The best of Bologna

Surrounded by hills, Bologna’s city center still appears much as it did during the Renaissance – rust-colored buildings, wide piazzas, majestic churches and covered walkways with floors laid with marble. Viewing its amazing architecture or standing under some arcade, you’ll get the feeling that you’ve found yourself in the middle ages. And this impression is only augmented if you visit some of the local museums or galleries.

Valentina Noli

Favorite hotel:
Grand Hotel Baglioni, Via Indipendenza 8, 40121, tel.: +39 051 225 445
– 5-star hotel in the heart of Bologna, probably the best in town
Favorite restaurant:
Il Veliero, Via Milazzo 11/a, +39 051 255 888
– It’s a very characteristic place – when you enter you have the impression of being inside a sailboat (“veliero” means sailboat).
Favorite night spot:
Il ruvido, Via Maserati 9, +39 051 631 1892,
– Former factory converted into “the factory of fun” – the setting is inspired by Dante’s La Divina Commedia.
Favorite shop:
La Feltrinelli International, Via Zamboni 7/b
Favorite attraction:
Piazza Santo Stefano – s “Kostelem sedm kostelů” a renesančními budovami.
Massimo Bernacconi & Livia Romani
president, Association of Emiliano Romagnoli in Prague & photographer
Favorite restaurant:
The typical local “osterie” in the city center where you can stop to eat something while walking without any specific destination.
Favorite night spot:
Kasamatta, Via Sampieri 3, tel.: +39 051 224 256
– a very “chic” atmosphere, especially on Thursday evenings
Giostra, Via Mattei 46 L, tel.: +39 051 535 905
– has an excellent live music program
Favorite shop:
Max Mara, Via Rizzoli 7G/H, Via dell’Archiginnasio, 4/MNL
Favorite attraction:
The St. Luca Church on the hills and the endless stairs to reach it! The church of St. Petronio with its facade still unfinished after centuries, and the former Jewish “ghetto”.
Best-kept secret:
To master the secrets of Bologna you have to walk along its narrow streets and discover the old renaissance palaces (in Strada Maggiore, via S. Stefano, via Barberie), which hide wonderful inner gardens behind their gates.
Good Advice:
The best way to enjoy Bologna is browsing the fashionable pubs and bars in the city center. Don’t miss the traditional “aperitivo” in one of the lounge cafés in via dei Musei and, of course, sipping a typical espresso at Zanarini.


Thomas Mongodi
manager of Italian software firm Freefile in PragueFavorite hotel:
Grand Hotel Baglioni, Via Indipendenza 8, 40121, tel.: +39 051 225 445
– Pavarotti and his friends (U2, for example) sleep here when they perform in Modena
Favorite restaurant:
Buca di san Petronio, Via de’ Musei 4, tel.: +39 051 224 589
– genuine Bolognese cuisine (hand made tortellini, bollito, lasagne, etc.)
Favorite night spot:
MATIS dinner Club – Via Rotta 10, tel.: +39 051 619 9418
Favorite shop:
Feltrinelli International via Zamboni 7/b
– if you like books and want to spend half an hour in a peaceful environment
Favorite attractions:
Ascending the leaning tower Torre Asinelli, strolling in the center, including a visit of the morning market in Via delle Clavature street.
Best-kept secret:
In the park Giardini Margherita you can see Romano Prodi, former President of the EU commission, jogging.
Good Advice:
Don’t stroll alone in the evening. In certain quarters, Bologna is as dangerous as the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.



Basic facts

Country: Italy
Region: Emilia-Romagna
Time zone: GMT + 1 hour
Population: 390,000
Currency: Euro
Country dialling code: +39 051
Religion: mainly Catholic

Where on the web?
For further information, we suggest the following websites dedicated to Bologna: – the Bologna turismo office provides services for visitors. – How to best enjoy your trip to Bologna. – the official web site of the Emilia Romagna region. – well-known guide offering advice on where to eat in Bologna, accommodation and transport.


· Don’t miss the views of Bologna from the heights of the neighboring hills. From the San Mamolo Gate, head on foot or by car to places where the locals get away from the city bustle on weekends. This outing is worth the effort especially in the spring and autumn.

· A favorite gathering spot is Fontana di Nettuno (Neptune’s Fountain), between Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore. It was built in 1566 by Tomaso Laureti, and later Giambologna decorated it.

· You definitely should visit local restaurants and try some of the native specialties. Lasagna and tortellini originated here, and a glass of good red wine goes perfectly with them.


· Bologna is the main city of the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, and all the major transport arteries linking northern and southern Italy intersect here. Industry flourishes (chemicals, auto, steel, and food processing), as does agriculture.

· 900 years ago, the oldest university in all of Europe was founded here, and today it attracts students from around the world – so the city’s streets are enlivened by many young people enjoying themselves in a variety of ways.

· Bologna’s towers are dominated by the leaning Asinelli on Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. In the 12th century the Asinelli family erected this 97 meter structure. If you want to delight in a view of the city from its height and (weather permitting) the Adriatic Sea, first you’ll have to climb its 500 steps.






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