The Fountain of Neptune, by Jean de Boulogne, in “Piazza Maggiore” square at Bologna, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you only have a short amount of time to spend in Bologna, fear not! Even though Bologna deserves much more time than 24 hours, you can make the most of your short time by visiting the best spots in town. Here’s how you can maximize your stay in Bologna.
Bologna is an incredibly walkable city. It is fairly small geographically, allowing visitors to walk to all of the popular tourist destinations. Slowly walking around and absorbing the atmosphere of a city can be the best way to leave with a lasting impression. Begin your visit with a stop at Piazza Maggiore, the central square of Bologna. At Piazza Maggiore, feel free to explore the Basilica of San Petronio, Palazzo del Podestà, or the City Hall building. Inside the Basilica of San Petronio, guests can marvel at Cassini’s sundial line, the largest sundial in the world. As you continue walking, stop for a cappuccino or an espresso at a local coffee bar for a morning energy boost.
Visit Torre degli Asinelli and Torre dei Garisenda
Torre degli Asinelli and Torre dei Garisenda (Towers of the Asinelli and Garisenda) are the primary symbols of Bologna. They are not to be missed. Both were built in the 12th century and offer amazing views overlooking the city. While Torre dei Garisenda is closed to the public, you can climb Torre degli Asinelli for a fee of 3 euros. From the top of the tower, you can even see the Mediterranean Sea off in the distance. Near the towers, stop at the Feltrinelli book store to learn more about the history of Bologna.
Unwind at the Giardini Margherita
Giardini Margherita (Margherita Gardens) is Bologna’s largest park, founded in 1875. Relax beneath a tree after a lengthy day of strolling around town. Take your food to go from a nearby restaurant and eat outside in a tranquil setting. It’s a good idea to take a deep breath and relax rather than rushing around all day long. It’s also an ideal spot to people watch.
Visit the University Quarter
On Via Zamboni, the University Quarter is a trendy area of Bologna with many bars and cafés. It is also home to the University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university. The University Quarter is a great place to listen to live music, including rock, jazz, and traditional folk tunes from Emilia-Romagna. Enjoy a delicious meal at a restaurant in this area. After all, Bologna is well-known for its delectable cuisine.
When choosing a place to stay, choose a hotel that is close to the city center. You can find cheap hotels in Bologna within walking distance of most major attractions without breaking the budget. Bologna can be explored within one day; however, it’s not possible to see everything in one day. The city will leave a lasting impression and someday, you’ll have to return to this charming Italian city.