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Italy in August and Bologna hotels

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May 14th, 2002, 01:58 PM
  #1
lstjohn2002
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Italy in August and Bologna hotels

I have two questions: Going on mediterranean cruise in August, disembarking in Venice. Considering taking train to Bologna for 2 nights and then to Rome for 3-4. Question 1: How crowded is Rome during August (has most of the Romans flocked to the seaside?) and have you experiened any problems during this time. Question 2: cannot seem to located enough info on hotels or B&Bs in Bologna - any recommendations? Thank you!
 
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May 14th, 2002, 04:33 PM
  #2
claire
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I was in Italy last August. Rome was wonderful. Make certain your hotel has working air-conditioning. We were happy with the Hotel Aberdeen. All of the "tourist" stops....fountains, forum, colosseum, Vatican, Castel Sant'Angelo, etc. etc. will be available. Wednesday at the Vatican can be VERY crowded due to the mass Papal audience in St. Peter's Square, though. Was never particularly bothered by crowdes anywhere else. Certainly, tourists were everywhere. Don't know what effect 9/11 will have on this summer's crowds. Some restaurants may close for August, but you will hardly starve. Go & enjoy!

Caveat: Bologna has the distinction of being the city in Italy where the highest proportion of its inhabitants leave in August. Nearly EVERYTHING is closed! You will have every hotel that remains open nearly to yourselves. I'd recommend trying another city altogether & save lovely Bologna for another visit. The Adriatic coast is a mere hour or hour and a half train ride away.
 
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May 14th, 2002, 09:04 PM
  #3
Santa Chiara
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Claire gives good advice on Bologna. It is downright depressing in August. But I wouldn't go to the Adriatic either; it's packed in August. Florence would be like Rome; some things will be closed but a lot more will be open than Bologna. You would be most safe sticking to the big three: Venice, Florence and Rome.

Have a great time.
 
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May 15th, 2002, 02:24 AM
  #4
Catherine
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I was so glad to read these thoughts on Bologna, since my husband and I have a reservation there for one night in August--on our way from Venice to Rome. We will be doing a lot of driving during a three week period, and the drive from Venice to Rome seemed pretty long. We did think it would be better to break it up into two days, and since we're "foodies", Bologna seemed like the natural place.

Are there any alternate suggestions for one night? We are planning already to visit Assisi and Tuscany with the two grown children we're meeting in Rome.
 
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May 15th, 2002, 05:14 AM
  #5
Santa Chiara
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If you want to stop in Bologna for just one night, you will be okay. And there will be some restaurants open. These are usually the more touristy restaurants and are not the best ones necessarily but your hotel can recommend one that is open.

I recommend reserving some time to sit out on the piazza in the evening. A few of the outdoor bars that rim the piazza remain open (they take turns on their closing dates), and there is always activity even late into the night.

Of course, all museums will be open in August, or at least the major ones, and you can certainly find enough around the piazza to keep you amused for half a day.

Given your itinerary, I can't think of a better place to stop. You don't want to stop in Florence because the traffic is worse than in Bologna. All the little towns between Bologna and Venice will be similarily at half mast. Verona may be an option, but then you run into the opera season. You might also consider Arezzo, which is past Florence on the way to Rome.

Good luck.
 
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May 15th, 2002, 11:34 AM
  #6
lstjohn2002
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Thank you for the advice. We are also "foodies" but are not committed to stopping in Bologna. Our ship stays over one night in Venice and then we were going to stay in a hotel for another, flying out of Rome (3 nights there). We thought the train would be most easiest from Venice (hence stopping in Bologna) - but don't really want to eat at "mediocre" restaurants. Due to the season, do you think we should bypass Bologna altogether and do more nights in Rome? We are wondering if getting on and off the train in a 24 hour period will just end up being frustrating... Thank you-
 
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May 15th, 2002, 02:20 PM
  #7
Santa Chiara
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I think you would be much better off going straight to Rome. I had thought that you had a car, for some reason. If you haven't been to Florence and if you are going be train, then I would recommend Florence.

I certainly don't want to discourage you or anyone else from going to Bologna; to me it is the most intriguing city in Italy. But it really sucks in August.

And furthermore (let the spammers come), I have lived here for several years, and I am still puzzled why Bologna is considered the culinary capital of Italy. I am not saying that the good isn't good. I am saying I have had just as good throughout Italy. I will admit that Bolognese are VERY particular about their food, and you are hard-pressed to get a bad meal (unlike Venice), but I will say that I have had just as good in places like Pienza, Amalfi Coast, Vernazza, Rome, Florence, you name it.
 
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May 15th, 2002, 02:25 PM
  #8
Santa Chiara
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P.S. Ahem. Sorry for all the typos.
 
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May 15th, 2002, 03:58 PM
  #9
lstjohn2002
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Thanks again. If we "skip" Bologna, we have a few extra days (and I want to pass on Florence this trip). Would you do a third night in Venice or just add 2 more to Rome (for a total of 5 and then do some day trips to Pompeii, etc and perhaps rent a flat.)
 
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May 15th, 2002, 10:32 PM
  #10
Santa Chiara
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I would spend two nights in Venice and then the rest in Rome. There is more than enough to last a lifetime, and as you said, you also have options for day trips.

I believe that if you go to www.venere.it, you will find specials for Rome hotels in August, as that is sometimes considered as the low season. At least was true when I was looking for a hotel at the end of August last year.
 
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