Is Bologna Worth Visiting?

Bologna is absolutely worth visiting for its food alone. It may be surprising given Bologna's reputation as the seat of Italy's gastronomy, but Bologna isn't just for food lovers, but art and history lovers too, and cinephiles, outdoor lovers, and the list goes on

Italy has many historical attractions, and Bologna happens to be one of them. It’s a beautiful, vibrant city located in northern Italy. 

With its rich history, food, culture, and exciting landmarks, it’s easily understandable why it is a destination spot for tourists and travelers when they come to Europe.

You may be thinking, “Is Bologna Worth Visiting?”

Well, we have to tell you that if there’s any city in Italy that will give you a rich Italian experience—think landmarks, language, scenic spots, historic architecture, food, and drinks—it’s Bologna! 

10 Reasons Why Bologna is Worth a Visit

1. The Bolognese sauce

The Bolognese sauce
Source: Masala Herb

We don’t have to tell you twice. 

Anyone who loves spaghetti has tried recreating the famous Bolognese sauce, and they may have had a blast while at it. 

We hope we’re not being presumptuous here, but we think everyone who puts food in their mouth loves spaghetti.

Getting a taste of the Bolognese sauce straight from the source! (pun very much intended) will be a life changer for you. 

The recipe has been passed down for many generations, so we can confidently tell you that eating Bolognese spaghetti in Bologna will go down as one of your best food experiences. we can testify to that.

2. Birthplace to some of Italy’s finest Delicacies 

Italian spaghetti
Source: Italy Magazine

If the Bolognese sauce isn’t enough to convince you, then lasagne, tortellini, and tagliatelle al ragu should. 

Italy’s finest delicacies can be found in Bologna, and you can get them cheaply! 

We don’t know of any other offer better than this. These foods might be popular cuisines in different parts of the world but are expensive. 

Eating good food like that doesn’t come easy, but it’s different in Bologna.

In Bologna, the foods are cheap, delicious, and quite healthy! You’ll be sure to have a good time, and your taste buds might be singing praises long after you’ve left Bologna.

3. The Mercato di Mezzo

Mercato di Mezzo
Source: Visit Bologna

Bologna’s first indoor market, the mercato di mezzo, is a must-visit. 

It boasts mouth-watering cuisines, local crafts, fresh produce, and enthusiastic traders.

You don’t have to need anything to go there. It is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 am. 

It’s quite a beautiful sight at night, but the most interesting thing about this market is the range of things you can find there and how artfully organized the stalls, stands, and vendors are. 

It’s easy to navigate so that you won’t get lost, but if you’re not easily accustomed to moving around in a new place, you can always ask for help. 

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Don’t worry; the average Bolognese is friendly.

4. Vibrant Nightlife 

Is Bologna Worth Visiting? OF COURSE, THE NIGHTLIFE
source: Travel Triangle

You might be visiting from a country where security at night is an issue, and you have wondered at some point, Is Bologna, Italy, safe?

As we mentioned above, the Mercato di mezzo is open from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m. because Bologna has a rich nightlife culture.

And don’t worry; yes, it is also safe. You will not be mugged and definitely won’t fall into a ditch. 

There are lights everywhere to ensure your safety.

You can experience the city at night if you’re busy during the day. 

Clubs, bars, restaurants, and markets are open, too! we guarantee you’ll be sure to have a good time at night if you can’t afford to during the day.

5. The Festivals

Festivals In Bologna: Source; Bologna Welcome

Besides food and drinks, another rich way to experience the culture of a city or place is through festivals, and Bologna has lots of them throughout the year.

There’s the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, where you can observe authors who write children’s books interact. 

Awards are usually given, and children get to receive free books from their favorite authors if they’re lucky! 

It’s a great way to get a book for any child you hold dear to your heart. 

Another popular festival is the Bologna Jazz Festival, where you can listen to soulful jazz music and meet like-minded people who may turn into lifelong friends. 

6. The Warm and Friendly People

Visiting Bologna is like visiting a friend’s home for the first time. There’s hardly any awkwardness—just warmth and kindness. 

