Bologna Question

Old Dec 17th, 2007, 05:28 PM
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Bologna Question

Do you think that 7 nights in Bologna is too much?

I want to try the food and doing some shopping.

I also want to visit Venice and Florence as day trips (I've already been to both a few times).

Any recommendations on hotels?
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 05:50 PM
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If you want to see Venice again, split your time between Bologna and Venice. Bologna is a good base to visit nearby towns, such as Ravenna and Ferrara. In Bologna we stayed in the B&B Miramonte. It might be too hot in the middle of the summer as it was not air-conditioned.

http://www.emmeti.it/Welcome/Emilia/.../index.uk.html
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Old Dec 17th, 2007, 10:17 PM
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I agree that to visit Venice, even not your fisrt time, deserves more than a day trip and I'd suggest two nights in Venice.
Close to Bologna, do not miss Dozza and Imola.
A good hotel in Bologna is HOTEL AEMILIA, not so far from the center and, if you like, rental of bikes; also fitness room and wine bar:
www.aemiliahotel.it .
Very usual, modern and very close to the railway station: MERCURE BOLOGNA HOTEL, belonging to the chain Accor Hotels.
If you have a car, my suggestion is very unusual because I suggest you an agritourism: CAVAIONE, located at Paderno, an hamlet of Bologna on the hills. Anyway, even without car it is comfortable enough to use public bus and in 15 minutes you arrive in the center of Bologna. The view is very nice: www.agriturismocavaione.it .
In the center of Bologna, HOTEL TRE VECCHI, very famous: www.hoteltrevecchi.it .
Have a lovely trip, ciao.

Vincenzo
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 06:37 AM
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You are a quick train ride from Modena and Parma. These are great cities for day trips and you can pick up some balsamic vinegar and shrink wrapped parm. Yum!
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 06:50 AM
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Bologna is a great base and there is quite a lot to see. As well as the trips mentioned, you can easily get to Rimini for a day beside the beach. For a longer excursion travel to the Le Marche towns of Pesaro or Ancona.

We stayed both times in Best Western hotels:
http://www.bestwestern.it/BW/EN/98124_hotel_Bologna

The City is near the station although a bus ride from the centre. it was really comfortable and service was excellent.

For a picture of Bologna see:
http://www.hidden-italy.com/images/imagestn01.html

Modena is also worth a visit, not least for the colourful market and lovely city centre.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 06:54 AM
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Be aware that hotel rates can fluctuate a great deal in Bologna. If there is a trade fair on (which there often is; see http://www.bolognafiere.it/bof_index...=73&l=2&ma=157), rates can be very high.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 07:06 AM
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If you have a car, San Marino is only an easy hour and a half drive. You may wish to spend some time in Rimini on the way. During the day it is tourist central, but after the buses leave it is wonderful. If you can, stay overnight to experience this walled, medieval, mountain top city. You can also add another country to your list.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 07:24 AM
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We loved Bologna -not too touristy, with lots of great eating and shopping. We stayed at Albergo delle Drapperie, which is a small 3* hotel in the heart of the outdoor food markets area (great location!).
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 08:29 AM
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If your ideas of day trips are also San Marino and Rimini, and if you want, we can meet and have lunch or dinner together.
I live in Santarcangelo di Romagna, a very beautiful small town close to Rimini, Riccione, San Marino, Verucchio, Longiano and, believe me, each one of these places deserves a visit.
By the way, it is very true what Zerlina says about the rates of hotels depending on fair.

Ciao.

Vincenzo
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 05:52 PM
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Try the Hotel Roma (revies are on TripAdvisor). Moderately priced, comfortable in a kinda-dowdy-old fashioned way. Just south of Piazza Maggiore on Via d'Azeglio, a great base to explore the city.

Bologna is a good base for two foodie must-sees, Parma and Modena, as Ferrara and Ravenna. You can fill 7 nights easily there between local sights and day trips. It is a wonderful, not particularly touristy, city just to stroll and shop. I love the market area east of Piazza Maggiore. I had a wonderful visit there in October. Have a great time.
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 11:06 PM
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I recently stayed at Albergo Orologio is very nice and perfectly positioned near the Piazza Maggiore. I love Bologna as a city and it has a great vibe to it since it is so heavily populated with university students and the medieval style, red colours and porticoes make it very attractive. Yes it may be a little grubby but it feels so alive.

We visited Ravenna as a day trip. we also spent 2 nights in Dozza, a very pretty hilltown an easy bus ride away.

