Bologna February(19 Posts)
Ive just booked a 5 day city break for DH 60th in Bologna next February.
(I hope it wont be too cold/ rainy, but thats ok , we are hardy !! )
Have never been , so can anyone give me recommendations for good value but great places to eat? And anything we really shouldn't miss.?
I'd like to treat him to a foody tour I think, so any recommendations would be great , and we like walking in cities
Hotel is in the old town..
There is a 'food street' with lots of fab casual bars and restaurants- it's in the centre so easy to find
There is a tourist office in main square where you can get a free walking tour and book a pass to different museums and tours. Go up the tower for a great view, it is an effort, lots of rickety stairs but worthwhile. The basement of the library has excavated Roman ruins which can be seen through glass panels in the floor and you can visit - gives a great sense of the age and development of the city. Lots of great restaurants and very easy to navigate. It also has a sense of a working university city with students meeting in the evenings and a buzz in the day.
Even if it’s rainy, Bologna’s pavements have portico’s (covered roofs) which help! We just wandered with a guidebook and walked in to restaurants based on menu’s - there’s a lot of choice and we didn’t have a bad meal! As PP has said, unlike say Venice, Bologna does feel like a ‘living’ city & has a good feel to it
I'd definitely do your research. I went with a friend who had googled places to eat in advance, we would have never have known about them as many are situated centrally but in back streets.
Would highly recommend going here to pick up some tortollini for lunch
Ciao I am from Italy and I'd say to you if you haven't been pop on the train (cheap, fast) to Bologna from Florence. Bologna is lovely but 5 days there may be a bot long. You can certainly have a day trip somewhere else. Perhaps Ferrara or Modena. At the beginning of February 'can' be cold and the pianura Padana is brutal... but you are from the UK not Mauritius so you should be ok!! On the other hand there have been some Februaries in Italy which are really warm and balmy.
There is a market in Bologna on Saturday which is real fun. Restaurants come and go - have a look at trip advisor and check for one with recommendations from Italians rather than all by 'Britishers' (said with love & respect - happy is 'Britisher'!)
I am actually from Tuscany rather than Emilia but do ask if you have any questions.
I suggest to look at the site bologna welcome.com for places to go/markets. It's in easy Italian. Oh, also in English.
Oh another idea: before you leave go to a supermarket and stock on lovely Italian goodies to eat at home. I suggest buying sachets of Saffron that in Italy are lovely, good chocolate like Novi, dried porcini mushrooms, maybe a big chunk of Parmesan cheese, lovely artichokes in a jar, polenta, riso gallo, mulino bianco biscotti, pizzoccheri della valtellina etc!
Oo I started this thread and forgot about it, apologies and thanks to all who replied..
But found the thread again looking up places to go! We are flying out in mid Feb really looking forward to it.
Ferrera sounds good for a day trip though .. Any other great finds I should know about?
Od love to find a great ( but not posh ) restaurant for DHs actual birthday . He loves trattoria osteria type places over smart ones
If he loves trattoria, @Laska2Meryls la trattoria Valerio is one of the most authentic one. Very central, but not in the main street www.trattoriavalerio.com
In via Clavature, and in the nearby streets around the fruit and vegetable market, there are a ton of small cafes and restaurants which gets very busy with all the office workers. Rosarose is one of the most famous www.rosarose.it
a must -do in Bologna is the walk up to San Luca and then be rewarded by a pizza at the pizzeria Vito a San Luca, at the top the hill in front of the sanctuary .
Bologna is famous for its osterias, in which you go for a glass of wine or a small bite, start with the Osteria del Sole and then try them all to compare.
An interesting day trip is Ravenna, the capital of the Byzantine Empire and its magnificent mosaics. A very nice and pretty city for which a day is more than enough .
Be aware that in Italy, shops are closed one afternoon/week in addition to Sunday. Even if you don't intend to shop, having everything closed changes the atmosphere of the street.
Ferrara, they close on Thursday afternoon
Ravenna on Tuesday afternoon
Bologna, because it is quite an important centre might still be open on the prescribed Thursday afternoon. It is more likely the chains in the centre will be open and the boutique and small shops might be closed. Plan your out-of-town excursions accordingly.
I love Bologna. You’d struggle to find somewhere bad to eat, TBH. It’s a lovely working city, and the times when I’ve been there it’s not been too touristy either.
You won't find many shops closing in the afternoons in hot tourist destinations like Bologna. Food shops used to close on Thursday afternoons in my small Italian town but it's been a good 10 years that they don't now.
I was in Bologna 10 days ago and it was bloody freezing. We were staying an hour away and noticed a difference in how cold and foggy it suddenly dropped
Book the tower in advance- it was booked up for 4 days ahead last week. (if you do go to Florence ditto the Uffizi- booked up 5 days)
Beware of "tourist menu" eating places. Every trattoria and restaurant you come across will offer you tortellini or tagliatelle al ragu. Not so many of them are offering you the genuine article anymore. (same with Florence and the fiorentina)
I agree with pps that 5 days in Bologna in Feb is too many, but you've got a good Trainline to Florence, Rimini (and on to San Marino) etc.
Nicest place we visited (apart from Florence) was Cesena, lovely hidden gem. Best food was Rimini where the women made the tagliatelle in front of us and we paid a quarter what we'd paid in Bologna.
It’s a fab city - we did the little train journey round and then up to St Luca which is great.
Also think about getting the train to Verona (a proper gem that one) and maybe to Florence. The faster train is only 45 minutes.
Loads of great places to eat in Bologna - we loved it.
ooh thanks for all the great tips! getting excited
Bologna is great for wondering around although five days is probably a bit much. I agree about going to Florence! I much prefer the food in Florence and the museums are much better run imo.
If you go to San Luca, choose a sunny day or you won't be able to see anything. I went this morning and it was so foggy you couldn't see anything. Without the view, it's not really worth going. If you walk to San Luca, you could have lunch at Trattoria Meloncello on the way back as it it's at the foot of the steps (book as it is really busy!) Further along the same road, is Trattoria Casa Mia which I actually prefer (again, you need to book as it's small).
There is a nice exhibition on at the moment about Etruscans (can't remember where but probably the archeological museum). I would avoid Rose Rosa, and go to the Mercato delle Erbe for aperitifs instead. Also the Bologna city museum is good but make sure they give you the English language translation at the entrance as once you get in, everything is in Italian.
PP is right that many of the shops are now open on Sundays and Thursday afternoons. To find the best individual shops you have to get off the main street - Via Galliera is actually my favourite street for shops: Drogheria della Pioggia sells sweets and spices by weight (as well as rat poison!), there is a great veggie restaurant there (Cucina Bio) and my favourite ice-cream shop too.
You might also want to go to the cinema, if so Cinema Lumiere has films in English:
Or, depending on dates, maybe go and see Bologna FC playing? (The stadium is quite near the town centre).
Great tip about San Luca , fingers crossed its not foggy when we are there ..
DH too me to Florence for my 60th ! and yes it is lovely .. Verona looks good though...
Some great ideas here , thaks
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