A Taste of Bologna

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.

 

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancity

 

A Taste of Bologna

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancity
Basilica of San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood
Piazza Maggiore, the main square in Bologna

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfoodFountain 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.

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood
The Asinelli Tower stands at the entrance to Bologna with the Garisenda Tower alongside it. I was going to climb it. I was. But I didn’t. Maybe next time I won’t stuff myself so full of food I can climb the 498 steps to the top!

 

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancityLike most Italian cities Bologna has beautiful churches scattered about, some tiny like this one.

 

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancity
The city has enticing food markets like Mercato Erbe where locals come to buy their produce. Next time I am going to stay in an apartment so I can cook some of the seasonal produce on offer.

 

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancity
And stalls lining the streets and laneways of the old market quarter, the Quadrilatero.

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood
And Bologna’s speciality dish, Tortellini, can be bought everywhere. But be warned, it should be fresh, not dried out.

 

 

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood
The city’s unique look comes from all the porticos, so many in all styles ranging from opulent to plain and everything in between.

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood

 

 

An overview of Bologna, a university city known as a food mecca. I didn't disappoint. #bologna #italy #italiancity
You can follow the porticos up and out of the city on a walk that will lead you to the Sanctuary of San Luca. Or you can catch the little train as I did.

 

A quick look at the sights and tastes Bologna has to offer. An Italian city that should not be missed. #bologna #italy #italianfood

Bologna is a delightful city that is easy to explore and holds so many surprises. Its friendly vibe could be attributed to the fact that tourism hasn’t consumed it. It was the highlight, and surprise of my Italian trip. I joined some amazing food tours that touched on the culinary experiences this city can offer. But you don’t have to eat in restaurants to indulge, the markets are abundant in food and wine choices. I hope you will take the time to include Bologna on your next trip to Italy.

 

Cindy x

 

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Hi there! I'm Cindy the founder of Travel Charm. About 6 years ago I learnt to overcome anxiety to follow my travel dreams. And I haven't looked back! I would love to help you plan your travel so you can start living your dreams instead of just thinking about them.

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Cindy Reid

Cindy is the founder of Travel Charm and combines her passions of planning and travel with hosting small group tours and travel planning. She loves nothing more than helping people fulfil their travel dreams.

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