Each time I’m back to Italy I try to take at least one day off to visit a place I’ve never been to. It’s funny thinking I’ve visited many countries but there are still so many areas and cities of my home country which I haven’t been to yet! I often manage to combine this “day trip” with a visit to a friend or maybe asking someone to join me in this little adventure so that I combine being home and saying hi to everyone and travelling 😉
This time during the Christmas break I’ve been to Bologna and I honestly enjoyed the city very much! Maybe because it was a beautiful sunny day or because my friend Emma gave me a few tips about where to go, well, let’s say both!
So let’s say the tour starts from the central train station of Bologna and you arrive there around 12 so it’s nearly lunch time. Having the train station on your back and crossing the street in front of it, if you turn left you’ll find yourself in via Indipendenza (via in Italian is street 😉), one of the main streets of Bologna, also known as the shopping street.
By walking through this street you’ll already notice one of the many beautiful architectural characteristics of Bologna, i portici!
Many cities in Italy have them but you’ll find out that in Bologna there are really many of them! (Which is very good when it rains so you do not have to use your umbrella too much 😉) Going always straight you’ll arrive at one of the main squares, Piazza Maggiore but my suggestion is to do a little deviation to the main path and go to the famous Finestrella di via Piella (which translated is, the little window of Piella Street).
What is special about this window is that is one of the only ones where you can see one of the few canals that are still visible in Bologna. Indeed, during the old times Bologna had many canals crossing the city but then when they started building around the city all the canals have been buried. Anyway, the view from that window reminded me a little bit about Venice, definitely worth a stop!
By the time you walk there and take some pictures you’ll have smelled so many food smells that your stomach will ask you to be feeded! For your luch break I have two suggestions, the first one is a place called “La Prosciutteria” it’s actually a chian from Florence but it has anything that reminds a boring and unpersonal food chain. What you can find here are or typical Italian “Panini” (Sandwiches) with many types of bread from focaccia to ciabatta or tuscan bread and filled wil all fresh ingredients, prosciutto, salame, veggies, fresh cheese…the list is so long that it’s better if I stop here! Otherwise you can opt for a “tagliere” which is similar to the concept of tapas, they’lll give you a little portion of everything with bread. They also have very good offers of drinks, many red or white Italian whine choices or beer.
While if you really want to taste the typical Bolognese food (WHICH IS NOT SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE, please don’t even mention that 😁) the “Osteria dell’Orsa” will satisfy all your Italian food cravings! Of course, very much suggested is the “Spaghetti al ragu'” (which yes is what abroad is called “spaghetti bolognese”) but this is the real and original one! 😉
After this satisfying break you’ll have all the energy to continue your Bologna tour! Getting back to via Indipendenza you’ll notice that you’ll be quite near to a very high tower, named Torre degli Asinelli. I bet the view from the top of the tower is amazing but unfortunately whe I was there the queue was very long to get in but if you have the time I think it would be worth it! Otherwise, just behind the tower there’s Saint Petronio Church which also has a terrace with a nice view (but again unfortunately, it was closed when we were there..).
When you finished seeing these two main attractions you’ll notice that you are positioned in a very central location, indeed just a few minutes by walk you can reach all the other main squares of Bologna, Piazza della Mercanzia and Piazza Santo Stefano.
Bologna is also famous for it’s University, one of the oldest and best universities in Italy so I’m sure that if you’re interested there are part of it which you can visit. Also, there are often interesting exhibitions so I suggest you to check online for those 😉
As you can read, it’s quite a big city but it’s perfectly mangeable to just walk around, which I personally think it’s the best way to notice more details and characteristics of the city!
What about you, have you ever been to Bologna? Which was your favourite part of the city? I’d love to hear about it!
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