Bologna is the ideal destination for lovers of Italy and food! It is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and known for the three nicknames given to it by its inhabitants. She is “La Grassa” (the fat one – because of her cuisine), “La Rossa” (the red one – for the red roofs and terracotta) and “La Dotta” (the talkative one – because of her university).
Visit the two towers, the most emblematic symbols of the city. Climb the Asinelli Tower, the tallest tower in the world, and the Garisenda Tower.
Tour the city center and admire its wonderful medieval atmosphere. In Piazza Maggiore you will find the Basilica di San Petronio. Next to it is the Piazza del Nettuno with the homonymous fountain of Poseidon. In Piazza Santo Stefano you will see the Basilica Santuario Santo Stefano, a complex of seven churches, built on the ruins of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Isis. The Square of the Seven Churches is an ideal spot for an afternoon stroll and an aperitivo in the beautiful hangouts, with tables outside in the square.
For shopping head to via dell’ Indipendenza, full of fashion brands and chains. For more affordable clothing stores, you can find via Massimo d’Azeglio near Piazza Maggiore. La Piazzola Market is open on Fridays and Saturdays in Piazza dell’Otto Aogosto. A big bazaar that has everything and at quite low prices and has over 400 different stalls.
Take a stroll through the center and you’ll come across the Palazzo Fava, with its world-famous paintings.
Some of the most legendary dishes of the region are Tagliatelle Bolognese, with a delicious, minced meat sauce, Tortellini in Brodo, i.e. tortellini stuffed with Parmesan cheese in a delicious broth, and Tortelloni, i.e. large tortellini, stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese and fig, sauteed in butter and sage. For authentic Italian fast food, try a piadina, a thin pastry stuffed with cheeses and freshly cut meats.
Visit a flea market in the morning and then head to a Salumeria for lunch. Try classic Italian ragout at Antica Trattoria Spiga. A good choice is Trattoria Tony for tortellini in brodo. The Mercato di Mezzo next to Piazza Maggiore has been operating since the Middle Ages, it became a covered market after the unification of Italy and is one of the best places to shop and try local products. On the market floor there is a Neapolitan pizzeria, while on the ground floor you will enjoy a variety of cheeses, cured meats, handmade pasta, wine, meat, fish and gelato.
Visit Le Stanze bar in Via del Borgo di S. Pietro. A very special place, an American bar inside a private church of the Bentivoglio family, who ruled the city in the mid-15th century. Mystifying and imposing space ideal for an afternoon aperitif.
The Reno River Canal (Canale di Reno) is one of the few canals in Bologna. Just 10 minutes from Piazza Maggiore is Finestrella, the window overlooking the city’s hidden canal and opposite the gate with the lovers’ locks! This is Bologna’s secret Little Venice!
With direct flights from Thessaloniki and Athens, with low travel and accommodation costs, Bologna is the ideal destination for a gastronomic city break!