How long in Bologna?

Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #1  
Jeff
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How long in Bologna?

Thinking about staying in Bologna for two nights, but I've read mixed reviews of the city in previous posts. Can someone tell me their reaction? Would it be better to visit one of the nearby towns (Parma, Modena)?

Thanks!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:19 PM
  #2  
peter
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we love bologna been there twice. good for 3-4 nites stay in the old part of the city. you can easily taake the bus to modena etc from there for a day trip. would recommend staying there suggest the hotel roma as is centrally located in old district on quite side street just up the alley from the main piazza.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:33 PM
  #3  
Martha
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Don't go to Bologna on a Sunday -- most stores will be closed. Also, remember this is a major college town and also known for its "red" leaning notions. If you can't handle a little "not so glad to see Americans" attitude, don't go at all. It is a wonderful city, and the old town is charming. It is not to be missed.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:43 PM
  #4  
kam
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Two great dinners, one day in the old city and one day trip to Parma or Ferrara, then over the mountains into Tuscany or Umbria. Best food in Italy. True that it has very communist leanings---about on a par with Berkeley!
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 05:39 PM
  #5  
Paul
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Stayed in Bologna 6 days in May. Everyone was friendly, really liked city, great food and NO tourists but lots of students. Agree with previous post about Hotel Roma. Great location, nice rooms and good staff. If you go you may like the Museo del Patrimonio Industriale. This is a new museum (free) which deals with industry in the Bologna area. Since this is really what Bologna is about (along with food) it is the equivalent of a museum about the history of Bologna. The problem is finding the place. Get good instructions on how to get there. It can be done by public transportation which is an adventure in itself. Also, if you are into classical music be sure to visit Bongiovanni Dischi on Via Ugo Bassi not too far from the main square. I believe it is Ugo Bassi 31. Have fun.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:03 PM
  #6  
russ
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I lived in Bologna for two years, working at the American university there (Johns Hopkins) and never felt one iota of "no so glad to see Americans" attitude. I also doubt you will get into a conversation about politics, although I suppose it is possible. Go and eat great food and see the sights. I kept plenty busy there for 2 days last June.
 
Old Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:07 PM
  #7  
Barb
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Depends on what you want. I've only passed thru. A friend stayed four a week with close friends and said he loved the food, the shopping and the chance to be a bit off the beaten path. I think you have to determine what you want out of your vacation. Bologna to me pales in comparison to other places like Amalfi, Positano, Como, Florence, Cinque Terre.
 
Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 04:56 AM
  #8  
Alice Twain
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Martha:

Currently Bologna is ruled by major Guazzaloca, a member of the right-wing party called Forza Italia. Also, you should be awar that in italy the right wing, although supportive of the US initiatives in foreign politics, always had a far more antiamerican drive than the left. On the other hand, the left, while opposing the US politics, always had a stron fascination with american culture. An american in itlay is far more likely to get stern looks from a right-wing voter than from a leftist. Lesftists might invite you to a debate, maybe even a heated one, about international politics, right wingers are more likely to go along with anything the President of the United States decides, while looking at you like you were a piece of shit just because you can't speak Italian and do not know how to roll spaghetti on your fork or bullshit like that. It is a kind of pardox, but it is also very true.
 
Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 07:08 AM
  #9  
Jeff
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Thanks for the replies - I think I'll keep Bologna in the itinerary!
 
Old Oct 3rd, 2002, 08:20 AM
  #10  
liz
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Hi Jeff,
I am glad to hear you are keeping Bologna in. No one mentioned it but it has some of the most unique architecture in Europe. I loved the place. What a relief to be far from the madding crowd! Plus the restaurants and food are not to be believed. I think it is worth, as Kam said, two dinners and a day in between. Also you can go to the department stores there and get great clothes, made in Italy with Italian fabrics, for a pittance of the price of Armani, etc. that look fantastic!
 
Old Oct 7th, 2002, 02:28 PM
  #11  
rar
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As a resident of Bologna, I would highly recommend coming here. Happy to hear you have kept it in your itinerary. Some tips..

-dont miss the walk up to San Luca. Great views of the city from up there, and a cool church too.
-the best gelato in the city can be found at Sorbetto on Via Castiglione. My 2nd fav would be the gelateria on via Delle Moline
-check out the Archiginnasio, located just behind the duomo. Make sure to visit the dissection room, amazing woodwork there. Not to mention the history that WWII left behind there.

Oh as far as anti-american attitude... doesnt exist. most people here are surprised to see tourists, as this city is mostly skipped over by them. the bolognesi are generally helpful and pleasent.
 
