Bologna or Bellagio

Old Jan 9th, 2014, 08:54 AM
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Bologna or Bellagio

We are traveling to both Bologna and Bellagio at the end of our two week trip but only have 5 nights total for this portion. I can't decide whether to stay 3 nights in Bologna or Bellagio.
But I have grateful to have these choices to quiver over.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 09:24 AM
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You are going to Bologna why????
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 09:32 AM
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Dukey1 - why not? We loved bologna both times we stayed there...
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 09:59 AM
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I've been lucky enough to have made each a base for travel so here's my 2 cents:

If you are going in the warm weather, stay longer in Bellagio and boat/ferry around;

If you love food (google Food in Bologna ), stay longer in Bologna.

From what airport are you leaving? Someone needs to re-confirm this but I think it would be easier to get to Milan or Rome from Bologna rather than from Bellagio.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 10:02 AM
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I'm with jamikins - Bologna's lovely, I spent 6 happy months there. And you can get to loads of places from there as day trips, if you have time - Vicenza, in particular, is worth a visit. Milan's do-able too, just look at the map and the train schedules ..... or just enjoy Bologna.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 02:11 PM
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Time of year? And it may sound odd, but what days of the week in Bellagio? Weekends are more crowded. Then again, there are loads of day-trips from Bellagio.... Mountains to the north and NE, Lugano, Bergamo, the Moto Guzzi museum and factory (tour) in Mandello.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 02:23 PM
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Yes, the time of year would make a big difference to me. If it is late spring-early fall, I would jump at the chance to stay in Bellagio. In fact I am headed there in late April. I like Bologna also, but I am not a foodie at all. So the food never is a deciding factor for me.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 07:25 PM
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Agree that Bellagio is a late spring through early fall place to visit and totally different from Bologna. Bologna has more of a bustling city feel and Bellagio is a much smaller, narrow cobbled streets, lots of shops, restaurants, etc. kind of place. We enjoyed both very much, but just a totally different experience. I think my biggest surprise in Bologna was the number of people asking for money, not verbally, but sitting here and there with boxes, etc. and the ones with dogs really bothered me.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 07:56 PM
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Don't know Bellagio. We loved Bologna....non one asked us for money.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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Never saw anyone asking for money in Bologna either.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 09:28 PM
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Is this still a part of your May trip where you are flying out of Milan at 10:30am? From the logistic point of view, there is no train from Bologna leaving the same day morning to get you to your flight on time. So if this is the case, you cannot be in Bologna the night before your departure. If you want to stay still for the last 3 nights in Italy, Bellagio is the only choice from this point of view.
Aside from this, Bellagio and Bologna cannot be more different. Bellagio is for scenery but can be surrounded by foreign tourists, while Bologna is for food and be among mostly or exclusively around Italians. I would just as well in Germany or in the UK when I visited Bellagio, because all I heard people talking were German or British English.
You seem to have spent time in Tuscany before getting to this area. While Emilia Romagna feels different from Tuscany, Bellagio offers you an even more distinct view of Italy.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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Thanks greg, I wasn't sure about Bologna to Milan airport. From Bellagio, we caught the train in Varenna (unmanned station got tickets in advance) to Milan and then took shuttle bus to airport. It was a tad hair-raising time-wise for our flight and the only train we could get on a holiday Monday!
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 08:24 AM
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We will be there starting on a Saturday evening through probably throughTuesday night and then take our time driving to Bellagio. Seems like it would be nice to end our trip in a beautiful place. Yes we are foodies so Bologna will be fun for us. Right now I'm going to check out the Paradise Hotel as several of you suggested but I also saw some apartments on Airbnb. Thinking of trying that also. I saw some posts on Fodors discussing it.
Greg- We are thinking now of keeping the car and driving to the Milan airport (maybe after dinner) from Bellagio, the night before our 10:30am flight. Squeezing a bit out of Bellagio that day, skipping Milan. We also would like the car to drive to Bellagio from Bologna taking our time to stop in all those nice cities along the way.
Thank you all for your suggestions.
3 nights Bologna 2 nights Bellagio 1 at the airport.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 10:59 AM
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wow, DH and I are in the minority here. hated Bologna. found it dirty (the graffitti didn't help), crowded, noisy, nothing but kids hanging around. we were there for 2 1/2 days, and we beat it outta there for day trips to Ravenna (lovely) and Florence. we just saw nothing nice about it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 12:15 PM
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Interesting...I didn't notice any graffiti! The kids hanging out were mostly around the train station, opposite side of town than where we stayed, maybe that's why!
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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Bologna is a university city..a lot of young people.

I don''t remember graffiti either. Many elegant, green parts of the city, unique architecture,
lovely hills nearby, excellent food, upscale shops.
Visiting Santuario di Madonna di San Luca, a few kilometers above the city, was memorable
...we stayed for six days ...one day trip .
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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Lori, I agree with you! We didn't like it for the same reasons and left after three days (planned a week there) and went to Parma.

There was even graffiti on the cathedral. Those who didn't notice the graffiti either were there before we were or perhaps it was cleaned up some time after we were there. Otherwise, I don't know how anyone could miss it.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 01:52 PM
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We were there in July of this year...maybe it has been cleaned up?
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 02:12 PM
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jamikins, I did a google search and found the answer on this site:
http://halfyearitalian.wordpress.com...08/01/bologna/

It says that on his/her first trip in 2005 (about the time we were there) (s)he asked how such a beautiful city could allow itself to be covered in so much graffiti. Returning after seven years the city had cleaned up its act to a remarkable degree.
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Old Jan 10th, 2014, 02:38 PM
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I went to Bologna for three nights a year ago in November and it was totally enchanting, gorgeous, atmospheric, alive in all the best of ways (piccies here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/douglas...7632060233870/ )

Then I went again last July and it was dullsville - - probably because the student were gone. In November they cordon off the city center as an all-pedestrian area, but in summer they didn't (a few summer pics here - - Lucca was much nicer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/douglas...7634874102329/ ).

I think Bologna is better when it is dark really early, and when the students are there. Never saw beggars either. Can't really remember any graffiti. But the aperitivo bars rule (buy a glass of wine, then snack endlessly).
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