As others have said definitely visit Parma and Modena, you would want at least a day each. Also there is a 2-star Michelin restaurant in Imola if you like that sort of thing.

Bologna is also convenient for trains and you can easily travel to Florence from here for a day.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 03:47 AM
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Agree about Hotel Roma. The location is perfect. We had a huge room on the top floor with a sloped ceiling and view of the red rooftops of the city.. Staff is very professional. And oh, that food!

Vicenzo..can you tell us more about Imola and Dozza, as we do not often see them mentioned here...
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:41 AM
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Thanks guys for your replies. I'm all excited now. At the beginning, I was bit scared of spending a whole week in a city that's not a major tourist destination, but, with all the day trip options, I can see that I can totally fill up a week in case I "get bored" (which I don't think it will be the case).

After visiting wonderful Turin last year, I'm not into major tourist destinations in Italy because of the "real Italy" feeling you get while there.

As for Venice and Florence as day trips, they're just options in case I can't fill up a week with activities, but, somehow, I get feeling that, perhaps, I won't even have time to go those places.

I can see that there are plenty of day trips recommendations such as Ferrara, Modena, Parma, Imola, Dozza and Rimini. Any comments on which one is not to be missed?

My bookguide does, what I think, a pretty good job describing Bologna, but, are there any "secret" landmarks that I shouldn't miss?

I also want to thank you for all the hotel recommendations and I'm still open for some more.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:42 AM
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Not at all, I think it's perfect. In fact, I stayed in Bologna for 7 nights last year. I did some day trips and loved coming back to Bologna in the evening. A wonderful place to which I will go back again and again.
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 05:38 AM
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What links Dozz to Imola is part of their very long history: both, in the XV century belong to Caterina Sforza and, in Dozza, you have to visit, at the top of the town, the Rocca Sforzesca (people names it Rocca di Caterina). In this Rocca there is the Enoteca Regionale Emilia-Romagna, meaning the biggest store to taste and buy the best wines of Emilia-Romagna but, overall, to attend at their lesson/wine tasting whose frequency is weekly more or less.
Dozza is nice also because of its walls that are painted (murales).
Imola is on the flat, meaning not on hill, and as Dozza is very small (less than 6 thousands people), Imola is bigger (64 thousands people) and its more important monuments are Rocca Sforzesca (again !!!) and Duomo, but also, if you time enough the Complesso di San Francesco and Casa Gandolfi.
Do not miss a very nice restaurant (cheap enough) El Parlaminté. This is a local word to mean the local gossip of the Imola people; the same that in Venice are the "ciacole".

Ciao.

Vincenzo
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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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Hello MC, I just saw this thread of yours.

I am sure you will love Bologna as most do when visiting this wonderful city. And I would not be surprised if you find you do not have time to visit Florence or Venice again as you have so many places to discover!

I do not know when you are going to Bologna but I would make your hotel reservation as early as possible. In that Bologna has a lot of trade fairs it can be almost impossible to get a hotel room during those times. I am speaking from experience on more then one trip. And even Italian friends in Italy have been unable to get a room.

Your trip sounds wonderful!

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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 05:01 AM
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I'm planning on going to Bologna at the beginning of June.

Any other daytrip/hotel recommendation?

Thanks again.
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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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I don't think anyone has mentioned Ravenna, which is a must day trip from Bologna if you haven't been there. The train service from Bologna is excellent, so try to get a hotel that is walking distance to the station. We stayed at Hotel Paradise, which we liked. Also, watch out for trade fairs, which happen often in Bologna. During those times the hotel rates go way up. Here's a link to my trip report on our 6 days in Bologna:
http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/tripreport.asp?tripid=835
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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 07:14 AM
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I think 5 days in Bologna would be ideal, but with the many easy day trips outside of Bologna, 7 is OK. Since you are staying 7 days have you considered an apartment as opposed to a hotel...better living arrangements than a hotel, usually at a lower price, and with a full kitchen its great to purchase the local goods(especially the fresh fruits/veggies, cheeses, and of course Bolognese sauces and fresh pasta) and prepare some of your own meals...also allows you to pack lighter as you will have a washing machine...just a thought...we rented an apartment which was about a 10 minute walk to the town center and loved it, especially coming back to the apartment at the end of the day and having a glass of wine on the terrace as we watched the Italians go about their daily activities in the neighborhood we were in....good luck and have a great trip...Mikek
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Old Dec 25th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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