Bologna is a historic city in the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. As the capital city of an area most famous for Italian delicacies, Bologna truly is a foodie's paradise. Along with its mouthwatering cuisine, the lively city offers a mixture of culture, history, art, architecture, and shopping.
Shopping in Bologna is all about open-air markets, shopping streets and beautiful squares. With plenty of sunshine throughout the year, locals enjoy shopping on the busy streets instead of the indoor malls. And while most malls are located in the outskirts of Bologna, you don't have to travel far to go shopping, as you can find everything you need in the heart of Bologna.
Bologna shopping is not complete if you don't buy some souvenirs like Pignoletto, their sparkling white wine, or handmade leather shoes. And when hunger strikes, there are restaurants at each corner serving tasty Italian recipes that will satisfy any palate.
And don't forget to drop off your luggage at a safe luggage storage service in the city. This way nothing will be in your way to make the most of your shopping experience in Bologna.
Popular Shopping Malls In Bologna
Opened in 1989, Centro Borgo is the oldest shopping mall in Bologna. It is located in the historic commercial center in the western part of Bologna. The mall is a classic mall with plenty of stores, a large market, restaurants, beauty salons and more. Although there are not many activities for kids, it is still a great place to take your family over the weekend.
Shops and restaurants you will find in the mall are Kiko Milano, Portobello, Profumi Rossi, intimissimi, Gustavo, Bar Camst, and more. If you are driving, take the exit n.2 or n.3 of the Bologna ring road - motorway exit "Bologna-Borgo Panigalep", and if you are using public transport, the"Villaggio Ina" stop is the closest. Centro Borgo is not the place you will find luxury shopping, but you can buy your favorite brands here, relax and dine with your family on a rainy Saturday.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 8.30 am - 9 pm; Sunday 10 am - 8 pm
If you are looking for luxury shopping, this is the place to be. Located on Farini Street, the gallery welcomes visitors in a stunning setting boasting luxury and elegance. The galleria is housed in one of the oldest buildings in Bologna. Built in the 1500s, the building has been through many wars and destructions. Although beautifully restored, you can feel the old charm as you walk around and explore.
If you want to splurge, shop and dine in style, there is no better place than the Galleria Cavour. This is one of the few places in Bologna where you can find many luxury brand shops one next to another. You will find names like Prada, Bottega Veneta, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Tiffany & Co., La Perla, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bulgari and more. There are three entrances to the Galleria Cavour: the main entrance is Via Farini, 14, the second one is Via Massei - Via Goidanich, and the third one is Via de 'Foscherrari.
Hours: 10 am - 1 pm, 3. 30 am - 7. 30 pm; Closed on Thursday afternoon, Sundays and Holidays
Vintage Shopping In Bologna
If you are into vintage, then this is a must visit. La Leonarda is more than just a vintage store, it is a nonprofit organization that donates to the homeless through all kinds of projects. This small and hidden shop is owned by Angela who takes in used clothing and brings them back to life.
The recycled clothing and shoes are later sold at affordable prices. Besides vintage clothing, you can find accessories, books and vintage antiques. Remember that with your purchase you are helping many people in need.
Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 am - 7. 30 pm; Sunday: Closed
Balevin Vintage & Design
For those looking for luxury vintage minus the high price tag, head down to this wonderful vintage atelier on Via Farini. Brands like Chanel, YSL, Moschino, Hermes, and Luis Vuitton often find a home in this little museum-like store, but not with the price you see in their exclusive boutiques. Choose among a large selection of second-hand vintage clothes, bags, leather goods, costume jewelry, vinyls, vintage toys, accessories and more.
There is a little bit of something for the entire family, especially if you are into themed parties. The store allows rentals of clothes, wigs and accessories, perfect for fun photo shoots.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10 am - 1 pm, 4 pm - 7 pm; Sunday: Closed
Popular Outlets in Bologna
Castel Guelfo The Style Outlets
Located near Bologna, you will find the place where all stylish people shop. Castel Guelfo The Style Outlets has over 200 Italian and international brands, selling women's, mens' kid's clothing, home furnishings and more! Expect to find discounts from 30 % to 70% off year-round. Don't skip dining in one of the many bars and restaurants, they serve delicious Italian specialties.
Getting to the outlet mall is very easy too. You can either take the train or a free shuttle from Bologna City or from the Castel S. Pietro Terme railway station. Though more expensive, an Uber ride is also an option.
Opening Hours: Monday - Friday 10 am - 8 pm; Saturday-Sunday 10 am - 8. 30 pm
Popular Shopping Streets In Bologna
Via dell' Indipendenza
One of the main shopping streets is Via dell'Indipendenza, stretching from the Central Station all the way to the Piazza Maggiore. The street is lined on both sides with famous brand shops, fine wine sellers, chocolatiers, and eateries.
