Bologna, Italia – Ce poti vizita o zi in Bologna?

Located between Florence and Venice, Bologna is a beautiful medieval city, which amazes with its architecture, rich history and delicious local gastronomy.

Sometimes neglected in favor of much more famous tourist destinations in the vicinity, Bologna deserves your attention. It is a very welcoming city, with a warm atmosphere, and one of the best culinary destinations in Italy. After all, we've all heard of the famous Bolognese pasta, right?

In this article I will present you all the points of interest in this wonderful city, which you can visit in a one day trip.

Read here how you can link your visit to Bologna with a city break in Italy: 3 Days In Italy: Florence, Pisa, Bologna – Itinerary, Places To Visit.

About Bologna

Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, with a population of approximately 370,000 inhabitants.

Bologna is a suitable place to explore architecture and typical Italian gastronomy. Here you will find tourist attractions worthy of the attention of any selective traveler, such as the Asinelli Tower, Maggiore Square or Neptune's Fountain.

Bologna

Bologna is also worth mentioning as the oldest university in Europe, founded in the 11th century.

How do you get to Bologna?

By plane

The Bologna airport is only 6 km away from the city center, and the easiest way to get to the city from the airport is by Marconi Express. It is a fast train that runs between the airport and the central station of Bologna, the journey takes only 7 minutes and the ticket costs 11 euros, or 20 euros round trip. As a note, you can pay directly with the contactless card when validating the ticket (there is no need to buy a physical ticket).

Bologna

By train

It is very easy to travel by train in Italy, they run very often and connect most cities in continental Italy. Bologna's central train station is 15 minutes away from the city center and Piazza Maggiore.

I recommend that you buy train tickets in advance, because the chances are higher that they will become more expensive over time, if you leave them until the last moment: https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html.

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What to do one day in Bologna?

The 2 Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda

Bologna is known for the towers that used to rise above the roofs of the houses. In the medieval period, between the 11th and 13th centuries, it is estimated that there were 180 towers in Bologna, built by wealthy families as a symbol of power and wealth.

Today a small number of such towers remain in Bologna, and the most important ones are found in the central area: Asinelli and Garisenda, which have also become the symbols of the city of Bologna.

The 2 Towers - Asinelli and Garisenda
The 2 Towers in the distance – Asinelli and Garisenda

Asinelli Tower

With a height of 97.2 meters, the Asinelli Tower is the tallest tower in Bologna, which can also be visited.

There are 498 steps, and they can be quite steep. It is mandatory to buy the tickets in advance, online, because there are only a limited number of tickets available, and they sell quickly: https://www.duetorribologna.com/. A ticket costs 5 euros.

Asinelli Tower
Asinelli Tower

Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore is the largest square in the center of Bologna, surrounded by remarkable historical buildings, such as the Basilica of San Petronio, the Municipal Palace or the Fountain of Neptune.

It is the heart of the city and the place where the atmosphere and the positive vibe of Bologna are felt most strongly.

Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore

Fontana del Nettuno

Fontana del Nettuno, or Neptune's Fountain, is a superb bronze fountain from the 16th century that embodies the god of the sea whose name it bears.

Fontana del Nettuno

What is interesting here is the god's trident, which inspired the logo of the Maserati car company, founded in Bologna.

Fontana del Nettuno

Basilica di San Petronio

The Basilica of San Petronio is the dominant building of Piazza Maggiore, and is one of the largest churches in Europe, dedicated to St. Petronio, the patron saint of the city. 

Construction began in the 14th century, and the plans were for a church as large as St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The papacy opposed, and thus the construction of the church was stopped. Even today, the church building still seems unfinished, due to the lack of symmetry and uniformity on the facade - it is divided into two: marble below and brick above.

Bologna

Municipal Palace (Palazzo d’Accursio)

Next to the Basilica of San Petronio and Neptune's Fountain is the Accursio Palace, a complex of three palaces built in different periods and styles, starting with the 12th century.

Bologna

The palace houses today the local administration, art collections (Municipal Art Collection) and the city library. There are several halls that can be visited for free, including the Sala Farnese or Sala d'Ercole.

Clock Tower (Torre dell’Orologio)

In Palazzo d'Accursio you can climb the clock tower, from where you have a wonderful panorama over the center of Bologna and the two imposing towers. An entrance ticket costs 8 euros, and you also have access to the municipal art collection.

Via d’Azeglio

Near Piazza Maggiore, do not miss a walk on Via d'Azeglio, it is the most cheerful and authentic street in Bologna.

Bologna

Porticoes – covered walkways

Bologna is famous for its covered alleyways, called Porticoes. These alleys date from the 12th century, and were designed to extend the houses, but without extending on the street space. Today there are almost 40 kilometers of covered alleys in Bologna, which offer a symbolic image of the city.

La Picola Venezia – the hidden canals

Bologna is not famous for its canals, like Venice, for example, but there is a network of underground canals, built since the Middle Ages. Today there are still several locations in the city center where part of the uncovered canals can be observed, and the most famous place is the Little Window in Via Piella. It is one of the best-hidden locations in Bologna, but on the other hand, it is also among the most Instagrammable and viralized on social media.

Archiginnasio and the University of Bologna

Founded in 1088, the University of Bologna is the oldest university in Europe. The Archiginnasio was the main building of the University of Bologna.

For a fee of 3 euros, tourists can visit its most important halls: the Anatomy Theater and the Library. The Anatomy Theater is a surprising room, it is the place where students used to learn anatomy, using a real body.

What to eat in Bologna

You can't come to Bologna and not taste the dishes from the local kitchen! If you are not a fan of Bolognese pasta, you will definitely find something here for your taste.

Bologna

Some of the places where you can have a meal are: Trattoria Battibecco, La Montanara, Trattoria da Gianni, Osteria dell'Orsa.

And I want to mention here in particular the cafe where I drank one of the best coffees: Terzi Cafe.

Bologna

If you want to find out how we organized our vacation in Italy, in which we also spent a day in Bologna, I invite you to read this article: 3 Days In Italy: Florence, Pisa, Bologna – Itinerary, Places To Visit.

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