Bologna is second only to Venice when with regard to beauty and tourist appeal.
It is also home to La Cucina Bolognese that invented and popularized many specialties (see side bar) as many recognize being special to the Italian cuisine.
Bologna is relatively small (380 000) and very pedestrian friendly.
The city was inhabited as early as the 10th century B C due to tis strategic location. Huns, Goths, Lombards, Franks, Austrians, and French left their traces in Bologna.
Bolognese love music and many European composers visited and lived the city to be inspired and compose.
G. Marconi, the inventor of long distance radio transmission system, Galvani, the physician and physicist who researched and lectured at Bologna’s university are only the two of many scientists who were born there and lived.
Many painters worked and created artwork in the city as well.
The Museum of Archaeology, the Jewish Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the national Picture Gallery, and the Lamborghini Museum are musts for those who like to visit museums.
Those who enjoy watching people and life on the streets will find Piazza Maggiore, Via Rizzoli, Fontana di Nettuno, Portico Walk to San Luca and the university quarters may be of high interest, amusing and educational.
is at its best between March and October.
Here you can shop for shoes, sausages, fashion, local pastries, aceito balsamico (balsamic vinegar), extra virgin olive oil, and Parmigiano Reggiano among other things.
Ryan Air flies directly to Bologna’s Marconi International Airport from several English cities.
Trains connect Rome, Milan and many other major European cities to Bolgona, as do bus lines.
While in Bologna you can arrange for day visits to Rimini, Faenza (the city where majolica glazed earthenware, was invented), and Modena (the home of aceito balsamico).
Bologna, the largest city of Emilia-Romagna, is the centre of Italian gastronomy. The butchers of the city invented the incomparable Bologna sausage studded with pistachios and whole black peppers, and inventive cooks Ragu sauce (aka Sauce Bolgnese), tortellini in brood (round pasta stuffed with braised beef, and Parmigiano Reggiano, and prosciutto), rotolo of veal, pork, chicken, spinach and ricotta cheese, cotoletta alla Parmigiana, anolini (pasta stuffed with Parma ham, beef and porcini mushrooms), roasted stuffed capon, torta nera (chocolate and almond), and antipasto (marinated artichoke hearts, sausages, prosciutto, marinated squid, and marinated octopus, gherkins).
Emilia Romagna is home to balsamic vinegar invented in Modena, as well as Parmigiano Reggiano, a hard cheese produced from using the morning and evening milk of cows that are fed only grass and hay. The wheels (38 kgs.) are aged fro a minimum of 36 months, often longer. There are 500 dairies entitled to produce Parmigiano Reggiano. Beware of fakes form other countries !
120 000 tons of Parmigiano Reggiano are produced in the region and much of its exported.
Parma ham (prosciutto di Parma) is world famous. The pigs must be fed a special and prescribed diet, and must reach a certain weight before slaughter. Approximately 10 million Parma hams are produced annually.
You can eat well in any restaurant in Bologna.
Prix fix menus start with antipasto, primi (pasta), secondi (main course), then salad, formagi (cheeses), dolci (desserts).
No wonders Italians call Bologna the Fat!