Things to do in Bologna

Things to do in Bologna

We always say it, but you have to put your cards on the table every time: we are not objective with Bologna. It is our favorite city in Italy – beyond Rome, of course – and it also has a history for us. In passing or as a destination, we have visited it dozens of times and always find new reasons to return. New, although only with “the same old,” there are already reasons to do it every year. How many reasons do you need? Here you have no less than things to do in Bologna. Surely they are enough.

Things to do in Bologna

  1. You cannot start your trip to Bologna without saluting its god. We talk about the statue of Nettuno with his trident and everything. Take a look at our Bologna trivia to find out more about her … and find the perfect place to discover her ‘naughty’ perspective game.
  2. Marvel at the unfinished facade of San Petronio: it was going to be even bigger than the Basilica of San Pedro. But do not stay out. Enter to see the longest covered meridian in the world.
  3. Walk under miles of arcades. Bologna is the city with the most arcades in Europe.
  4. Enjoy a plate of tagliatelle al ragù at Osteria dell’Orsa. Yes, tagliatelle that is not spaghetti and ragù that is not bolognese.
  5. If you arrive by train, the first thing you will see of the city will be an old gate in the wall. Do not stay alone with her and look for the remains – not many – of the city wall.
  6. Spend your calories climbing the 498 steps of the Torre degli Asinelli to enjoy views of Bologna from above.
  7. Look for the rest of the towers of Bologna. Of the more than one hundred that existed in the city in the Middle Ages, 27 still survive.
  8. Take ten photos in a row showing people on bicycles. It won’t cost you much: Bolognese love this form of transport.
  9. If you want to feel like one more, book a bike tour of Bologna from here and kill two birds with one stone.
  10. Discover a very special window that overlooks one of the few channels that were not buried in the city, the fenestella. Did you know that Bologna came to win a naval battle against the Republic of Venice?
  11. Try the other typical dish of Bologna cuisine: lasagna. By the way, the original is green because the pasta dough contains spinach.
  12. Play as a detective by checking whether Mozart completed his exam for the Bologna Symphony or someone did it for him at the Bologna International Museum and Library of Music.
  13. Find your favorite ice cream parlor. We will help you with the best ice cream parlors in Bologna.
  14. What to see in Bologna Italy 3 Days Cremeria Cavour Gelato
  15. If ice cream is your thing, go to the only ice cream museum in the world: the Carpigiani ice cream museum. You can also enroll in their university and learn all about this delight.
  16. The fast-food in Bologna is another thing, try the romagnola piadina and discover a world of infinite combinations.
  17. Go up to the San Luca Sanctuary, passing through the 666 arches that support its arcades, the longest arcaded section in the world.
  18. The oldest university in Europe is in Bologna – you know, la dotta -, don’t forget to visit its law school: history on the walls.
  19. Continuing with the university, the Archiginnasio awaits you. Another of the historic buildings of the Alma Mater Studiorum, with an impressive anatomical theater inside.
  20. Read the names on the house phones and look for five that are named Rossi. It is the most popular surname in Bologna and all of Italy.
  21. Stroll down the Pescherie Vecchie street and its surroundings, the most colorful open-air market in Bologna awaits you, the so-called Mercato di Mezzo.
  22. In the Middle Ages, Bologna was a powerhouse: the university, the more than one hundred towers, the canals … take a tour of the Museo Civico Medievale to learn more about this time in the city.
  23. Go out to party in the most fashionable area: Pratello.
  24. Leave the historic center and go to the Bologna district to stroll through an open-air museum: its graffiti.
  25. If you are passionate about urban art, escape to Dozza, a small town just over half an hour from the city where La Biennale del Muro Dipinto is held.
  26. Visit an old traditional market, the Mercato Delle Erbe. Following the “updates” of old markets, you can also try typical dishes of the region.
  27. Discover that mortadella can be a real delicatessen.
  28. Take a tour of the Giardini Margherita. There are also parks in Bologna.
  29. Seven churches for the price of one: the Chiesa di Santo Stefano is known as the Chiesa delle sette chiese because it comprises seven temples united over time. Be careful, at the price of one, but free.
  30. In the same square, Piazza Santo Stefano , in the face of the devil … will you be able to find it? A clue: look for her in the arches of the Bolognini Amorini Salina palace.
  31. Lean into a magical window , that of the Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli in San Michele in Bosco . The closer you get, the smaller the two towers of Bologna will appear.
  32. Stroll through a former industrial area turned “cultural district,” the MDA district. One hundred thousand square meters where there was a paper factory, a tobacco factory, a slaughterhouse…. you sound familiar?
  33. Whether or not you are passionate about two wheels, the Ducati Museum is going to enchant you … and I’m telling you, I don’t even know how to ride a bike.
  34. And now, how about taking a getaway to visit the Ferrari museums? Even if they are not in the city.
  35. Attend an opera performance at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, one of the largest in Italy.
  36. Look for the arrows in the arcade of the Isolani House. Three bandits and a naked woman are to blame … or so they say. We will tell you about it in our curiosities of Bologna.
  37. More arcade ceilings, it is war. On the ceilings of the Piazza Della Mercanzia, you will find holes … they are the traditional peepholes – like the ones we saw in Alcalá de Henares or Avilés.
  38. There are no two without three. Between the 1st and 3rd of Via Indipendenza, you will find a curious inscription in Latin referring to cannabis …
  39. You can still climb another tower: the Accursi tower, from the Palazzo d’Accursio, also known as the Torre dell’Orologio, in Piazza Maggiore. Take a good look and confirm what you have already noticed from the ground … Bologna è la Rossa for a clear reason.
  40. Go to Via d’Azeglio to see the silhouette of Lucio Dalla – one of the most famous singer-songwriters in the city – on the facade of his house. If you go in winter, you can read the lyrics of his song” L’anno che verrà” as a Christmas lighting.
  41. Continuing with the city’s nicknames, be sure to do a gastronomic visit or food tour to ensure that Bologna is still the fat.
  42. Have a drink in the oldest osteria in Italy – from before America was discovered -, stop by the Osteria del sole and drink the history. Just drink because no food is served … no water.
  43. Are you missing churches? Don’t worry, the church of San Domenico awaits you. Did you know that it rises in the place where Santo Domingo died in 1221?
  44. The custom was born in Turin, but you can also have the famous Italian aperitif in Bologna.
  45. Enjoy a summer outdoor cinema session in Piazza Maggiore.
  46. Have a cappuccino and brioche for breakfast at Cafe Terzi.
  47. Walkthrough the historic shops of Bologna, where there are also centenary shops of all kinds: the Giulio Veronesi jewelry, the Galliera Bookstore, the Tamburini charcuterie, the Giuseppe Majani chocolate shop, the Antica Aguzzeria del Cavallo knife shop, the Antica Cappelleria Malaguti hat shop …
  48. There is still something else to do in Piazza Santo Stefano. Every Sunday there is an antique market … look for your treasure.
  49. Maybe you come across someone with a laurel wreath on their head. If not, go to Piazza Verdi: it is there where the students celebrate their graduation. And yes, they wear a laurel wreath, hence the laurearsi thing, graduating in Italian.
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