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Things to do in Bolonga

18 replies

TheBirdintheCave · 16/05/2022 12:29

I am going to Bologna in June with my husband and little boy (1.5). We are very excited and have been planning things to do whilst we're there.

We chose Bologna as it was a direct flight from our local airport and had good train links to other cities (on the advice of an Italian friend we're day tripping Rimini, Florence and Ferrara) but would like to spend some days in the city itself. Unfortunately everything I've seen so far that would interest us (the Marconi museum for example) is closed for an unspecified amount of time.

Does anyone have any suggestions about how we might spend a few days in Bologna? We enjoy historical house/palace tours (looking at old furniture or clothes) and gardens but everything I've found of that ilk so far seems to have been converted into an art gallery and I'm really not that into art 😅Bonus points if it's something a 1.5 year old would also like though, honestly, as long as he's allowed to walk around he doesn't seem to mind where he is.

Thanks in advance! I look forward to hearing your suggestions 😁

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TizerorFizz · 16/05/2022 19:08

My DD spent 6 months in Bologna as a student. She travelled a lot and we visited.

Bologna doesn’t have palaces. It has the oldest university in Europe. It has a tall tower with amazing views. The large square is impressive. DD was there when 300 Lamborghinis arrived for their 75th anniversary. It has fantastic restaurants. Try and look at the Stanley Tucci series or even Rick Stein. There are old arcaded streets with great coffee shops. Some great churches and wonderful food shops plus very upmarket shopping streets.

As for going elsewhere: Florence is quite far. You are missing out on the glorious Ravenna. The churches snd mosaics are stunning. There’s also Ferrara, Modena and Parma. They all have stunning architecture. Yes there’s the coast too! Venice isn’t that far.

The inter city trains in Italy are good but local ones get cancelled! Can be unreliable. Be prepared to be frustrated!

Where are you staying? We stayed at a B&B and got tips for restaurants. DD knew the cheaper haunts. We lived it there. Fairly Brit free and wonderfully Italian.

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Psychicpineapple · 16/05/2022 19:14

There's an episode of Rick Steins Long Weekends where he goes to Bologna. It looks amazing. I really want to go there after seeing it.

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kimwexlerfan · 16/05/2022 19:28

There is an anatomical wax museum in the university which we stumbled into just walking around. Part of it was obstetrics which was disturbing 😳

Ravenna is nice too if you are into Mosaics , Dante's tomb is there too.

Bologna is lovely for food and handbags 😃

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TizerorFizz · 16/05/2022 20:06

@kimwexlerfan
There is! Yes. It’s not pleasant. There is also a very ornate anatomical theatre. This university was founded in 1086 and the anatomical theatre is mid 17th century. The one in Padua is 16th century. The Italians took learning seriously!

Ravenna’s mosaics are a world heritage site and are 1500 years old. They are amazing. There is no other collection of mosaics like this in such beautiful old buildings.

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TizerorFizz · 16/05/2022 20:13

For beaches try Pinarella and Marina Romea. There are other beach areas between Ravenna and Rimini that are family friendly and quieter than Rimini.

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WhatHaveIFound · 16/05/2022 20:21

If your little boy is into cars I can recommend the Ferrari museum. My DS loved it though he was a little older. I really enjoyed it too but not as much as DH who has been 3 times now.

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A580Hojas · 16/05/2022 20:34

If you can travel a little way then I do recommend a trip to Brisighella! The most beautiful village you can imagine, with a fabulous town pool, and rural Italian atmosphere and sights you will love.

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kimwexlerfan · 16/05/2022 20:35

@TizerorFizz I forgot about the operating theatre that was interesting all right. Sometime the most interesting things are the ones you just stumble on.
Sounds like you loved Ravenna. It was the first trip myself and DH made together was to Bologna and Ravenna. Quite nostalgic now!

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Bramshott · 16/05/2022 20:37

We went about 10 years ago and I can remember some amazing and beautiful colonnades - a little bit outside the centre I think

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Ormally · 16/05/2022 20:44

It's gorgeous. This may not be a winner for the 1 year old but the Sette Chiese (7 churches) are very interesting if you are a historic building fan. 6 of different eras built around an ancient hexagonal chamber.
As with most Italian cities there is some stiff competition for the best ice cream.

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MarianosOnHisWay · 16/05/2022 20:50

I went to Bologna about ten years ago (sorry not recent) and used it as a base for day trips to other cities- went to Florence, Venice and Parma. However, I now have two kids and I don’t think I’d do those day trips with young children as it’s busy train stations, waiting on the platform, the journey itself etc.
I’d just enjoy exploring Bologna, the main square, the fountains, the food and ice cream etc. Rather than venturing anywhere further afield.

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Namechangeforthis88 · 16/05/2022 20:51

So disappointed there isn't a holiday destination called Bolonga.

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TizerorFizz · 16/05/2022 23:53

Well there might be in a parallel universe.

I would pick the easy trips nearby. I agree Florence is too far. Other places are easier to get to.

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Iamthewombat · 16/05/2022 23:57

Namechangeforthis88 · 16/05/2022 20:51

So disappointed there isn't a holiday destination called Bolonga.

I know, right? I was hoping it was down the coast from Talacre.

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Sofasogood1 · 17/05/2022 00:01

I would recommend a day trip to Modena for a walking food tour. I mainly ate and drank in Bologna and did one touristy tour of the big sites.

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TheBirdintheCave · 17/05/2022 11:16

@Namechangeforthis88 @Iamthewombat Haha yeah I only noticed after I posted it and Mumsnet has no edit button! 😅I do know how to spell it thankfully.

@TizerorFizz We have visited Venice a lot so we sort of feel we've 'done' it, as much as I love it. Plus I'd be so scared of my son falling in the canals. Ravenna is still on our list as an option. I'll look into it some more :) Thank you for the tip re the trains. I'll try and make our plans as flexible as possible just in case things get cancelled.

I've seen the Stanley Tucci series (which we loved) but haven't seen the Rick Stein one so will look out for that.

We're staying in an apartment not far from the MAMbo.

We chose Rimini as it was easier to get to on the train than the other beaches. A quieter beach would be nicer but as we don't have a car I'm limited by time and train routes :(

@Ormally There are a few churches on our list :)

@kimwexlerfan I saw that but I was on the fence about whether or not it would frighten my son haha. It does look interesting though.

@A580Hojas Brisighella looks amazing. I'll take a closer look at that, thanks :)

@MarianosOnHisWay My parents live four hours away so thankfully my little boy is used to lots of travel (chiefly by car I suppose) and we're well used to carting him about the UK which is why we decided to try taking him abroad. I agree it would probably not be a good idea to travel far if we had more than one child but as it's just the wee one I'm happy to not restrict ourselves too much :)

Thankyou @Sofasogood1 @Psychicpineapple @Bramshott and @WhatHaveIFound too :)

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rookiemere · 17/05/2022 13:57

Do be aware that it might be very hot.

We went in September and it was too uncomfortably warm ( circa 34 degrees) to do very much at all. Thankfully there are shades over most of the main streets.

We mostly did a lot of eating Wink.

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TheBirdintheCave · 17/05/2022 14:23

@rookiemere Yeah, I looked at average late May/early June temperatures before I booked and it seemed to be between 21-25C, though right now they appear to be suffering a heat wave! :/ Fortunately my son still takes early afternoon naps so the plan was to spend an hour or two after lunch either in the apartment or in a park in the shade whilst he sleeps in the buggy.

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