If you are thinking of traveling to Bologna, Italy, you are in the right place. Bologna is called the red city by the Italians. The city, which has a lot of bricks in its architecture, got its red name from here. The city is fat with its gastronomic richness and has the title of knowledgeable with having the first university in Europe. In addition, the famous writer Umberto Eco is an academician at the University of Bologna.
Bologna is a historical city with traces of the Middle Ages. In addition to its historical texture, it has also made a name for itself with its delicious food. The population of the city is 375,893 according to the 2012 census. Bologna was selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2000.
Bologna is the capital of the province of Emilia-Romagna in Northern Italy. BC settlement in the city It is thought to have started in the 1000s. Since then, it has been one of the most populated and most important cities in Europe. Celts and Etruscans first dominated the city, which has a very deep-rooted history. It later became a city of the Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, it was almost born from the ashes under the influence of Bishop Petronius.
In later periods it became part of the Kingdom of Lombarda and in the 11th century the Holy Roman German Empire. The city, which was attached to the empire for a while, came under the control of the Papal State when Pope Julius II besieged and plundered the city, and the Italian states united and remained attached to the Papacy, which is equivalent to the Quran of the Kingdom of Italy.
Due to its strategic importance and developed industry, the city was heavily bombed during World War II and suffered heavy damage from these bombings. In the years after the war, it became the city where communists gathered in Italy. Today, leftist views predominate in the city, and this also has an effect on the fact that it is called the Red City.
In Bologna is the Università di Bologna, the University of Bologna, which is the oldest university in the world. Founded in 1088, the university has trained names such as Dante, Erasmus, and Copernicus thanks to its quality education and deep-rooted history.
This deep-rooted history of the city and the effects of high education level are also seen in the quality of life of the city. It is one of the wealthiest and most livable cities in Italy. Thanks to being at the intersection of train routes, the city’s industry has developed rapidly, and it has an important position in the production of goods such as cars, textiles, shoes, chemicals in Italy.
Bologna is also one of the best preserved cities in Italy. The damage it received during the 2nd World War was covered thanks to the fast and successful restoration works. Extremely beautiful structures from periods such as the medieval, renaissance and baroque are standing almost as they are and become destinations for thousands of tourists every year. One of Bologna’s famous features is Europe’s best-preserved cloisters, the Italian word for portico.
These stylish porticos in the city center are among the favorite spots of tourists wandering around the city. In addition to many historical places to visit, it has a great cuisine as an Italian city. It is almost impossible to have a tasteless meal in Bologna, which is considered by some to be “Italy’s food city”.
When to go to Bologna
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Bologna. Bologna has a warm and temperate climate. The city still receives a lot of precipitation. The annual average rainfall is 774 mm. Since it has a temperate climate, Bologna can be visited in all seasons. Temperatures can rise to 30 degrees in summer and rarely drop below zero in winter. The difference of Bologna compared to other cities is that there are porticos where you will be protected from the sun and will not get wet in the rain. In the city, the first floors of the buildings were withdrawn and porticos were built. Thanks to these sheltered structures, the effects of the weather can be reduced.
Where to Stay in Bologna
Bologna, which is among the well-established cities of Italy, attracts attention with its architecture bearing traces of the Middle Ages. Tourists who want to see the historical buildings in Bologna and breathe the fairy-tale atmosphere of the city can find many accommodation options here. Quality hotels that can appeal to all kinds of holiday understandings will provide visitors with a quality accommodation experience. In addition to hotels in the historical region, which has squares and streets that impress with their exquisite architecture, places close to the airport and train station can also be preferred for accommodation.
Visit to Places in Bologna
Bologna, a medieval city, has a very old history. The center of this old city is Piazza Magggiore Square. The Assinelli Towers, which are located in the center of the city and have become the symbol of the city, are definitely worth seeing. The towers were built by wealthy families in the 12th century. The name of the short and inclined tower is “Garisenda” and the name of the tall tower is “Asinelli”.
