Bologna holidays are perfect for the traveller looking for a city break and there is always something to do in ‘La Rossa’ - the Red. Culture vultures will love the gorgeous architecture and museums that are peppered throughout Bologna. The medieval city has been well preserved despite its modern additions. The beautiful buildings and ancient sites are an incredible and unique attraction to behold on your Bologna holiday.
Like all Italian cities, the food helps to build Bologna's identity. Sample some of the finest and freshest pastas and wines your tastebuds have ever come across. A holiday in Bologna is completely unique. Why not make La Rossa your destination in 2017?
As you explore the streets of Bologna you won’t have to wander far to discover buildings and monuments from Roman settlements. Stumble upon the Renaissance and Baroque architecture, and marvel at the city that combines its history with modern attractions so effortlessly. The red brick squares and cityscape are certainly eye-catching, and sitting at a street side café sipping espresso at the end of the day is a great way to unwind.
Europe’s oldest university, the University of Bologna, dates back to 1088. The university is still a centre of great academic importance. The Palazzo d’Accursio o Comunale is the city’s town hall. Over the centuries, buildings have been added and it has grown into an impressive red brick building, and the red brick buildings help to give the city its La Rossa nickname.
Although the Leaning Tower of Pisa is perhaps more well known, Bologna has two leaning towers of its own. The landmarks are two of 20 towers that dot the city. The city is home to some beautifully maintained churches. Santo Stefano, San Petronio and more are not only places of worship, but they contain stunning works of art.
Wine and Dine
Mamma Mia! Is there anything better than eating authentic, homemade Italian food? Whether its true pasta Bolognese or out-of-this-world pizza, you won't have to go far in Bologna to find the best foods you’ve ever eaten.
Bologna is Italy’s culinary capital, so be sure to try some the fine wines, traditional breads and pasta that are handcrafted in the city.
Start a meal with antipasto, and sample delicious regional meats like Parma ham and mortadello. Move on to the main course of meaty pasta. Tagliatelle al ragu is a true Italian Bolognese, and completely different than what you make at home. Lasagna may be popular around the world, but you have never had it quite like they make it in Bologna.
Of course, you must wash it all down with a locally produced red or white wine. After you have finished your meal, sip an espresso and feel truly Italian for the first time in your life.
Bologna is perfect for the family that wants to experience the culture and history of a foreign city. A holiday in Bologna offers the chance to see a variety of museums from the Museum of Modern Art to the Ducati Motorcycle Museum.
Aside from the museums, families can experience Bologna's culture by just walking down its streets. The Plazza Maggiore and Plazza del Neptune are two connecting squares in the centre of the city. Often, visitors can find events taking place in evenings in the squares, like a cinema night that the entire city is invited to experience.
The medieval defensive towers that dot Bologna are another great historic venue to explore. Ascend to the top of Torre degli Asinelli to look down over the entire Italian city.
If you’re looking for a little green space to run around in, then visitors can discover one of the city's many parks. Parco di Villa Ghigi and Parco della Montagnola are two of the best venues to stroll around.
Action and Adventure
A holiday in Bologna offers just as much adventure to holidaymakers as it does history. The hills and mountains that surround the region are full of great hiking trails. You can even apply for a one-day mushroom picking licence that will allow you to hunt for the tasty funghi while hiking.
Back in the city, you can hop on a bicycle to take one of Bologna's bike tours. Pedal through the streets of the Italian city as you check out all of the famous landmarks without wearing out your feet. Hungry? Take the Bologna food walking tour to sample the best meats, cheeses, pasta and wine around.
CAblu Wakepark is a chance for visitors to try their hand at wakeboarding. Whether a pro or a beginner, holidaymakers can get expert lessons on how to ride the waves at the wakepark. UP Urban Climbing is another top venue for fun in Bologna. The centre provides rock walls for visitors to climb, and gives families a chance to move inside for fun if needed.
Life's a Beach
If you’re travelling to Bologna to soak up the sun at the beach all day, you’ll be disappointed. The city is landlocked, but that doesn't mean an excursion to the seaside is impossible. Leaving Bologna by train, travellers can reach the beach resort city of Rimini in less than an hour.
The beaches in Rimini are well known all over Italy, and its 15 kilometres of sandy shoreline make it a perfect spot to relax on holiday. Rimini is home to paid beaches and free public beaches, giving you a variety of fun in the sun. Of course, the beaches in Rimini have plenty of great watersports, and you will find facilities for drink, food and other beach items there.
Ravenna is also easy to get to from Bologna, and the fastest trains will get you there in around 90 minutes. Ravenna showcases small resort villages to larger tourist favourites, and a holiday in Bologna can easily get you to the seaside on a day trip.
Thanks to the University of Bologna, the city has a young and vibrant nightlife for holidaymakers to enjoy. Bologna has a number of lively bars, discos and nightclubs ready to be discovered. But if it’s a calm, quiet night out you are looking for, then you can find it in Bologna's wonderful cafés.
The student quarter has several great watering holes, and none is better than Le Stanze. A former cathedral, this wonderful nightspot has some of the original artworks still on its walls. The appretivo, or appetiser, bar is perfect for visitors who want to sample food with an evening drink.
Bologna's nightclubs stay open until sunrise, and Link is the best spot for holidaymakers who want to dance all night. The two-level club plays electronic and techno music for holidaymakers to enjoy.
For something a little more laid-back, venture over to Bologna's jazz quarter. Bravo Caffe offers live music throughout the week, and the club has more than 250 different wines to try.
Due to the rich history and beautiful architecture of Bologna, the city oozes romance. Whether you are newly married or you have been together for years, Bologna holidays are great city breaks to spend with the one you love.
Start your days with rich coffee and pastries from a locally owned Italian café. After having an authentic Italian espresso, traverse the city to see the architecture of the buildings and churches. Everywhere you turn there’s something special to see, and you can marvel at the unique beauty of Bologna.
While sightseeing, stop off at the Il Magico Voltone del Palazzo Re Enzo. You can experience something fun, fascinating and completely different. You’ll be able to whisper sweet nothings to your beloved as they stand in opposite corners. And thanks to building's fascinating sound transmission system which has been used for centuries, you’ll be able hear each other perfectly.
After touring the city, sit down for an authentic pizza or hearty plate of Bolognese. Sip wine at a one of the cafés that surround the city's plazas, as you watch the sunset over La Rossa.
There are so many beautiful old churches to visit that it’s hard to know where to start. Some of the best include the Catedral Metropolitana di San Pietro built in 1582 and the imposing presence of the Basilica of San Petronio. The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, or National Gallery, holds one of the world’s best collections of paintings from the 13th century through the Renaissance and the Baroque period, and up to the 18th century. The city’s Archaeological Museum and Medieval Museum also hold some of the best collections of their kind.
A holiday in Bologna is not just about history and culture, but it provides plenty of modern-day fun. Why not make Bologna your destination for 2017?