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La Dotta, La Grassa, La Rossa.
Bologna has many nicknames and it wears each with pride. Discover why.
Bologna is the capital of Emilia Romagna and makes a fantastic base for exploring the legendary "food valley". The city's history stretches back a few hundred years before Christ and it is home to the oldest university in Europe. These facts are responsible for two of the nicknames Bologna owns with pride. La Dotta – "the learned one" and La Grassa – "the fat one". Truly you're never far from a spectacular meal in Bologna, as long as you're not vegan. Emilia Romagna might not be a name as well known as neighboring Tuscany but its food specialties are renowned the world over. The king of Italian cheeses: Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma and traditional Aceto Balsamico are all from around here and a visit to see how they're produced is a must.
Route for Bologna tour
Petrolheads will also find much to love in Emilia Romagna. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ducati, and Maserati are all produced close by and have museums or factory tours available. If "slow food" and fast cars aren't your thing, Bologna still won't disappoint. A thriving arts scene means you'll easily find a more cultured diversion, from art galleries to operas. And if you want to work up an appetite, the gently leaning Asinelli Tower's almost 500 steps will help you burn some calories. From the top you'll see why Bologna is also known as La Rossa - "the red one," as you gaze out over the red tiled roofs of the old city, which escaped WWII largely undamaged.

Perfectly located no more than a couple of hours by high speed train from Milan, Venice, and Rome, and less than half an hour from Florence, Bologna's easy to include in a multi-city tour of Italy. The smaller Emilia Romagna cities of Modena and Parma are also very close and make for great day trips from Bologna.

Popular Tour Itineraries Featuring Bologna

Spend some time in Bologna on a tour that takes in other cities in Italy and neighboring countries. Our vacation packages including Bologna and other destinations throughout Italy and Europe hassle-free. We take care of getting you from place to place, accommodation, excursions and activities.

* Starting price is based on double occupancy in 3 star accommodation, in the most affordable month an itinerary is offered. Airfare to Europe is not included.

Click on your choice of itinerary, select number of travelers in your party, month of travel, and desired star level of accommodation to get an approximate price. Submit the enquiry form with any additional details and we can start planning your customized trip.

Where to stay in Bologna

Bologna is a popular destination for conferences and expos, so there are plenty of business hotels in the area close to the train station but that's not the most interesting or attractive part of town to be in, so we've concentrated our hotel selection on the historical center. You'll be in the thick of the action and in easy strolling distance to Bologna's tastiest and liveliest spots. From historic boutiques, to modern design hotels, to centrally located renovated and well-equipped apartments, with a few restored palazzos thrown in for good measure, whatever your taste in accommodation, we've got you covered. Once we start preparing your customized itinerary we will present our recommended options for you to select from.
Stylish Heritage Hotel in Bologna
Stylish Heritage Hotel
An elegant 4-star superior hotel with 5 star touches in a beautiful historic building in the historic city center.
Small Design Hotel in Bologna
Small Design Hotel
Historical design and decoration in a cosy three-star hotel right in the heart of Bologna's market area.
Deluxe Hotel in Bologna
Deluxe Hotel
Well worn grandeur in one of the most prestigious hotels in Bologna.

Things to do in Bologna

Bologna's historic center is very walkable and in all weathers, thanks to the 25 miles of porticos. You could choose explore on your own or with the help of a private walking tour guide so you don't miss out on some of the important details. Most visitors to Bologna are here for the food and the city's classic dishes, tortellini in broth, and tagliatelle with ragu bolognese are undoubtedly a big draw. A food walking tour will give you the perfect introduction to Bologna's food culture. Curious cooks can take a cooking class and recreate those fabulous dishes at home. If you want to learn all about how the region's legendary cheese, ham, and balsamic vinegar are produced, then a full day tour of the "food valley" is essential. Other tour options focus on the region's motoring heritage, with the opportunity to take a Ferrari or Lamborghini for a spin. When we send you your customized itinerary you will be able to choose additional excursions to include in your vacation package or consider for adding later.
Private Food Walking Tour
Private Food Walking Tour

Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Bologna

What are prices like in Bologna?
A quick lunch with a drink in the center, is around 25-30 euros. Museums and landmarks generally cost 10-20 euros. For a full dinner, budget at least 40 euros. 
How can I get around Bologna?
The best way to explore Bologna is by foot, as its main attractions are in the easily walkable city center. Much of the city's public transportation is composed of buses. A ticket costs 1.50 EUR and is valid for 75 minutes. Taxis cost about 20 EUR for a two-kilometer ride.
Is Bologna safe?
Bologna is a very safe place, especially in the center. However, pickpocketing is a possibility in crowded, touristy areas.
What options does Bologna have for people with dietary restrictions?
Bologna has increasingly more options for people with dietary restrictions and intolerances. Many places (such as Ristorante La Capriata) offer gluten-free pizza and pasta. You can also find many vegetarian options in most restaurants, or find places specialized in those diets, such as Fragòla.
How long should I stay in Bologna?
We recommend spending at least two nights in Bologna, plus a third if you're interested in a day trip to another part of Tuscany.
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