While there were about 200 towers in Bologna in the past, the number of towers has decreased due to earthquakes in the city. The Neptune Fountain, located in Piazza Maggiore Square, is one of the famous structures of the city. This fountain was designed by Tommosa Lauret in 1563 and its construction was completed in 1563. Today, the Neptune Fountain has become one of the symbols of the city.
San Petronio Basilica
The gothic-style giant basilica of the list of places to visit in Bologna is the 15th largest church in the world, with a length of up to 132 meters and a width of 66 meters. Its construction started in 1390, but the church is not yet completed. Just like Barcelona’s most famous structure, La Sagra da Familia, its exterior appearance is unfinished today. It is a church dedicated to St. Petronius, who lived in the 5th century, one of the important figures in the history of Bologna.
Read more about San Petronio Basilica
Bologna Town Hall
The City Hall, or Palazzo Comunale in Italian, is the historical building that is the city council of Bologna, located to the west of Palazzo Maggiore. The palace is also known as Palazzo D’Accursio. It is a very old and important public palace for the city. The effects of 15th century architecture can be seen in the palace, which has been in existence since 1336.
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Santo Stefano Basilica
One of the oldest buildings in Bologna, full of history, is the Basilica of Santo Stefano. It is thought to have been built in the 5th century by the bishop of the city, St. Petronius. Saint Petronius, who was born during the times when Christianity was trying to spread in the Roman Empire, later converted to Christianity and later became a priest. In 432 he was appointed bishop of Bologna.
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One of the first places that comes to mind when Via Rizolli is mentioned are the two towers known as Two Towers. This magnificent structure competes with the Leaning Tower of Pisa with its inclination and beauty. As for why the two towers are not ‘twin towers’, the reason is very simple; If one of these towers is tall, the other is short. The taller tower is called Asinelli, while the smaller but more sloping tower is named Garisenda.
The city’s main museum, the Pinacoteca Nazionale (National Museum), contains works by artists from Bologna from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Located close to Le Due Torri, the museum is essential for those who want to understand the art of Bologna. The building of the museum was built for a religious institution in the second half of the 15th century. There is also the Academy of Fine Arts in the same building.
Read more about Pinacoteca Nazionale
One of the most popular spots in Bologna is the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, the Archiginnasio Palace. From 1563 to 1805 it was the building of the University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world. Today it is used as a public library. The palace is located in Galvani Square and contains thousands of works of manuscripts, letters, books, drawings, and prints.
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Maggiore Square is one of the most beautiful squares in Bologna. Piazza Maggiore, which is said to be the heart of Bologna, is surrounded by the most important administrative and religious buildings in the history of Bologna.
Read more about Maggiore Square
Bologna City Transportation
When you travel to Bologna, you should also know how to get there. City transportation in Bologna is provided by buses. Since Bologna is not a big city, no metro line has been established in the city. You will not need to take a taxi to reach the point you want to go. Because walking and cycling are the best options for transportation in Bologna.
In Bologna, you can tour the city by taking the 32 or 33 numbered tour buses from the main train station. Thus, you can see the points of the city that you cannot reach in this way. You can buy your bus ticket from the kiosks marked with a blue T.
Ticket fee: 1.30 Euros
Taxi transportation costs are quite high in the city, so we recommend that you choose a bus or bicycle to explore the city. Click for detailed information about taxi service.
Your trip to Bologna continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Bologna. Bologna cuisine is one of the richest and most diverse cuisines recognized by the world. Italian cuisine has the characteristics of Mediterranean cuisine. In Italian food culture, olive oil dishes come to the fore. There are also very tasty sauces in Italian cuisine, which is famous for its delicious pizzas and pastas. In Bologna, where the bolognese sauce was born, we recommend that you try ‘pasta with bolognese sauce’. However, restaurants write “ragu” instead of pasta with bolognese sauce. Tigelle is another popular dish of the city.
