Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

Emilia–Romagna Travel Guide


Bologna, a city rich with cultural jewels, has long been one of the best-kept secrets in northern Italy. Tourists in the know can bask in the shadow of its leaning medieval towers and devour the city's wonderful food.

The charm of the centro storico, with its red-arcaded passageways and sidewalks, can be attributed to wise city counselors who, at the beginning of the 13th century, decreed that roads couldn’t be built

without portici (porticoes). Were these counselors to return to town eight centuries later, they’d marvel at how little has changed.

Bologna, with a population of about 373,000, has a university-town vibe—and it feels young and lively in a way that many other Italian cities don’t. It also feels full of Italians in a way that many other towns, thronged with tourists, don’t. Bolognesi come out at aperitivo time, and you might be struck by the fact that it's not just youngsters who are out doing the passeggiata, or having a glass of wine with affettati misti (mixed cured meats).

From as early as the Middle Ages the town was known as "Bologna the Fat" for the agricultural prosperity that resulted in a well-fed population. In the 21st century Bolognese food remains, arguably, the best in Italy. With its sublime cuisine, lively spirit, and largely undiscovered art, Bologna is a memorable destination.

Read More



Trending Stories
Trip Finder
Travel Phrases

Learn Italian Phrases before or while you're on the go!

Download Now

No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.