Do you have only one day to be able to see this vibrant and ancient Capital City? There is no problem!
Although 24 hours is a short time, we have the itinerary for you so that you can experience this wonderful city as someone who lives it every day. Before you leave, let me tell you that if it rains it is not a problem, Bologna is known for its more than 40 kilometers of Porticos-the longest in the world-whose color has made it nicknamed “La Rossa.” It’s on!
It will start from Bologna Central Station where you will probably arrive by train or transfer:
- Breakfast: Start the day with a traditional Bolognese breakfast. Head to the historic center and find a bar/bakery that serves coffee and typical Bolognese desserts: Le Raviole con la mostarda, Bolognese pinza, or Tortino di Riso.
- The little window on Little Venice: Going toward the Center from Piella Street you will be able to see a little window overlooking a canal, the one remaining among the many that in the 12th century, were used for merchant shipping.
- Piazza Maggiore: After a nice breakfast, head to Piazza Maggiore, the beating heart of Bologna. Admire the Basilica of San Petronio and visit the Palazzo Comunale. You can also climb the Asinelli Tower for a panoramic view of the city, although I would wait until the afternoon to see a nice sunset there (make sure you have a good dose of energy, because there are 498 steps!).
- Voltone del Podestà: In the four-cusp archway that opens between Palazzo Re Enzo and the Palazzo del Podestà is a voltone where you can experience a curious sound effect by speaking from one corner of the structure to the other.
- Quadrilateral: Explore now the Quadrilateral, an intricate maze of medieval streets that hosts a bustling food market. Here you can find fresh produce, meats, cheeses and other delicacies. Take advantage of the authentic atmosphere and buy some gourmet souvenirs.
- Basilica of San Domenico: Visit the Basilica of San Domenico, one of the most important churches in Bologna. Inside you will find works of art by great artists such as Michelangelo and Niccolo dell’Arca. Don’t miss the chapel dedicated to St. Dominic, which houses his tomb.
Bologna the “Fat”: Another nickname given to the city because of its gastronomy. Find a nearby restaurant or trattoria and enjoy a typical Bolognese lunch. Be sure to try fresh pasta, such as tagliatelle with meat sauce or tortellini in broth. Accompany the meal with a glass of local wine, such as Sangiovese.
- Civic Archaeological Museum: After lunch, take a walk to the Civic Archaeological Museum. Here you can discover the ancient history of Bologna through an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts. Don’t miss the famous bronze statue “The Isis Bolognese.”
- Giardini Margherita: Enjoy some relaxation in Giardini Margherita, a large city park. Here you can walk among ancient trees, jog or just sit on a bench and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. If you are in the mood for a refreshing drink, you will also find some kiosks selling ice cream and soft drinks.
- Donkeys and shopping: Go back downtown and take a walk. But don’t forget to drop by the Asinelli Tower for a panoramic view of the sunset.
- DINNER: Dinner is an important time in Italy, so look for a cozy restaurant where you can enjoy Bolognese specialties. Try Crescentine or Tigelle, a typical flaky bread, or taste mortadella, Parmesan cheese and other local products. End the evening with a glass of Lambrusco, the region’s signature sparkling wine.
- Nightlife: Bologna is famous for its vibrant nightlife. After dinner, soak up the festive atmosphere by visiting one of the city’s many bars or clubs. Bologna “La Dotta,” the third and final appellation given to the city because of its University prestige, with its Via del Pratello neighborhood where many young people spend their evenings.
- Ice cream at midnight: To end your day in Bologna, treat yourself to an ice cream at midnight. Many ice cream parlors in the city center stay open late. Try traditional flavors such as pistachio, chocolate or stracciatella.
This itinerary will only give you a taste of Bologna, but I hope it will allow you to discover some of its wonders. Wear good shoes, you will walk there are many cobbled streets. Have a good trip!