6 Best Bars in Emilia–Romagna, Italy

Osteria del Sole

Piazza Maggiore Fodor's choice

Although "osteria" in an establishment's name suggests that food will be served, such is not the case here. This place is all about drinking wine; the entrance door has warnings such as "He who doesn't drink will please stay outside." It's been around since 1465, and locals pack in, bearing food from outside to accompany the wine.

Bar Calice

Piazza Maggiore

A year-round indoor-outdoor operation (with heat lamps), this bar is extremely popular with thirtysomethings, sometimes pushing baby carriages. Its large menu includes raw oysters. There's also a dining room upstairs.

Bravo Caffè

North of Piazza Maggiore

Rub shoulders with artsy celebs, locals, and visitors who dine while listening to intimate jazz, funk, rock, and pop artists from Italy and beyond. It can be a special, intimate place to see legends like Luca Carboni, Tullio de Piscopo, Nicola Conte, Suzanne Vega, Lisa Stansfield, Billy Cobham, and Roy Ayers.

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Caffè Rubik

North of Piazza Maggiore

Get a taster for Bologna's student life at this quirky joint run by Alessio, Edoardo, and a friendly troupe in an historic tabaccheria-bar premises. Take at pew inside by day or night amid an eclectic decor of old cassettes, artworks, and an ever-diverse soundtrack, or outside under the porticoes; choose from a menu of classic cocktails, beers, wine, and their beloved amari (Italian digestifs with a twist) plus juices, caffè, pastries, and toasted sandwiches.

Cantina Bentivoglio

University area

With live music including jazz staged nearly every evening since 1987, Cantina Bentivoglio is one of Bologna's most renowned nightspots. You can enjoy light and more substantial meals here as well.

Le Stanze

University area

At Le Stanze you can sip an aperitivo or a late-night drink amid a young and noisy clientele. The incredibly grand decor includes 17th-century frescoes in what was once the private chapel of the Palazzo Bentivoglio. The adjoining restaurant offers a small selection of Bologna favorites.