Bologna was such a surprise to me, and it quickly became the highlight of my three-week solo trip to Italy.
I had been keen to leave Verona, not because I didn’t like it, but because of a few factors, mainly a lack of planning on my part. I had also been homesick and had felt very isolated.
So I was looking forward to a change in scenery. I didn’t realise the scene would change quite so much.
Where Verona had been pretty and quaint, Bologna was gritty and raw and in areas, downright grungy. But the vibe in Bologna was entirely different.
Bologna is a university city. And a fascinating one at that.
Bologna has had a university since 1088. Can you imagine? It is the oldest continuously running university in the western world.
And because students come from all over the world to study, Bologna feels more welcoming. More accepting.
It felt more real. Once I got past the grunge, I absolutely loved it. I never once felt uncomfortable or unsafe. I loved that it had more of a café culture where people met and sat in cafes instead of just drinking their espresso at the bar and leaving. I loved the architecture and the uniqueness of the porticos that you could see everywhere.
Then there is the food. Bologna is well known for its food, and that is why I wanted to visit in the first place.
Soon I will write an in-depth post about my time in Bologna filled with recommendations on where to stay, what to see and the food tours I recommend.
Bologna took me completely by surprise, and it is one place that I cannot wait to go back to and share with my partner, Dan, as well as my small group tours. I am sure they will love it as much as I did.
A Taste of Bologna
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Fountain of Neptune next to Piazza Maggiore. This was the only full photo I could get of the entire fountain. The next day work began on cleaning it and a fence went up around it.
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