This is a quite bohemian street containing many good restaurants and bars that are well worth a visit, just follow the crowds for the best ones. I would especially recommend Toto located for pizza and jugs of vino frizzante and bar di Marche on via del Borghetto.
Just off Piazza Maggiore is one of the most tantalising sights in the world - a warren of streets dedicated to the best fresh produce in Italy. Cheese, salami, fish, chocolate, fruit, vegetables, bread, pastry, and even a Chinese takeaway - all will arouse your taste buds. And on Viccolo Ranocchi - heralded by the single word Vino - is the ancient Osteria del Sole where you can take your food and buy a drink to wash it down.
Take via Pescherie Vecchie off Piazza Maggiore and follow your nose.
Google map: bit.ly/fmzvyZ
Osteria del Sole is a unique institution. From the outside it's nothing to write home about - there's just the single word Vino and a slightly grubby entrance. Inside there is a cross section of Bolognese society, tucking into food they've bought around the corner in the market or eating a packed lunch. No food is served, just wine or beer. You go for the craic, especially on a Friday night when the place is heaving and has taken over the tiny street outside.
A great foodie blog by two people who love eating: where to eat fabulous food when you are there and how to cook the food when you get home. And all with luscious photos.
You’ll find plenty to do in the city of Bologna itself, but you can take a day trip if you hire a car to Mirabilandia, which is about an hours drive from Bologna.
Mirabilandia is a theme park with its own beach area and beautiful gardens but most people visit Mirabilandia for the fantastic thrill rides.
This is a very old castle, with beautiful frescoes, enormous wrought iron chandeliers hanging by ropes from the ceiling, stone staircases and shutters on the windows that you can wander in and out of as though it were your own home. You don't need to take a book, you'll discover a new writer in the library or a classic you always meant to read or something someone once told you about, then you can take it and settle in a hammock under the magnolia trees with a glass of something delicious that will have appeared as if by magic. Or, if you're feeling more energetic, Clark might let you help him in the garden, weeding, planting, trimming and designing. After dinner, if you are not still in the thrall of the good company you have shared it with, you can take a walk round the gardens lit by candles in the trees, see the owls swooping overhead and identify plants by their smell.
Castello di Galeazza, Via Provanone, 8585, 40010 Galeazza di Crevalcore, Bologna, Italy
Tel. (+39) 051 985 170
A rustic rural retreat based in a castle, 40 minutes drive North of Bologna, Italy. Only accommodating 10 guests, in frescoed rooms, it is like staying in your own personal castle. No TV, no WiFi and probably no mobile phone reception (as it is in the middle of nowhere) but lots of books, music and art, along with good food and wine. Early morning balloon rides followed by breakfast anyone?
Castello di Galeazza
Via Provanone 8585
40014 Galeazza di Crevalcore (BO)
Tel +39 051 985 170
Nearest stations: Bologna or Crevalcore
It is a massive cathedral and inside there is a hole in the roof through which a slowly (but perceptibly) moving spot of light shines illustrating the movement of the earth round the sun and the exact time of the solstices and astrological periods on a huge linear sundial on the marble floor. Arrive shortly before 12:30 (probably 13:30 in the Summer?) and you can follow the spot of light as it crosses the floor to reach its destination. Great for kids and free!
A side chapel also contains a Foucault's pendulum kept in motion by magnets.
It is a sandwich/cake shop selling wonderful slices of pizza. If you are staying at Porta San Mamolo hotel and arrive in between meal times (which appear to be fairly rigid in Italy!) go round the corner and experience very delicious sandwiches & pizza (which they will warm up for you).
From Hotel Porta san Mamolo it is 1 minute walk. From hotel door turn right, at the end of the street turn left along Via Paglietta and then right and it is on the corner of Viale Enrico P and Via Massimo.
It is free to go into almost all of the museums in Bologna and this one is amazing - due in large part to the work of an 18th century female artist/anatomist who made models to enable medics to study the human body. Some are wax and some are human bone and wax. I would not recommend a visit if you are pregnant - the obstetrics section, although fascinating, could be upsetting: it contains midwife-training models of wombs illustrating difficult foetal presentations, many of which would surely have resulted in infant and/or maternal death.
It also contains (less alarming!) sections on natural history and physics.
It's a stylish cafe/bar/cake shop in the centre of Bologna and at around 6pm they put out a mouth-wateringly delicious free buffet. It starts with tempting canapes, and after a bit they bring out warm things. The drinks are not cheap (it was 6 euro for a glass of wine) but as you can eat all you want for the price it is brilliant. It is also fascinating watching the bar staff prepare and serve cocktails with aplomb, and watching the other customers.
Piazza Galvani (web = caffezanarini.com)
Cantina Bentivoglio in Via Mascerella is a wine bar that serves brilliant food. The pork in balsamic vinegar sauce is meltingly tender, and the beef in red wine on polenta - so delicious. I finished off with lemon sorbet with "wodka" (the English translations in the back of the menu provide a few laughs). Plan to eat at 9 or 9.30 and you get to listen to live jazz - makes for a great evening!
Via Mascarella (round the back of the Palazzo Bentivoglio)- look up "Cantina Bentivoglio" on the net for more details
The hotel (4 stars), located in Bologna city centre, is the wonderful result of
an accurate restoration just completed.
Every room is fully decorated with original "a fresco" decorations in liberty style. It offers congress room, fitness, restaurant. I enjoyed it a lot!
Via Indipendenza 69
40121 Bologna - italy
Dalfiume Nobilvini produces insuperable wines and they are wines that are necessary to know.
The cellar is located in Castel San Pietro Terme, not far from Bologna, on the way to the Adriatic riviera.
Built in the 12 and 13th centuries as status symbols by rich Bolognese merchant families, the city originally had over 100 of these towers but these are the tallest of the few which remain.
You can climb the Torre Asinelli, the taller of the two at about 100m, which has great views over the red roofs of the city and the hills beyond. The shorter Torre Garisenda, which had its top removed in the 1300s to stop it falling over, is closed to visitors as it has a more extreme lean of about 3m.
Piazza di Porta Ravegnana.
Open 9am-6pm, entrance fee €1,55.
In Bologna, this is the quintessential eaterie. The menu is hand-scrawled, only in Italian, as if the Bolognese want to keep Fantoni a secret for themselves. Simple, perfect Italian food with no frills and excellent prices. Queue or book ahead as the al fresco terrace is jammed all summer long.
Go to Fantoni, it is worth a trip to Bologna in itself.
Via del Pratello, 11; tel: 051 236 358
Bologna is THE place to spend a weekend eating. It has the most amazing pasta you've ever tasted - apparently it's made from a different sort of flour, but it soaks up the sauce deliciously.
You must visit Tamburini. It’s an amazing deli but also a restaurant/cafe (self service), which has delicious food at lunchtime - packed out when we went, but well worth the queue.
It felt like a Bolognese institution to us.
Via Caprarie, 1 - 40124 Bologna; Tel: +39 (0)51 234726; Fax +39 (0)51 232226; www.tamburini.bo.it/
Send your feedback or queries to email@example.com