“3 Reasons to Visit Bologna”
There are many beautiful cities in Italy but only a few that are pin pointed on a map by visitors. You might think of Rome, Florence, Venice or maybe Cinque Terre, Milan or Sicily. These locations are popular around the world, and when planning a trip to Italy they are always at the top of the MUST see list. There is a reason for this of course. They are full of centuries old history, world renowned foods and wines, unforgettable scenery and uniquely crafted architecture. These cities are worth your time, but there is SO MUCH MORE to see in Italy with equally amazing attractions that are less expensive, touristy, more authentic and full of that Italian culture you are all craving.
So where else should you visit??? (raises her hand) Ooh, ooh, pick me, pick me!
B O L O G N A.
(echo, echo, echo, echoooo…)
I am absolutely, over the moon, head of heels, falling over myself, in love with this city! I, like you, didn’t know much about Bologna before moving to Italy. It was only through my research that I discovered that I should take time to explore this city and I made the trip. I am so happy I did!
Bologna deserves some attention and credit for its beauty so it’s about time we give it what it wants! Here are my top 3 reasons to visit and some recommendations of good eats and sights.
- Piazza Maggiore and the City Center – The city center has been one of my favorites in all of Italy so far. The architecture is lovely, there are colors everywhere, it is very easy to navigate, all main attractions are within a few minutes walk including the Asinelli Tower (3 euro to climb) and there are plenty of cafes and shops lining the streets. You can see the history all around you and the design paired with the musicians serenading your experience creates this sort of fun, young, free-spirited atmosphere that made my heart happy. Bologna has the oldest University in the Western World that dates back to 1088. It’s amazing walking the city streets and passing buildings that you learn have been sitting there for 1,000 years. Mind blowing. If you are interested in the University history then visit the Archiginnasio Museum, Municipal Library and Anatomical Theater which was once the main University building.
2. Try the famous foods from this region –
I realize that about every time I write a blog post I am always talking about food and how it is the best ever and I can’t help myself, etc. I agree that I sound food obsessed…maybe I am, but I promise my obsession is under control and I’m not literally eating all the time. Just 99.9% of the time. Bologna is most known for being a city full of foods that we recognize internationally. For example, the most typical pasta dishes are tagliatelle al ragù (similar to spaghetti), tortellini in brodo (broth), and lasagne bolognese. The most well known food is the thinly sliced pork sausage (AKA bologna) called Mortadella that originated here and not too far away is the city of Parma, where we get Parmesan Cheese. Don’t you love that you can visit cities with names of food? Only in Italy.
Restaurants to Try:
Trattoria Anna Maria (tortellini in brodo)
Osteria dell’ Orso (piadina)
Trattoria del Rosso (tagliatelle al ragu and mortadella)
Trattoria Meloncello (tagliatelle al ragu)
3. Walking the Porticos to Santuario della Madonna di San Luca –
Don’t think twice about skipping out on the 8.8 km (5.5 miles) walk from Piazza Maggiore to the Sanctuary of San Luca which overlooks all of Bologna. The walk leads you down streets slightly less romantic than the city center but gives you a taste of culture (which is always the best part, in my opinion). What makes this an extra special experience are the porticos that line your journey all the way to the top and are the longest in the world spanning 3,796 meters (about 2.4 miles). You pass 15 chapels on your way and there are many traditions linked to it. For example, I was told that if a prayer was answered such as someone recovered from sickness, you passed an exam, a life was saved, etc. it was tradition to climb the hill on your knees while unceasingly praying.
Oh Bologna how I loved you. I plan to go back and relive all these moments. I think you better add it to your list. 😉
Con Tanto Amore,