Ciao! My name’s Simona and I’ve been working in Ryanair’s Marketing Department for two years.
I lived in Bologna during my college years, so I was lucky enough to experience this amazing city as a student.
What I love about Bologna is that it always manages to surprise you, thanks to its artistic and eclectic feel. It’s so easy to feel right at home, even if you’re not from there.
Once you get to Bologna, the very first thing you must do is walk the city’s main street and visit the beautiful Two Towers and Piazza Maggiore situated in the main square of the city, where you will find the San Petronio Basilica and the Fountain of Neptune.
If you happen to be there in August, you can also enjoy a movie at the open-air cinema held each day during summer — such a magical atmosphere!
One of the most famous places in the city is undoubtedly the window of Via Piella which overlooks the Moline Canal. From this little window you’ll get a picturesque and romantic view of the canal.
For the more adventurous, I recommend a long 4km walk to the San Luca Monastery, famous for its 666 porches, which lead to one of the most amazing views of Bologna from a great height.
You should not miss a visit to the Archiginnasio of Bologna while visiting the city. It’s one of the city’s most beautiful buildings and used to be the main building of the University of Bologna. It now holds the Archiginnasio Municipal Library and the most fascinating Anatomical Theatre.
If you want to take your trip one step further, go beyond the city limits and drive just a few miles towards Dozza, a small, romantic village near Bologna, known for its amazing murals which you’ll see dotted around this colourful city. It’s really a street art museum, and one that you shouldn’t miss!
My go-to, for the most delicious food in Bologna, is Trattoria Da Me. This place has won numerous awards and I can confirm, it deserves every single one of them! It’s a place where top quality food meets Bologna’s traditional hospitality. It has a cosy atmosphere and makes you feel as though you’re sitting in the comfort of your very own kitchen.
If you love seafood, my advice is to go for dinner at Ostaeria Bartolini, where you can enjoy excellent seafood dishes in the lovely restaurant garden. I love the location and my favourite dish is the mixed fried fish.
If you need a break from all the strolling around, enjoy one of the best ice-creams in the city at Cremeria Cavour. Take a seat on one of the benches at Piazza Cavour — here, you’ll see the sculpture of the famous Lucio Dalla, renowned for his music and his most famous song, Piazza Grande, which is all about his beloved Bologna.
Bologna is the place of aperitifs. At the heart of the city, is a bar named Osteria de Sole where you can enjoy delicious wine and beer. The strange thing is, you can only buy drinks, but you can bring your own food if you need.
Here’s a tip! Buy an authentic panini and mortadella at the nearby shop, Tamburini — it’s known for the best mortadella in the entire city!
One of my favourite after-dinner spots and a great place to have a drink is Bar Senza Nome which means ‘the bar with no name’. This is the first and only bar in Italy that is owned and managed by a hard of hearing/deaf team. Order drinks by choosing them off of the tickets provided, have your lips read or try to communicate using sign language!
If you love craft beers, then go to Via del Pratello. This street is home to many craft breweries and it’s the go-to place for an aperitif or a drink after dinner.
For a more relaxed and chilled-out atmosphere go to Camera A Sud, right in the middle of the Jewish Ghetto. It’s one of the cosiest places in the city to enjoy a glass of wine.
Despite being quite traditional, Bologna also has plenty of nightclubs for you to choose from. One of my favourite nightclubs is the old bakery oven named MAMbo. Lots of famous DJs perform here and the atmosphere is incredible.
Then there’s Numa Club — one of the most avant-garde techno clubs in Italy where numerous international artists also perform. This is the place for a proper night out!
Well, I hope you enjoyed my top tips for a trip to Bologna. Be sure to visit soon and explore its wonderful streets and embrace the traditional way of life that continues to live on.