Bologna is the lively, historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. With beautiful plazas, cafes and medieval and Renaissance structures, Bologna is a city of two intriguing halves. On one side is the hard-working hi-tech city with suave opera-goers that waltz out of the theatres and reconvene in some of the nation's finest restaurants. On the other side is the politically edgy city that hosts the world's oldest university and is famous for its graffiti-embellished piazzas filled with students swapping Gothic fashion tips.
Top 10 Attractions in Bologna
This picturesque and historic public square is bordered by the 5th largest cathedral in the world as well as decorative renaissance palaces.
Fontana di Nettuno
Neptune's Fountain can be seen in the middle of Piazza del Nettuno. Adjacent to Piazza Maggiore, it is one of the city's recognizable landmarks.
Le due Torri
PTorri degli Asinelli e Garisenda are two towers and one of the main symbols and landmarks of Bologna. It is not clear why the towers were built, but it is thought that rivaling families built bigger and better towers for protection and to show their affluence and power.
Museo Civico Archeologico
It is one of the country's most important archaeological museums holding 200,000 pieces, including over 3,500 objects in the Egyptian section. It covers local history from the prehistoric period to the ancient Roman age as well as a collection of Egyptian artifacts.
Basilica di San Petronio
Bologna's main church is named in honor of the city's patron saint, St. Petronio. The church is one of the largest in the world stretching 132 meters long, 66 meters wide and 45 meters high with a 51 meter high façade. The church is also famous for its music the art of bell ringing.
Museo della Storia di Bologna
This museum takes you through the history and culture of Bologna introducing you to the leading historical figures from the city and the major events which changed the course of the city's history from its beginnings as the Etruscan Felsina settlement, through the Roman city and into present day.
Bologna Food Experience
Follow your senses on a full-day culinary tour of Bologna's famous food region! Visit local factories and family-run producers for a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of products enjoyed around the world, including Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Modena balsamic vinegar, prosciutto and wine.
Explore the Medieval Market
Explore the medieval market of Bologna with an incredible private guided walking tour that showcases the history, traditions, food and culture of this famous city.
Ferrari, Ducati and Lamborghini
See how some of the world's sleekest, most powerful cars and sport bikes are made during a tour of the Lamborghini, Ferrari and Ducati factories. Visit production lines, test tracks and official museums to trace the history of these state-of-the-art speed machines.
Brothels and Bordellos of Bologna
Uncover a side of Bologna history that many visitors don't see, the city's former bordellos and brothels, which were legal right up until the 1950s. Stroll through neighborhoods such as Fregatette and the streets around Via Delle Oche, and hear the stories of medieval madams who worked in some of the city's most secretive houses.
For more information, please visit:
Lonely Planet: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/emilia-romagna-and-san-marino/bologna/
GETTING TO BOLOGNA:
By Plane - Bologna's Guglielmo Marconi airport, a major airport in Italy, is 8 km northwest of the city. The Airport is a 15 minute bus ride to the Historic Down-Town, connecting Bologna to the main Italian and European airports.
By Bus - Intercity buses leave from the main bus station, Piazza XX Settembre, just southeast of the train station. Buses arrive to the bus station from the main towns in the Province of Bologna and from all major Italian and European cities.
By Car - In Bologna there are the two main Italian motorways, linking the north and south of the country (A1 and A14), thus it can be reached directly from all major Italian cities, i.e. Milan, Florence and Rome. Major car-hire companies are represented at Guglielmo Marconi airport and outside the train station.
By Train – Due to high speed trains you can now arrive at Bologna Central Station from Florence in half an hour, from Milan in an hour, from Venice in an hour and a half, and from Rome in 2 ½ hours.
GETTING AROUND BOLOGNA:
Bologna is a great place to travel on foot, as getting around the city is very simple with clear street signs and many distances can be fast covered on foot. It is also a great way to find hidden gems such as Pizzerias packed with Italians (so you KNOW you reached the right place). Be a bit careful when crossing roads as the city center swarms with scooters and small motorcycles.
Bikes are most popular amongst the people of Bologna. They are available for hire from various locations around the city (one near the railway station). Be sure to lock them safely with a good lock, as they get stolen all around town, especially around the university.
Public Transport - An efficient public transport system allows to go quickly anywhere in the city.TPER - Bologna Passenger Transportation is a public transport company, which carries out local services in the city of Bologna and services in suburban and rural areas of the province.
For more information please visit: http://www.bolognawelcome.com/en/