Bologna is located in Northern Italy and is known as the food capital of the world.
The best way to explore the city is by foot, taking time to explore the city and admire its beautiful architecture. The city is home to the oldest university in the world and looks up at the Apennine Mountains. You’ll also find historic buildings and an interesting medieval centre. Bologna is also the home of the communist party and its newspaper, L’Unita. Its many porticoed sidewalks make for pleasant walking and window shopping. You’ll find some of the cities beautiful architecture around Piazza Maggiore, which is the cities central square. Around the square are the Gothic Basilica of San Petronio,(the fifth largest basilica in the world) the Palazzo dei Notai, and the Archeological Museum.
Other great things to see in Bologna are the Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune), the Archiginnasio public library, Le Due Torri (The Two Towers), Museo Morandi, San Domenico church, Santa Maria della Vita, the National Gallery of Bologna, the Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico) and the Santuario di Madonna di San Luca (Sanctaury of the Saint Luca Madonna). A great way to enjoy these wonderful historic buildings is by a private walking tour with your own English-speaking guide. These wonderful tours take you to see some of the most important buildings in the city.
When it comes to shopping, Bologna can hold its own against rivals such as Milan, Rome and Venice. The three main shopping streets are Via dell’Independenza, Via Ugo Bassi and Via Rizzoli. Another popular street with the locals is Via dell’Archiginnasio. You will find all the big named Italian designers here, such as Prada, Furla and MaxMara. Most of the shopping centres are found on the outskirts of Bologna, such as Centro Bergo, Centro Lame, Centro Nova and Parco Commerciale Meraville. In the Quadrilatero district you will find a number of stalls selling everything from seasonal fruit to fresh fish and there’s a daily market on Via Clavature that sells products such as meat and cheeses.
There is no better place to eat in Italy than Bologna. It’s the home of fresh pasta, famous mortadella sausage, Parma ham, Parmigiano cheese and balsamic vinegar. Five of Bologna’s best restaurants are I Portici Hotel Restaurant, Al pappagallo, Caminetto d’Oro, All’Osteria Bottega and Drogheria Della Rosa. If however you are looking for cheap places to eat then head to Pizzeria Ristorante La Brace, here you will get a set menu at 12 euros and pizza’s cost from 4-8 euros. Another popular place for locals is Osteria Dell’Orsa, where you will find the pasta of the day or a lasagne for around 6 euros.
Bologna has a lively nightlife with it being a university city. Some of the best bars and clubs congregate round Piazza Maggiore square and the University quarter. You’ll find everything from theatres like Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Classical opera theatre), Jazz clubs like the famous Chez Baker (New York style Jazz) and also nightclubs like La Scuderia and Kinki. Most clubs open from 9pm to 3am and the dress code is smart. Some of the popular bars are Café de Paris, Le Stanze and the Godot Wine Bar. No matter what you are looking for when it comes to entertainment you are sure to find it in Bologna.