Bologna, the city of the two towers, is one of the most visited Italian places thanks to the big cultural, historical, culinary and social heritage offered during all the year, and that classify it as an ideal destination to spend pleasant weekends even in the cold autumn.
Find out the strong points that make Bologna truly unique!
1. A medieval city but romantic
One of the most typical urban features of Bologna are the elegant and ancient arcades that line the main streets for 40 km, while a lot of people walk under it. The particular Casa Isolani arcade in Strada Maggiore is still in wood, as it had been built in the Middle Ages. The other symbols of the city are the two towers coming from the two powerful families, the Asinelli tower, consists of 498 steps, and the Garisenda tower, lower, at its side.
2. Churches and monuments
All around the city and nearby, you have the possibility to visit a lot of important cathedrals and basilicas. Do not miss: the Basilica of San Petronio, huge Gothic church with the reconstruction of the sundial by Gian Domenico Cassini, the St. Stephen’s Basilica, also called “the seven churches”, the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, with one of the longest portico in the world.
The University of Bologna is proud of its record of being the oldest academic institution in Europe. It was founded in 1088, and among its most famous students there were: Francesco Petrarca, Leon Battisti Alberti, Carlo Goldoni, Giovanni Pascoli, Guglielmo Marconi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and many others. Even today, the Bologna university life attracts many students because it is composed of many courses of study, and also thanks to the very active atmosphere in terms of culture and politics. The library Archiginnasio besides is one of the most furnished in Italy, with more than 500,000 books and 12,000 manuscripts.
4. Shopping and Markets
Do not miss the opportunity to go shopping through the streets of the center, particularly in Independeza street, which runs from the train station to Piazza Maggiore, and where you can find different kinds of boutiques. Moreover, do not miss the chance to find good opportunities at the various weekly markets in the major squares, first of all that one called Mercato della Piazzola, inside the Montagnola park.
5. Museums and exhibitions
The cultural development of their city is very important for the citizens of Bologna. Effectively the capital of the Emila Romagna region in Italy, has a very high number of museums and palaces hosting exhibitions throughout the season, often coming from around the world. During this period, for example, there are: art exhibitions at Albergati Palace, the thousand-year old finds at the Archaeological Museum, the old Roman underground ways, still visible, under the Roche Bobois store in Galleria Cavour.
6. The countryside and the hills near Bologna
The countryside near Bologna are a real spectacle of nature, made of green hills and typical clay gullies. It is an ideal trip out of town in all seasons, especially when the sun shines, because colored and particularly indicated for hiking and picnics. Simply decide how leave for your adventure: walk trekking, mountain biking, or by motorbike, perhaps with your sweetheart.
Italian cuisine is known throughout Italy as one of the most delicious and traditional. The star of the menu is undoubtedly the homemade pasta, a tradition preserved also today in all the local restaurants, which serve every day: cappelletti in brodo, tagliatelle al ragù, lasagna, the real parmigiano reggiano, Italian salumi accompanied by “tigelle” and “gnocchi fritti”, and many other delicacies. Everything should be accompanied by a light white wine as the local Pignoletto, or by a rich red wine, like Lambrusco.
8. Festivals in Bologna
The city is the perfect location for many cultural and entertainment events, including the Bologna Jazz Festival, the Book Fair for children, for the young, the Future Film Festival, dedicated to the cinema, the Bologna Festival, with the major orchestras and artists from all over the world. For the more adventurous people however, do not forget the Arena Parco Nord, where a lot of live music concerts take place during the summer, with performances by famous singers and international groups, usually rock and alternative.