• is the Capital city of Emilia Romagna Region (north of Italy)
  • is one million people in the metropolitan area
  • has a high life quality and it is an affordable city
  • is easy to reach from all the Countries
  • is compact, every facility is at real close distance
  • is home of the oldest University in western world
  • is the real essence of Made in Italy

Often neglected on travel itineraries in favour of Italy's more famous hotspots, Bologna has plenty to offer tourists, from food to art to hidden secrets.

Bologna is known as 'la dotta, la rossa e la grassa' - that's 'the educated' in a nod to its university, Europe's oldest; 'the red', in reference to the terracotta hues of its buildings and the city's historic communist leanings; and most importantly, 'the fat', in reference to the delicious food.


Here are 8 reasons you should visit at least once in your lifetime:



Even by Italy's notoriously high standards, Bologna is a foodie hub.

The old markets in the centre are great for fresh fruit and pastries while FICO Eataly World is an extraordinary place to join tours to explore crops, animals and factories, classes, multimedia rides and restaurants.



The two towers are a symbol of the city. You can climb the Asinelli one and get a beautiful view over the city.



These pretty arches that line Bologna's streets are a handy shield from rain or blinding sun, and years ago they were where merchants would set up stalls to sell their wares.

It's well worth making the 3.8km hike along the world's longest stretch of porticoes, southwest of the city centre, which leads to the beautiful Sanctuary of the Madonna San Luca and panoramic views back over the city.



As well as the San Luca, the city centre itself boasts plenty of impressive churches.

There are the seven churches of Santo Stefano, built over a six hundred-year period in different styles and now forming one unique sprawling site.

While San Domenico Basilica has a Michelangelo statue and a piano used by Mozart during his time studying in Italy.



At one time, Bologna was a city built on canals with a thriving textiles industry, still echoed in many of the street names such as Via delle Moline (Street of the mills). Most of the canals now lie under the car parks, sadly, but if you wander along Via Piella (where you'll also find several great restaurants), you’ll see a small window built into the wall, through which you can spot the canals.

Another place offering a glimpse of how the city used to look is Sala Borsa, the main library, where through the glass floor you can see Roman remains and even go downstairs to walk among them.


Great ART, old and new

Lots of the churches have Renaissance art on show, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale has art created in the region from 200 AD to the Baroque period. Other museums for art buffs are the Municipal Art Collections, with art from the 14th to 19th centuries and modern art museum MAMbo.

There's also a thriving street art scene; you're bound to spot some examples just strolling around the centre and the University area around Via Zamboni is another good location.


Bologna city of MUSIC

In 2006 Bologna became a UNESCO Creative City of Music: a prestigious acknowledgement celebrating its rich musical tradition and its lively musical scene. For Bologna, music is tradition, creativity and identity.

Music continues to be of an extraordinary importance for Bologna, the city’s most prominent institutions being the Public Theatre (il Teatro Comunale), the International Museum and Library of Music, the Padre Martini Conservatory, the Music and Theatre department of the university and the Philharmonic Academy.


DAY TRIPS and excursions

Bologna is a small city with plenty to do, but if you feel like venturing further afield, it's a good base either for hikes into the surrounding hills, or train journeys to the rest of Italy. Modena, Ferrara, Venice, Florence and Parma are all easily doable within a day and there are plenty of seaside resorts within reach too.

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For further information about points of interest, cultural and musical events, tours and other activities in Bologna, check on