Cheese has a great place in Italian cuisine. Various cheeses such as mozzarella and parmesan are famous for their flavor. In Italy, hot and cold appetizers are called antipostases. Coffees that are compatible with desserts are also frequently preferred in the country. Espresso is the most consumed type of coffee. In addition, you should not return without eating ricotta cheese ice cream in Bologna, which stands out with its ice cream as well as bolognese sauce.
Caffe Commercianti and Majani are nice cafes you can choose. Le Stanze del Tenente, on the other hand, is located in a 400-year-old building and is decorated with candles and frescoes. The tagliolini dish with butter and porcini mushrooms at the Diana restaurant on Indipendenza Street is quite delicious. Nicola’s Pizzeria is located in San Martino Square and is a convenient spot for pizza. Located in Piazza delle Mercanzia, Pappagallo would be a good choice for a quality lunch or dinner.
- Pasta Fresca Naldi
- Caffé Terzi
- Spizziche e Bocconi
- Antica Trattoria Del Reno
- Osteria dell’Orsa
- Cremeria Funivia
- Pizza Altero
It is recommended to leave a tip of at least 5-10 Euros in Bologna. This amount may vary depending on the account and your location.
Shopping in Bologna
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Bologna trip with shopping? There are many shops on Via dell’Independenza Street, which comes to mind first when talking about shopping in Bologna. Especially shoes are famous in the city, if you want to buy gifts for your loved ones, the famous Bologna shoes can be a good option. There are also many shops in the city with wines and cheeses unique to Italy. In Via Farini, where luxury stores are located, you can buy products of world-famous brands.
You can visit the boutiques in the Via Ugo Bassi area and visit the antique and souvenir stalls set up in the town square. Via San Felice, near Ugo Bassi, has art galleries, shoemakers and small shops selling clothes. In the Old Market, known as Il Quadrilatero, you can find many things unique to Bologna. Everything such as antiques, bread, fish, wine, cheese, ortellini, tagliatelle, mortadella is available here. Mercato di Mezzo, located on Via Peschiere Vecchie, is one of the markets where Bolognas shop most frequently.
Since Bologna is a student city, its nightlife is quite colorful and vibrant. Especially in the spring and autumn, bars and nightclubs are more lively. During this period when schools are open, the city offers many alternatives to its visitors. There are many bars and nightclubs in Bologna’s streets such as Via Zamboni and Via Mascarella.
Especially Via Zamboni is full of bars and nightclubs frequented by university students. Happy hour is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at The Irisih Pub, located here. Via Mascarella is located on the northeast side of town and there are also two jazz bars on the street. Via Pratello is very suitable for alternative music lovers.
Al Piccolo, located near Piazza Verdi, is also a club preferred by students and plays techno music. There are many nightclubs such as Corto Maltese, Estragon, Giostra, Kinki Club. Also, famous names in music genres such as hip hop and R&B give concerts in Estragon. Nu Bar Lunge, located on Via de’ Musei, is famous for its various cocktails created by its bartenders. Live music lovers can prefer Cantina Bentivoglio and Bravo Caffe. Ai Vini Scelti on Via Andrea Costa, Golem – Caffè d’Arte on Piazza San Martino are among the city’s most popular wineries. When you travel to Bologna, do not leave without tasting the nightlife!
Pub II Birrato
- Angelica International Contemporary Music Festival – May
- Bologna Jazz Festival – October – November
- Biografilm Festival – June
- Bologna Motor Show – December
- Bilbolbul Cartoon Festival – November
Bologna Public Holidays
- New Year (January 1)
- Feast (6 January)
- Freedom Anniversary (25 April)
- Labor Day (May 1)
- Republic Day (June 2)
- All Saints’ Day (November 1)
Euro is used in Bologna.
Official Language of Bologna
What languages do you need to know when traveling to Bologna? The official language of Bologna is Italian. English is often spoken in tourist areas, tour buses and restaurants. Italians are happy when tourists to their country speak or try to speak Italian.