Here you will also find the headquarter of Bologna's boutique brand, Furla. Check out the Majani building, one of the many important buildings in Bologna. If you are on a walking food tour, this shop is included, if not, you must visit on your own. Built in 1908 for the Majani chocolate makers, this century-old establishment has served as a tea hall, a bank, a ballroom and today is home to an H&M clothing store and a high-end chocolate shop.
If you still haven't discovered what the "T" stands for during your stay in Bologna, then you haven't been exploring enough. The T refers to the main thoroughfares in the heart of the city: Via dell' Indipendenza or the Independence Street, the Rizzoli Street, and the Ugo Bassi Street. If someone mentions T Days to you, this means the days when these three streets close for traffic and turn into pedestrian-only streets. This is mostly on weekends and public holidays.
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 1 pm, 3.30 pm - 7 pm; Closed: Thursday afternoons, Sundays and Holidays
If you are anywhere near Piazza Maggiore, head down the road that links Piazza Maggiore with the Two Towers. The street is known as Via Rizzoli, one of the oldest roads in Bologna. Built 2,000 years ago, this historic road is where you will find numerous high-end designer names, one next to another. Besides fancy shops, there are many bars, coffee shops and restaurants lined along Rizzoli Street.
Via Rizzoli is always crowded, and makes for a beautiful walk on a sunny day, boasting beautiful views of the Two Towers, the symbol of Bologna. During the weekend, the street is closed for traffic and it gets even busier. Bring your kids along and enjoy the various street performances after you are done shopping.
Opening Hours: 9.30 am - 1 pm, 3.30 pm - 7 pm; Closed: Thursday afternoons, Sundays and Holidays.
Via San Felice
Via San Felice is the most classy and elegant street in Bologna, where you can find almost everything, from vintage and thrift stores to exclusive boutiques. If you are a fashionista, this is where you should be heading to. Expect to find an excellent selection of fashion clothes, wine bars, cafés and restaurants in this fashion district.
Located just 5 minutes walk from Piazza Maggiore, Via San Felice makes for a great day out shopping when the sun is out and you feel like you can spend a little extra than usual.
Markets In Bologna
Mercato di Mezzo
Mercato di Mezzo is the oldest market in the city. In the Middle Ages, people from the surrounding towns traveled to Bologna to buy or sell goods at the Mercatto di Mezzo. Spread across three floors, this colorful market near the Piazza Maggiore is always crowded with people buying local farm-fresh goods.
There is a variety of food to try like pizza, burgers, craft beer, and fresh-baked pastries from the local's favorite bakery. Check out the basement of the market, as it is full of stalls selling hamburgers, salads, and a variety of Italian pasta. If you happen to be in the market on a night out in Bologna, many of the stalls offer free snacks with your drinks.
In the old days, there were plenty of shops surrounding Mercato di Mezzo, including a blacksmith and a carpet shop. This is how the surrounding streets got their names: Clavature Street (a key of a blacksmith), and Drapperie (carpet).
Hours: 9 am - 1 pm, 4.30 pm - 7 pm; Closed: Thursday afternoon, Sundays and Holidays
Piazza VIII Agosto
Piazza VIII Agosto or the square of August 8, dates back from the 13th century when it served as a livestock market for trade. Located near Piazza Maggiore, just a 15 walk down Via dell' Indipendenza, this market is a popular place for locals and tourists alike. If you are near the area, you should stop by.
This is a large flea market that sells anything from clothing, shoes, kitchenware, household items and more at affordable prices. Beware of your belongings, as there are many pickpockets in Bologna, mainly targeting crowded areas.
Hours: Friday and Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm
Mercato della Terra
Located in the serene district of Cineteca, you will find this beautiful farmer's market. Fresh produce is brought in every Saturday morning by local producers and farmers hoping to sell everything by the end of the day. This is where most locals buy their products starting with seasonal fruit and vegetables, fresh baked goods, poultry, eggs, fresh fish, seafood, all sort of cheese and deli items, especially prosciutto and mortadella.
Luxury Shopping to Exclusive Boutiques and More
Shopping in Bologna truly is for everyone. Whether you are a vintage fanatic or a luxury brand addict, you will find everything your heart desires and a little more! Shopping in the heart of the city is accompanied by beautiful views of some of Bologna's most popular landmarks, especially if you are spending your money in zone T. For the ultimate shopping experience, get there on the weekends and enjoy the fully pedestrianized street along with stunning street performances.