Last month husbandface and I took our first trip to Italy together and had the most epic time in Bologna. I was inspired by the Tripadvisor Three Days in Bologna post and thought I would jot down some tips in case it inspires anyone to take a similar trip.
Firstly, I’ll state that Bologna is a great city to visit. It’s not too touristy (or not too touristy with British or American tourists) and has lots to see that are easily accessible. Our main aim was eat, drink and be merry – and that was perfectly achieved!
Hotel – we had some free stay nights to use up with hotels.com so we booked Al Capello Rosso through their site. We wouldn’t normally do this as I like to book local but this hotel was lovely! It’s a theme based hotel and we ended up in the Jimmy Carter room – which was lovely and huge, with amazing air conditioning (thank god!) and a lovely big bath and shower. It also had the benefit of being really close to the centre of Bologna which meant we walked everywhere really easily.
Aperitivos – Le Stanze – a fav place of a friend’s son to go. If you haven’t tried aperitivos then you’re missing out – snacks with your drinks!
Pizza – the most epic pizza ever – I completely forgot to take any pictures – but needless to say I’m not sure I’ll ever eat pizza anywhere else again! Everyone should go to Alce Nero Berbere for pizza when in Bologna.
Pasta al ragu – our friend recommended a place, but it turned out it was closed! We yelped and found Osteria dell’Orsa which was utterly lovely and incredibly cheap for pasta al ragu (never ask for bolognese!).
Dinner – the most amazing hidden gem – Libreria Coop Ambasciatori – a book shop with three separate restaurants – part of the slow cooking movement – we had the most amazing salads and wine. Heartily recommend!
Gelato – our friend recommended Cremeria Funivia which we duly attended and it was definitely very lovely. Another friend, through Instagram recommended Galleria 49 – literally a hole in the wall – and we found this to be utterly awesome – definitely worth a walk slightly out of town to get to.
Coffee – we found the coffee culture quite different in Bologna – but still very enjoyable. We enjoyed great coffee at Caffe Pasticceria Zanarini and Caffe Terzi respectively. The tradition is very much sit in, but sit in quickly! Most people only staying 5-10 mins but take out was a definite no-no!
Park – we headed, mostly because of the TripAdvisor ratings to Giardini Margherita – a lovely huge park in the middle of Bologna – we lazed around, ate more gelato, drank more coffee – it was bliss!
If I had more time…
- The Fontana del Nettuno was not lit while we were there as a open at film festival was taking place nearby – would have loved to have seen this!
- Santuario di Madonna di San Luca – it was 35 degrees when we were there so a little hot for a few kilometres walk up a top of the hill (and all the guides say it’s hard to find water to buy!) so next time we’re there, in the cooler climates, I’d love to take this walk.
- Towers of the Asinelli and Garisenda – we saw them lots and lots and used them to pinpoint our locations but it would have been great to climb them too!
So that was our trip, I’ve made a map on Google so you can look up and know directions if needed.
Have you been to Bologna? Any tips for us for future visits?