I recently spent a week on holiday in Bologna visiting friends, and have chronicled all the different sites you can visit as a tourist. You can read the blog post here.
But aside from doing some sight seeing, you also need to eat, drink and shop… So if you are looking for places to do just that, read on below for my top recommendations.
As a coffee amateur I was excited to find a place in which I could have the real Italian experience. Doing some research online beforehand I came across Caffé Terzi and decided to head over there.
Completely different to the cafés you may be used to where you sit down, take your time, lounge on a sofa or work using free wifi, Caffé Terzi is an Espresso bar. People show up, order their espresso, drink it at the bar and walk off (though in the morning you can see people standing and reading their papers).
The staff are super friendly, spoke English and asked me what type of coffee I wanted before serving me this wonderful Espresso macchiato with caramel. I highly recommend it.
– Ca’Shin Situated just outside of Bologna in the hilly countryside, you can either hike there or drive there and spend the afternoon enjoying the scenery. Additionally I think they offer other activities at the house
such as yoga courses etc. They are open also in the evening for dinner, no matter what time of day you go the location is gorgeous, food good and kind staff.
– Trattoria Trebbi If you are looking for traditional food from the Emilia Romagna or Bologna region, head over here. Also open on Sundays, in a cute and quiet street.
– Cantina Bentivoglio This place is actually a jazz club, so you can go and enjoy some music as you have your dinner, for popular acts it gets booked up pretty quickly. The dining room(s) is huge however so there is quite enough space. The food was good, however a little highly priced.
– Mercato di Mezzo, indoor market in the Quadrilatero area with plenty of nice things to eat and drink. Great for a stop for aperitivo or lunch. Why not try an Apérol Spritz?
What to eat and drink?
In Bologna I would highly recommend: the mortadella, delicious and available everywhere; speck, a type of prosciutto; tortellini en brodo: this is how you are supposed to eat the tortellini, in the broth in which they are cooked. It is delicious! And of course Gelato seems an obvious pick for your afternoon sustenance as you walk around the city.
To drink: why not try Lambrusco? It is surprising: a sparkling red wine to be drank cold, however it’s extremely good. I am not a big drinker of red wines, but this is a nice way to get the taste and body of a red without it being too strong and overpowering. It also keeps things fresh so if it’s summer and you don’t fancy a red, this is a great intermediate solution. I would highly recommend trying it, even if the concept sounds odd!
If you want to watch a movie, head out to the Bologna Cineteca. The location is super nice, and they show films in English (though to be sure, enquire beforehand). The Cineteca is also working on an impressive film archive, find out more here.
Where to get your hair cut?
Odd one, but should the fancy take you to suddenly get your hair cut (as it did me) then head over to RD Hair Stylist, Via Sant’Isaia 3/2B, open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9:30 – 19:00. The guy is delightful, speaks English, and took me without an appointment. Hair wash, cut and blow dry cost me only 30Euros.
So there you have it, as you tour and sight see, you can also eat, drink, watch a movie and get a hair cut. Hope you enjoy, let me know if you’ve visited any of the above or have your own recommendations!