Old Nov 17th, 2002, 12:25 AM
  #12  
Sally
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We have been to Bologna many times, as my husband has some contacts at the University of Bologna. We love the place, but I remember that I didn't like it the first time I came, it seemed so dark and gloomy. But evry time I came I liked it a little more. It does indeed have beautiful architecture, and it is a wonderful place for alking around, exploring, enjoying the many excellent little coffee shops and restaurants... I am never bored there no matter how long I stay. The best times to visit are spring (May) - lovely weather and lots of patios to sit outside, or December - beautiful Christmas decorations. A bad time to visit is August - the town gets very hot and sticky in mid-summer.
I would advise to stay at one of the small hotels in the center; we always stay at Commercianti. Other good hotels are Capello Rosso or Orologio. Good luck!
 
Old Nov 17th, 2002, 06:24 AM
  #13  
Howard
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We spent a recent weekend in Bologna and loved it. A great city even if you just walk around the old historic part of the city. Good for shopping, too. Its Museo Civico has an excellent Etruscan collection.
 
Old Nov 17th, 2002, 06:26 AM
  #14  
Howard
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PS: The city of Ferrara (about 30 miles away) is also definitely worth your time. Among its must-sees is a castle with a real moat and drawbridges!
 
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 02:34 AM
  #15  
kavey
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I just booked an impulse trip to Bologna for January - to take advantage of Ryanair's current free seats offer.
We'll be there for 4 nights in January - Thursday night to Monday evening.
Can anyone tell me more about possible day trips?
I am considering a trip to Modena and am wondering whether everything will be open on a weekend day? Saturday or Sunday?
Which other trips would be your top choices and could you tell me about them.
Lastly, I have looked up usual January temperatures on the world climate site but am wondering about how it feels. Is rain light but prolonged or more likely to be short heavy showers? Is the sky sunny or clouded over?
Looking forward to visiting Bologna.
Kavey
 
Old Nov 18th, 2002, 01:09 PM
  #16  
Jon Strong
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Bologna is an ancient Italian city and I believe had the first university in Europe-none of the original buildings have survived.It is famous for melting down a bronze statue that Michaelangelo designed there.It was also the home town of Marconi,who discovered radio waves (his mother was Irish -one of the Jameson whiskey distillers).
It is quite a decent city and I enjoyed 2 days there.The problem is that it has to compete with Venice,Florence,Verona,Taormina,and Rome to name only a few and it is very difficult to compete with them.Still worth a visit though.
 
Old Nov 20th, 2002, 06:36 PM
  #17  
rar
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Daytrips from Bologna...

- go to Ferrara (1 hr away) to see the Castle Estense
- go to Modena (30 min) to find the real basalmic vinegar
- go to Parma (1 hr) to hang out in the old city centre and visit the duomo
- go to Ravenna (1 hr) to visit the Byzantine mosaics, especially Basilica San Vitale
- Florence (1 hr) (duh)
- Verona (1 hr 45 min), a beautiful city on the Adige river, famous of course for Juliet's balcony

Even Venice or Milan can be a day trip from Bologna (2 hrs each).
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 03:35 AM
  #18  
kavey
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Thank you...

I will likely leave Verona for a trip dedicated to that area and the lakes.
We spent 6 nights in Venice earlier this year.
I will likely dedicate another weekend trip to Florence in the future.

So that leaves me with your suggestions of

-Ferrara (1 hr away) to see the Castle Estense
-Modena (30 min) to find the real basalmic vinegar
-Parma (1 hr) to hang out in the old city centre and visit the duomo
-Ravenna (1 hr) to visit the Byzantine mosaics, especially Basilica San Vitale

We definitely won't have time to visit all 4, perhaps 2 would be about right...

I'd definitely like to see Modena - I will do some more research on your other three suggestions, before deciding.

Thank you for your advice and time,

Kavey
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #19  
Howard
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Kavey, you'll love Ferrara. I can recommend a restaurant there: Il Bagattino at Via Correggiari 6 in the central area.
Here's a couple websites where you can find some excellent pictures of the city and the castle:
http://www.photoroma.com/pnews.htm
http://www.planetware.com/photos/PHI.HTM
Those two websites are great sources of photos from all over Italy.
 
Old Nov 21st, 2002, 07:27 AM
  #20  
Betsy
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I've just added Bologna to my "must do" list as a result of this thread. Kavey, be sure to do one of your great trip reports when you return.
 

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