It’s the perfect way to describe the Bolognese people.

They’re welcoming to tourists and visitors. You can easily strike up a conversation with a stranger or ask for help if you get lost. 

Some visitors have noted that they made really good friends with one or two Bolognese.

If you’re up for making new friends in a new city, then don’t miss out on visiting Bologna. The Bolognese people complete the experience of visiting Bologna. 

7. Historic Architecture

Historic Architecture of Bologna

Bologna is like a treasure for an architecture enthusiast. Whether you’re one or not, it will leave you breathless with its beautiful and enchanting historic architecture.

If you’ve never seen buildings built entirely from red bricks, you can find them in Bologna.

The Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda Tower are two towers that have drawn attention in architectural conversations.

These towers are a testament to medieval architecture, and Bologna proudly boasts them. 

A stop in Piazza di Porta, Bologna’s heart and center, will allow you to contemplate these towers in their glory wonderfully.

8. The Art 

Bologna

Leonardo da Vinci may not be from Bologna, but some of his paintings can be found in some of its many museums and galleries.

Some of these museums allow free admission, and some tickets are cheap. 

If you’ve never had the privilege of exploring a museum, Bologna will give you that chance, and with great taste.

9. The University of Bologna

University of Bologna

The University of Bologna is one of the oldest universities in the world. It was founded in 1088 and has produced many renowned scholars and thinkers.

At this point, we can all agree that Bologna is home to many historical wonders.

The university is also known for its strong international presence. 

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With over 5000 international students from over 140 countries, it’s said to be one of the best universities in the world for international studies. How cool is it that you can easily meet a student from your country?

10. Easy Access to Other Cities in Italy

Bologna is located in the heart and center of Italy. It is like a little dot that has vines connecting to other parts of its surroundings.

These vines are like routes one can easily access to explore other Italian cities like Florence, Venice, and Rome.

If you’re in Italy and plan to visit other cities, starting from Bologna will make your task easier.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, you may be wondering, Is that all? Well, certainly not. Here are ten things you can do when you visit Bologna.

10 things to do in Bologna

1. Enjoy Walking in the Shelters of the Porticoes

Source: Haper's BAZAAR 
The long trail of Porticoes

Porticoes are covered walkways that line many of Bologna’s streets. These covered walkways offer shelter from the sun and rain, which leaves room for exploration by foot.

Some of the ceilings are vaulted, so it gives the feeling of being in one of these monumental architectural churches or museums.

You can only get the full experience of a new place if you walk around. Thanks to the porticoes, you can also explore the city when it is raining. You won’t get wet, and you’ll enjoy the weather while you’re at it.

2. Visit the Archiginnasio and gain access to rare books and artifacts

Visit the Archiginnasio and gain access to rare books and artifacts
Source: Bologna guide

We mentioned before that the Archiginnasio can be found at the University of Bologna. 

We did not mention that it serves as a museum and library containing many rare books and artifacts. 

Whether you’re a collector, artist, reader, or just a curious person, visiting the Archiginnasio should be on your list for a rewarding experience in Bologna.

Since it’s located at the university, you can easily visit other libraries in the vicinity or explore the campus.

3. Visit the Maserati Brothers’ Hometown

 Visit the Maserati Brothers’ Hometown

Wait, we bet you are shocked.

Now you know. Bologna is home to one of the world’s renowned automobile manufacturing companies. 

The Maserati brothers, who founded the famous luxury vehicle company, were born in Bologna, not very far from the seven churches. 

A plaque has been mounted to commemorate the place where the first headquarters stood. It’s easy to find once you ask for directions. 

4. Sign up for a traditional cooking class

I’m all for learning how to cook to save money and to relish in delicacies that cost an arm to order. 

There’s no better way to learn how to cook some of Italy’s finest dishes than to sign up for a cooking class that isn’t expensive. 

With this offer, you can observe and learn how to prepare some mouth-watering dishes that might cost you an arm to order in a five-star restaurant. 

