I love Bologna, besides the fact it’s my hometown, it’s also beautiful and perfect to visit in a couple of days. There is enough to visit, to see and do without getting bored, moreover it’s famous for its “movida” since it’s a university city, full of students, so if you feel alone or sad, just go out and your smile will come back. “Bolognesi” (how in Italian are called people from Bologna) are very friendly without being invasive.
Some suggestions about
WHAT TO SEE:
- Two towers (Asinelli and Garisenda) and go on the top of the Asinelli, there is a stair with a lot of steps but it’s worth for the view. During the 12th and 13th century there were one hundred towers, the richest families used to build them for offensive/difensive purpose but also to show their social prestige, infact the history says that there were these two rich families, Garisenda and Asinelli and made a competition for the tallest tower and just one of them won (Asinelli).
- Archiginnasio, where there was the ancient University, indeed Bologna’s was the first one, founded in 1088, now there is the Archiginnasio Municipal Library and it’s very stunning with also the Anatomical Theater, built in 1636 by Antonio Levanti, where people used to go for anatomy lectures and displays. It has an amazing coffered ceiling decorated with statues, for example the beautiful “Gli spellati” (the skinned men) by Ercole Lelli.
- Anatomical wax model Museum “Luigi Cattaneo” is a museum settled in 1804 which contains a collection of 19th century anatomical wax models by the Florentine modeller Clemente Susini and by Bolognese wax modellers, the most important of whom are Giuseppe Astorri and Cesare Bettini.
- Pinacoteca, if you like art and painting I suggest to visit it, showing, for example, “Estasi” di Santa Cecilia by Raphael.
- Albergati Palace very often hosts interesting exhibitions. The last one is about Andy Wharhol and pop art, which is very well made.
- San Petronio Church where there is an interesting “Universal Judgment” by Giovanni da Modena and “Altar of Madonna” by Lorenzo Costa.
- Santa Maria della Vita Church where there is the impressive “Compianto sul Cristo morto” by Niccolò dell’Arca, which represents seven terracotta statues with realistic expressive faces.
- Santo Stefano Square and the Seven Churches is one of my favourite places, quite unique, furthermore the 2nd Saturday and Sunday of the month it hosts a very nice antiques market.
- Servi Church and portico is another place of my heart, I love the contrast of white and red of the church and moreover it has artworks made by important Bolognesi artists such as Guercino, Vitale da bologna, Niccolò dall’Arca, Cimabue, Reni and so on.
- Certosa, the monumental cemetery of Bologna.
- Morandi House where lived the great painter and the entry is free.
- Ono Gallery very often there are art and photography exhibitions.
WHAT TO DO:
- Little venice window in Piella Street, after Genovese Door: sometimes from this window you can see a beautiful view of a hidden Bologna with small canals, full of water, but other times it’s empty, so it depends if you are in luck.
- Podestà Palace and his acustic effect: if you and someone else go under two opposite arch and one tells something toward the wall, the other person can hear it thanks to an acustic effect. It’s a nice thing to verify.
- Piazzola Market on Friday/Saturday is a market where people sell clothes, I suggest to go to the vintage part, ask to local people and they’ll show you where it is.
- Drink a glass of wine at Osteria del Sole, which is a famous place where local people go before or after dinner.
- If it is a sunny day go to the Bolognesi hills and enjoy the view from the top and breathe clean air; for lunch you can pop into some rustic place where you you can taste “Crescentine” with various types of local cold cuts and cheeses.
- Do a nice walk under the porticato to reach San Luca Church, the longest in Europe, on the top of Bologna, it deserves the fatigue.
- If you have a car, there is Rocchetta Mattei which is a castle situated 45 km away from Bologna. It was built by the Count Cesare Mattei (1809-1896) on the remains of an ancient medieval castle that belonged to Matilde di Canossa (a.k.a. Matilda of Tuscany). It’s a mesmeric and wonderful place thanks to the fusion of different architectural styles, such as the Medieval Gothic with the Moorish style, full of small rooms very expertly decorated and linked together by a labyrinthine plan mixed together with lodges, spiral staircases and towers that deserve a visit.
WHERE TO EAT:
- Osteria Broccaindosso
- Antica trattoria Spiga
- Osteria delle Donzelle
- Sfoglia Rina
- Bottega Portici
- Mercato delle erbe (it was a market, now there are different types of restaurants and bistrot)
- Cinese La Rosa (historical Chinese restaurant of Bologna)
- Salumeria Simoni (historical place of Bologna to buy good ham and cheese)
- via Clavature, it has a lot of places where to do “aperivo”
- Chocolate Ice Cream shop
- Majani chocolate shop
WHERE TO GO SHOPPING:
- La Boheme
- Les libellules (children dresses)
- Fratelli Broche (vintage)
- Friperie (vintage)
- Diorama Boutique (vintage and handmade)
- Hotel balbek
- La Ferramenta
- Mariromei Legatoria Artistica
- Scarlett (home decor and dresses)
- Castelli Chiara (home decor)
- Vecchio cinema
- La maison du monde (home decor)
- Mirabilia (art gallery/bookstore)
- Libreria degli artisti
- Libreria libraccio
- Libreria coop di eataly