– Bologna uses the euro, so make sure to exchange currency at the bank or an ATM. Most places take cash and some take card.
– We found that there were not very many scams in Bologna (especially compared to Rome), but always be on the look out for ATM skimmers, pick pocketing, etc. We did feel less safe in Bologna compared to Venice, but I think it was just because there were a lot more people and it was a younger crowd.
– The city is very easy to walk around, without using a taxi. We used a taxi three times: once to go to the train station, once to go to our apartment after arriving at the train station, and once to go to dinner (which we really didn’t need a taxi for after all haha). Grab your walking shoes and go for it!
– Bologna is the food capital in Italy, so get ready to eat! La Grassa, which translates to “The fat one” is one of Bologna’s three nicknames and they definitely mean that!
– The nightlife in Bologna is AMAZING! Everyone was out extremely late and they host all kinds of events. They had a free movie every night in the main square while we were there, which I thought was so cool!
WHERE TO STAY:
We stayed at an airbnb smack dab in the middle of Bologna and it was amazing! In the mornings and evenings, we would look out at the main square, Piazza Maggiore and people watch. One of my favorite (relaxing) things we did in Bologna was sit there in the evenings with a glass of wine. I highly recommend finding a hotel or apartment in this area!
WHERE TO EAT:
Places we tried that I recommend:
- Tamburini – This place is constantly in my dreams. Wine, meat, cheese, and just all around amazingness (is that a word?) lives here. I would go back to Bologna JUST to eat at Tamburini again. It was that amazing.
- StreetTOAST – Great place for tourists – the owner was so helpful and welcoming! If you are sick of all the pasta (but how could you be?!?!) or just want a break from it, definitely try this place out!
- Trattoria Di Via Serra – I absolutely loved this place. The owner was fantastic, the food was out of this world good, and the place was definitely local and off the beaten path. Highly recommend!
- Gelateria Marcella – We got the name of this place from the owner at StreetTOAST and it was one of the best gelato places we have been to!
- Gelateria Primo Latte – Extremely convenient location, right off of the main square, but high quality and tasty gelato!
- Beirut Snack – If you need a late night snack, this is the place to go! It’s a lot different from anything else you will find in Italy, but I loved it.
Other places on my list:
- L’arcimboldo – We actually tried to go here for lunch one day, but they were on family holiday, so we couldn’t get in. I was beyond upset because this was the #2 place I wanted to try while we were in Bologna. Next time for sure!
- Trattoria Da Me – This place has phenomenal reviews on TripAdvisor, so it was pretty high on my list, too.
WHAT TO DO:
– Go on a food tour. You are in foodie central after all! We chose to go on the Italian Days Food Tour and it was phenomenal. It definitely exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it!
– Go shopping! There is A LOT of shopping in Bologna!
– EAT. Sit at a little trattoria or bar with a glass of wine and some cheese and meat in front of you.
– Explore the area. There are so many things to do in Bologna and you are able to find everything just by walking around.
– If you don’t go on a full food tour, at least go tour a parmigiano-reggiano factory. It was so educational!!
OUR BOLOGNA ITINERARY:
Day 1: We took the train from Venice pretty early in the morning. We both loved seeing the countryside area! Once we got to Bologna, we caught a taxi to our airbnb. This would have been about a 20 minute walk, so I am glad we used a taxi to and from the train station. We checked into our apartment and then headed out for some lunch. This is when we tried to go to L’arcimbolodo, but ended up going to StreetTOAST instead. We followed lunch with some gelato at Gelateria Marcella and then went to the main square to check out the leaning tower. Apparently this tower leans more than Pisa’s! We walked around A LOT before heading to dinner at Trattoria Di Via Serra. I cannot wait to tell you guys more about this amazing restaurant! Finally, we headed back to the main square and caught part of the movie that they were hosting for everyone. We grabbed a bottle of wine at the coop and headed back to our room to people watch from our window!
Day 2: We were picked up for our food tour this day at 7am. AMAZING DAY. After the food tour, we were so full so we just went to the market to pick up a bottle of wine and some water and we stopped at the “food court” type market to get a spritz. We then decided we wanted a snack, so we headed to Gelateria Primo Latte and to Beirut Snack. The next day we got up and headed to Roma!!!