Bologna Visitor Guide 2021: Everything you need to know

3 March, 2021by Bounce

Italy's history as a patchwork of rival nation-states has left it with impressive diversity between its cities. Bologna, the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, is in the north of the country and is not too far north of Florence. But Bologna has a history, a cuisine, and a culture all of its own.

As a regional transit hub, Bologna is a great place to add to any Italian vacation. Like most places in Italy, you can expect fantastic food, impressive architecture, and lots of things to do. And while Bologna doesn't get the massive amount of tourists Florence and Venice do, it's still a very popular place to explore in northern Italy. Drop off your bags at a Bologna suitcase storage and get to know the town for yourself.

A weekend in Bologna

While by no means the biggest town in Italy, Bologna's metropolitan population of over a million inhabitants means it's not small either. However, the historic center of the town houses most of the top attractions and is easily explored on foot. A weekend is enough to see many of the top attractions. Drop off your bags at a Bologna luggage storage locker to make things easier.

  • Piazza Maggiore is the main town square of Bologna and is home to some of the city's most important historic buildings. It's also the perfect place to enjoy the atmosphere of the city. Grab a table at one of the many sidewalk cafes and watch the world go by in the beating heart of the city.

  • See the ancient campus of the University of Bologna at the Archiginnasio. The sixteenth-century building is dripping with atmosphere. While you're there, don't miss the anatomical theater, a famous wood-paneled room full of carved statues of pioneering doctors.

  • See some of Bologna's famous towers in the Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. These ancient towers are icons of the city and dominate the skyline. Both can be climbed for impressive views over Bologna.

Bologna lockers

As an ancient city, Bologna is a great place to explore on foot. Its charming historic center is best seen this way, since many of the streets and piazzas long predate the car. Leave your heavy bags behind at a Bologna bag storage, and you'll be able to freely explore this fascinating city for yourself.

Off the beaten path in Bologna

Like all of Italy's major cities, Bologna receives its share of tourists. But if you're looking to get away from the crowds, the city also has some lesser-known attractions that are worth exploring. Check out some of these hidden gems.

  • Tucked away inside the church of Santa Maria Della Vita is one of Bologna's most impressive works of art. The Oratory of Battuti was created in 1604 and is absolutely packed with beautiful statues. Even the walls and ceiling are richly decorated.

  • Delve into a mysterious air crash at the Museum for the Memory of Ustica. In 1980, a plane heading to Palermo in Sicily crashed, and to this day, no one quite knows why. At this unusual museum, you can see the wreckage of the plane and hear the story of this unsolved mystery.

  • Get above it all at the Prendiparte Tower. Dating back to the twelfth century, this 200-foot tall tower is open to the public and offers a splendid view of the city. Climbing the stone steps will certainly burn off some calories, so you can enjoy a guilt-free dinner afterward.

What to do alone in Bologna

Sometimes, traveling solo is the best way to experience a city. Traveling by yourself enables you to really dive into the culture and atmosphere of the town. Drop off your bags at a Bologna luggage storage service and enjoy a solo trip in this enchanting location.

  • Diving into Bologna's rich past at the Archaeological Museum. The city has been occupied since prehistoric times, and this expansive collection will take you through every period of the city's history. You could easily spend hours in this fascinating attraction.

  • Rub shoulders with locals in the lively Piazzola Market. This market has been held in the city for centuries and is still a popular place for locals to shop. With hundreds of different stalls, you can find just about anything here, from excellent food to unique souvenirs. And the lively atmosphere is part of the charm.

  • Italy isn't short of art, and Bologna is no exception. The National Gallery in the city focuses on works with some connection to the Emilia region and provides a crash course in art from the thirteenth century up to the eighteenth. Famous artists are represented too, with important works by Raphael and Titian the highlights of the collection.

The best souvenirs in Bologna

This Italian city is synonymous with cured meat. Some authentic Bologna, or baloney, makes a great reminder of your trip. You could also delve into the supernatural with a deck of Bolognese tarot cards. These cards have been part of the city's culture since the fifteenth century. La Carolina has been selling the cards since 1694 and is the perfect place to pick up this unique item. The city of Bologna also has its own signature fragrance, created in 1827. Pick up a bottle of this citrus-based concoction at Autentica di Felsina.

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