Bologna - sightseeing, sights. What to see in Bologna?

Bologna is a city in the northern part of Italy and the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. It is located on two rivers - the Reno and the Savena. Something that characterizes this city is mainly the covered porticoes, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. They are about 53 kilometers long (of which 35 kilometers are in the city center). Bologna is also known for the oldest university in the world, which was founded as early as 1088. In addition, the city is famous for its delicious and very caloric cuisine. When visiting this place, you definitely have to try the best local dishes. Bologna impresses with its beautiful views, which can be enjoyed from places such as the Asinelli Tower and the Cathedral Tower, among others. This city is a pearl of culture. Numerous churches, galleries and museums attract dozens of tourists. A popular means of transportation in Bologna is the bicycle. There are specially designated routes. For those who want to combine sightseeing with physical activity, it is possible to rent a bicycle. Wanting to explore the unique corners of this city, you can also choose to explore on foot. From Bologna you can also drive to the coast. The distance from the center of Bologna to the nearest resorts is about 80-100 kilometers, or just over an hour's journey.

Bologna (photo: Bianca Ackermann unsplash.com)


Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore is the oldest piazza that is the city's most popular meeting and event place. This is where locals and tourists alike flock to drink aromatic Italian coffee. Piazza Maggiore is a place with a rich history. Since the 13th century it has been the center of both the political and social life of the city. Today it attracts crowds of tourists. At the square is the famous Basilica of San Petronio, which is one of the most important monuments of the city. Nearby you can also admire one of the most characteristic statues, the Fountain of Neptune, created in the 16th century. It was sculpted by Jean de Boulogne di Douai of Flanders. One of the superstitions about the fountain is that before an important exam, a student must circle the statue twice in a counterclockwise motion. This ensures success and good luck.

Bologna's main square
Main Square - Bologna (photo: Maria Bobrova unsplash.com)

University of Bologna

The University of Bologna is the oldest university in Europe. It was built in 1088. It was famous for the study of canon law and Roman law. After World War II, it was expanded to include postgraduate and doctoral studies and introduced a multi-level course of study. Famous people associated with the University of Bologna include: Dante Alighieri, Nicolaus Copernicus, Marcello Malpighi, and Pierluigi Collina. Currently, the university has 23 faculties and 93 libraries.

Basilica of St. Petronius

It is the largest church located in Bologna. It is dedicated to St. Petronius, who was a bishop in the 5th century. It once belonged to the city government and was a place for important meetings. It was not until 1929 that it became the property of the Diocese. In 2005, fundamentalists wanted to blow up the Basilica, but this was prevented by Italian authorities. The reason was the depiction of Muhammad in a fresco among the condemned. Some of the most important elements of the Basilica are the sundial created by Gian Domenico Cassini, the four columns at the main altar and the bas-reliefs by Jacop della Quercia. Today it is one of Bologna's most popular sights. Admission to the Basilica is free.

Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca

The Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca is a church located on the Colle della Guardia hill. It is a symbol of Bologna and one of the most visited places by tourists. An arcade of 666 arches leads to the Sanctuary. The number is not accidental, as it signifies the defeat of evil under the weight of good. In the 15th century, it rained every day in Bologna, destroying the residents' crops. One day the idea was born to ask the Madonna of San Luca for mercy and help. Then the rain stopped. A procession commemorating the event is held every year.

What else to see in Bologna?

While in this city, you should definitely go to the most popular viewpoints. One of them is the Asinelli Tower. To climb it you have to climb 498 stairs. The views from this place are breathtaking and are immortalized on postcards or cards from Bologna, among others. The city is also famous for its Mercato di Mezzo market, which is certainly one of the most important points to visit for gourmets of Italian cuisine. This is the place to buy the best local products. You can also sit down and enjoy great food in the vicinity of magnificent architecture. You should also go to the Historical Museum of Bologna. This place shows the entire history of the city from the 4th century to the present day. There you can see local works of art and learn interesting information about the development of the city.


