You’ve got the itch to get away. But you’re tight on time so you can only satisfy the itch by taking a weekend jaunt. If this sounds like you, Bologna, Italy might be just what you need..
- Where: Bologna, Italy
- Month: April
- For: A weekend getaway
- Suited to: Couples and Groups
- Expect: History/Culture and authentic Italy
- Activities: Bike tour, Vespa tour, museums, Ducati and Lamborghini factory tours, restaurants
- Restaurant recommendations: 3
- Cost (accommodation): ~€30 pp + flights
- Spending: €100/day pp (meals and entrance fees)
If you’re already in Italy, it’s quite easy. Most train lines will get you there within a few hours for a really great price. If you’re not in Italy yet, Ryanair will get you there for as low as 35€ (one-way) from countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the UK.
The easiest way to get around the city is by bicycle or scooter. Be sure to check out Dynamo near the main train station (Stazione Centrale) for great prices on rentals and free wi-fi.
A little bit off the grid compared to Florence and Rome, Bologna allows for a relaxing weekend with authentic Italian experience without the crowds and tourists.
The region is unbelievably beautiful, safe and with very friendly people. To sum up Bologna in one sentence, it is the city where non-Italians become Italian. It’s a city full of authentic local experiences from family owned restaurants, historic buildings and a lot of energy.
What to do
Life is a Vespa
What’s a visit to Italy without a Vespa ride? To discover the city and the beautiful surrounding area on a Vespa, make your way over to Travelhoo near the main central square of Piazza Maggiore in the center of the city. During the tour, you’ll discover many sites, including:
- San Michele in Bosco
- Sanctuary of San Luca
- Palazzo de Rossi
- Sabbiuno War Memorial
- Ponte di Vizzano
- Various vineyards and wineries
The highlight of the tour is the beautiful vast scenery of Bologna’s countryside. With limited traffic and the wind in your hair it’s an experience that can’t be missed!
Living in the Fast Lane: Is there a car junkie in your group? A trip to Bologna wouldn’t be complete without a tour of the Lamborghini Factory.
Located 30 minutes by car from the city center, the tour includes floor access to the factory (no cameras allowed!), access to the museum and a visit to the gift shop where you can find authentic and unique Lamborghini merchandise not available anywhere else.
It’s Called Bolognese Pasta for a Reason
A visit to Bologna wouldn’t be complete without trying authentic Bolognese Pasta. This simple, but delightful recipe is in a league of its own when made fresh with local ingredients.
Tip: In Bologna, it’s called Tagliatelle alla Bolognese.
Here's a virtual tour – how many animals can you spot?
..and of course, Gelato!: There’s nothing like fresh, locally made Gelato after a great meal. La Torinese also offers gelato, which is made daily and the atmosphere of the area will make you feel truly Italian. When you’re there ask for Cristian. If you ask nicely, he might just let you try all the flavours!
Cantina Bentivoglio: After a long day of touring, it's nice to have a place to unwind and calm the soul. Located in the heart of the student/university area, Cantina Bentivoglio offers live Jazz each night.
They even have free wifi. A great place to settle down for some great music, drinks and to catch up on emails.
Dynamo: This is a popular hangout for locals complete with drinks, DJ, dance floor and an outdoor patio area it’s the place to be on a Saturday night! For all other nights, head to the university area for a great choice of bars.
Questions? Feel free to ask me anything in the comments below!