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An Italian language course in Bologna, May 2018

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Mar 22nd, 2018, 07:10 AM
  #1
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An Italian language course in Bologna, May 2018

Hello all you Fodorites, this May I plan to go to Bologna for a language course at the Instituto Koinč.
Does anyone have experience with this institute? I realize a week is too short but that's all the time I have available.
I plan to arrive a few days prior to the start of the course to see Bologna and hopefully also nearby Ferrara.
All suggestions (museums, restaurants, cultural activities that are off the beaten track) are most welcome.
Grazie mille.
Elisabeth54 is offline  
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Mar 22nd, 2018, 12:53 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have taken an Italian class in Bologna, but not from Koine. It was a morning class and it was totally not necessary to be there earlier to visit other nearby cities. I visited Ravenna , Modena, and Parma easily in the afternoon after the class. Ferrara and Florence are also trivial trips from Bologna. While off the beaten path is a trendy phrase, there is really no need to look for those sound good items. Comparatively speaking, Bologna does not get the insane number of tourists like Venice or Florence.
greg is offline  
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Mar 25th, 2018, 04:32 AM
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Hi Greg, thanks for your reply. The idea is that my husband and I will fly our to Bologna, four days prior to the start of my course. He already knows Bologna and I will have afternoons after class to go and explore the town. Together we plan to visit nearby places e.g. Ferrara, Modena and Ravenna. When my course starts he will fly home. We live in Europe.
I am busy reading up on all the trip reports on Bologna, Modena and Ravenna. Any suggestions on restaurants or other places of interest in Bologna itself are much appreciated. The preparation is half the fun I always think.
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Mar 25th, 2018, 07:54 AM
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Hi Elizabeth,

I found your PM before I found your thread so there may be some overlap but I don't think that will matter.

Of course I was there in February but I found that contrary to what I had thought before I went, I soon realised that by the time I had finished school, got to the station, [buses very irregular during the week] found the train and got to where I wanted to go, there wouldn't be that much time left for sightseeing. Also your school is further away from the station than mine so it would take even longer to get there. In any event there is so much to see in Bologna, that I felt that it was better to spend my afternoons doing just that.

So I think your plan of arriving a few days early to explore towns in the area is a good one, and to use your after school time to explore Bologna itself. The school may also offer afternoon activities that you can join in with, or not as you prefer.

As for favourite places etc. as I was there for a couple of weeks I got to quite a few museums and galleries - my favourites were the Museo della Storia di Bologna [quite close to your school; allow a good couple of hours] and the Palazzo Poggi in Via Zamboni which is an amazing miscellany of objects varying from wax models of the birth process dating from the C18 to stuffed puffer fish to diagrams of the most efficacious way to design battlements to withstand an onslaught from canon. I also enjoyed an evening at the ballet at the Teatro Comunale which is lovely with a fabulous chandelier and a very highly decorated auditorium; I bought my ticket for a seat in the gods on the day from the box office for only €10. Of the churches I went to, the most outstanding was Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vita, in Via Clavatura, which is in the food district very close to the main square. I won't spoil it for you but it is definitely a must see.

The food shops are extraordinary and I had some pretty good food, though nothing sensational. I tended to eat near my apartment, which was between the centre and the station so I don't think that any of my recommendations are likely to be of any use to you. I'm sure that the school will be able to point you in the right direction. You can also find loads of places in and around the market where you can grab a stool at a bar and just point to what you want, or there are stalls within a large market area where you can dine on whatever you like. There are also lots of bars which for the price of a spritz or glass of wine offer a buffet ranging from appetisers to more or less a full meal. And of course there are the usual pizzerie, gelaterie, pasticcini, cafes, even tea shops. The problem, in fact, is too much choice, not enough!
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