The nearest beaches are 80 to 100 kilometers from the center of Bologna. One of the more popular regions is Ravenna. It is famous not only for its beautiful beaches but also for its amusement park Mirabilandia. Nearby is Lido Adriano which is a town ideal for relaxing on the beach, with the sound of waves. There are both paid and free sections. You can also take advantage of water bike rentals and a playground. A popular resort among tourists is also Rimini. It's a city about 120 kilometers from Bologna. There are a bunch of attractions for the whole family. In addition to volleyball and basketball courts, you can also find an outdoor gym. Safety during swimming in the sea is guarded by a lifeguard.

How to get to Bologna?

To get to Bologna, you can take a plane flight or travel by car. Ryanair airline offers flights from Katowice, Cracow, Warsaw and Wroclaw. One-way ticket prices for one person can be found starting at 39 PLN. Bologna airport is about 6 km from the city center. Wanting to get there you need to use a bus, cab or rent a car. Bologna can also be reached by your own car. The route is about 1200 km. Taking such a trip, you can visit several cities along the way, for example, Brno, Vienna, Venice Or Padua. Also, don't forget to buy vignettes, tolls for highways As well as parking lots.

Bologna - public transportation

Public transportation in Bologna is well developed. TPER (Transporto Passegeri Emilia - Romagna) is responsible for it. The most popular means of public transportation is the bus. To use it you need to buy a ticket (a single ticket costs €1.5, and a 24-hour ticket costs €6) at a kiosk or vending machine. It is best to visit Bologna on foot, as the most popular sights are located close together. To experience the unique atmosphere of this city, it is best to visit by walking, admiring the beautiful architecture and strolling through the narrow streets. It is also worth mentioning that one of the most popular means of transportation are bicycles. One gets the impression that Italians are so fond of this mode of transportation that there are more single-track vehicles than cars themselves. It is possible to rent bicycles in Bologna, which makes exploring this city much easier, especially for those who like active recreation.

Bologna - weather

The warmest months in Bologna are June, July, August and September. The average daytime temperature in these months is around 20°C. This is also when there are the most hours of sunshine. The coldest months are December, January and February. The average daytime temperature in these months is below 5°C. The most precipitation occurs in October and November. Want to avoid the crowds and enjoy the Italian sun, it is best to go to Bologna in May or September.

Cuisine - what to eat while in Bologna?

The cuisine of this city has earned the nickname "la grassa" which means "fat". There, calories are not counted, and tourists come to taste the best regional dishes.What comes to mind when hearing about Bologna? Spaghetti Bolognese. However, few people know that this dish does not originate in Italy at all. Tagliatelle al ragù is king in Bologna, and spaghetti bolognese is just a copy of this dish. This is the region where pasta dishes are most popular. The most important of these is precisely tagliatelle al ragù. The sauce for this dish consists of beef, pork (or a combination thereof), broth and tomato paste. Another local dish is tortellini, which are small dumplings with various fillings. They are most often made by locals and sold in local stores. For lovers of sweets, especially recommended is pinza bolognese which is a cake with bolognese marmalade. It is also worth going for ice cream, for example, flavored with jasmine and orange. What is worth bringing back from Bologna? The most popular wines in the area are pignoletto colli bolognesi and sangiovese.


Prices for accommodation in Bologna depend on the location and guest amenities. Since it is not the most popular city in Italy, you can find accommodations at really attractive prices. One such place is the Hotel Maxim. Situated next to it, the bus stop offers access to the center of Bologna. The hotel offers a bar, garden and parking. The price with breakfast for two people for one night is PLN 229.

Another accommodation worth noting is Afittacamere Romina. This is a guesthouse located near Piazza Maggiore. An overnight stay here costs 188 zloty for two people per night. For the more discerning, the Royal Hotel Carlton is recommended, which offers saunas and wellness treatments. Some rooms have a whirlpool bath. The hotel is located approx. 300 meters from the train station. The price per night for two people including breakfast is 683 PLN.

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