On a weekend trip from Florence I was fortunate enough to discover Bologna. Bologna was almost the city where I was going to base myself in Italy during my prolonged stay – Florence won as I’d been there several times before and knew how much I loved it.
Now with hindsight i can honestly say that I would have loved Bologna just as much. And perhaps even a little bit more – maybe I was just enjoying the city with the view of a traveller though. As I do not regret having chosen Florence.
But Bologna’s beauty catches your eye as soon as you arrive, for me it was from the Bologna Centrale train station. As far as Italian train stations go it was very average, nothing that would let you know what you were in for once you step out onto the street.
The first thing that will catch your eye once you step out of the train station is the Parco della Montagnola. It is a really nice place to take some time out from the city itself and is quite a beautifully manicured park.
Taking my initial stroll down Via dell’Indipendenza I was amazed by the architectural detail on the walkways. They really were an introduction to the beautiful city to come.
Via dell’Indipendenza is great for shopping, having found it a little bit more hit-and-miss in Florence. Shopping in Bologna was easy.
Our first stop was the Mercato di Mezzo – check out tastebologna for a good write up on the market and also some other markets in Bologna.
Following the market we strolled along Via Clavature and Via Draperie where there are many restaurants and beautiful architecture to admire. And you can also enjoy just watching the Bolognese side pass you by.
We had lunch just off the main street at Trattoria da Gianni, a quaint but stylish little restaurant.
Following further meandering we stopped in at Zanarini’s – Piazza Galvani, 1 – for an afternoon macaron and espresso.
Ducking outside the city walls briefly, then back into her Piazza San Domenico and her very own, not so well-known, leaning tower.
Coming full-circle and returning back to Bologna Centrale train station.