Bologna offers cooking classes to visitors. The cooks are nice, and they ensure that their students get their money and time’s worth. 

So, don’t worry. You’ll be sure to graduate with distinction from Bolognese culinary school.

5. Play Vintage Games at the Flipper Museum

Source: Cultural Heritage
Flipper Museum

Bologna likes to brag differently when it comes to enticing visitors.

Apart from letting visitors explore some of their museums for free, they also have games that can be played in one such museum.

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At the Flipper Museum, over 400 kinds of games vary from old pinball machines to modern video games.

If there is a game you were fond of in your childhood, there is a higher chance of coming across it at the Flipper Museum.

6. Climb the Asinelli Tower

Source: Bologna Guide
Asineli Tower

You haven’t properly explored Bologna if you don’t climb any of the towers.

It might be challenging for someone who isn’t used to exercising, but the reward is a breathtaking view of Bologna from one of its tallest buildings.

You will be amazed by the wonderful view of the city when you get to the top of the tower.

The Asinelli tower is one of the best places to visit in Bologna, as it offers a scenic panoramic view of the city.

It is usually cold up there because of the altitude, so be sure to be properly clothed with sweaters, beanies, and hand gloves before climbing. 

You can put them in a bag if it feels too hot for you at the beginning.

7. Visita la Basilica di San Petronio

Source: Viator
 Visita la Basilica di San Petronio

Another one for architecture enthusiasts. 

The Basilica di San Petronio is one of Europe’s finest churches and dates back to the 14th century. 

It’s one of the standing edifices of Gothic architecture and is named after Bologna’s patron saint, Petronius. 

You can easily learn a thing or two about Gothic architecture just by looking at the building; if you’re a religious person, then it’s a bonus. 

You can pray while visiting the church.

8. Delight in Exceptional Desserts

Best Desserts in Bologna
Source: Taste Bologna

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’re in for a treat!

Bologna hosts some of the finest ice creams in the world. The criteria Cavour is the perfect treat anytime your tooth begins to ask for cravings. 

There’s no better place to have ice cream than in Bologna. we promise you.

You can have the best ice cream, chocolate, and cakes in Bologna; it doesn’t have to be from a dessert shop or restaurant.

Walking along the streets of Bologna, you can easily find a vendor that sells desserts to your liking.

9. Learn more about Bologna’s history in the Archaeological Civic Museum

Learn more about Bologna's history in the Archaeological Civic Museum
Source: Which Museum

You can learn more about Bologna at this museum. It is rich in artifacts and local history that dates back to prehistoric times.

This museum is one of Italy’s historical landmarks. Works of art by the Bolognese people and information on their culture and traditions are easily accessible. 

There are designated areas where one can sit and easily absorb their findings.

10. Wander through the vibrant markets

Whether it’s an outdoor market or an indoor one, Bologna welcomes you to wander freely. 

These markets are colorful and vibrant thanks to Bologna’s rich architecture and spatial awareness.

Markets like the Quadrilatero, which is filled with shops, restaurants, and cafes, are great places to stop by and eat or drink if you suddenly get hungry or thirsty while exploring.

Do be careful, though; you might want to leave your wallet at your hotel while exploring because these markets can be very tempting!

Conclusion

Is Bologna worth visiting?

In a word, yes!

We don’t know how you can read all that and not agree with me. Bologna is one of the best cities to visit in Italy.

Why visit Bologna? You may ask. This article observes that the food, markets, vibrant nightlife, architecture, and people are reasons enough to give this beautiful, charming city a chance.

I’d recommend you save it for last if you’re touring Europe for the first time. The rich culture, food, and architecture are things we guarantee you’ll want to remember for a while after you leave Europe.

Bologna is one of Italy’s finest cities. Its impact on Italy and the rest of the world cannot be understated.

We hope this article has answered your questions and has managed to convince you that Bologna is worth visiting.

All kinds of people are welcome. If you want food, Bologna has varieties of them. 

If you’re looking for architecture, books, rich experiences, or a good time, whatever it is you want—and you’re in Europe or Italy, be sure to stop by this charming city.

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