Updated: Jan 4, 2019
On my short Italian tour, I was guided to go visit Bologna. I only spent 48 hours there, but check out why I think it's such an underrated city to visit.
One thing to know about Bologna is that it has one of the oldest Universities in all of Europe! Bet you didn't know that, because I certainly didn't! So, that makes it a hip yet sophisticated city crawling with hip and stylish people. Not to mention the food!!!
"Bologna is the best city in Italy for food and has the least amount of tourists. With it's medieval beauty, it has it all!"
I totally agree with this quote. I wasn't expecting the charm of this great city because you don't hear much about it. I will say that the tourism is very minimal there because you can just tell by walking the streets that it's not saturated.
I started my mini adventure with a stroll to the City Centre, which holds all of Bologna's charm and historic artifacts including the Two Towers. I found while strolling, small alleyways that led to more fun charm! This place doesn't skip a beat when it comes to luxury either, they have it all!
The Two Towers are the symbol of Bologna. Interesting enough, they were created by two families competing against each other during the 14th century. HA! The tallest one was built by the Asinelli family and the shorter was built by the Garisenda Family. I mean did they HAVE to build it right next to each other?? I'm just saying. I have to say that they are just breathtaking when you see them up close, not to mention touching the stone that they were made of I think was the most incredible thing about them. I inserted a close up of the stone below.
Now the fun stuff, Food! I swear I think that Bologna has the best pizza, gelato, and caprese salad I've had while being in Italy. I found these places in the area of the Jewish Ghetto, which is very close to the University, so there are tons of cheap eating options and restaurants.
Ok gelato, I stumbled onto this place because it was bright and looked nice it's called, Sorbole! The gal that was working there also makes the gelato in house with all organic ingredients. And let me tell you how cheap, tasty and delicious this gelato was (I no longer pay more than $2 Euros for gelato). I got my favorite flavors; pistachio - "pistacchio" and hazelnut - "nocciola". Boy oh boy did I memorize these Italian words quickly!!! Now I don't make a big deal on things, but when I do then you should know that it's major! HAHAHAHAAHA!
Then for dinner in the same area, I again stumbled onto a restaurant called Ristorante Pizzeria D'Amore or La Bella Napoli D'Amore. Whatever it has two names, but it's the same place! Anywho, the caprese salad was the best I've ever had in my lifetime and yes that drastic! The pizza was great, but I'll talk about another place on that subject in a sec. Lots of pizzas to choose from, so I settled on a sausage pizza to see what was up with it. It was delicious and I also got into the habit of dipping my pizza crust in olive oil with salt! I couldn't let that amazing olive oil go to waste!!! Psssshhh!
Now it was time for a night cap, but Italians do things way different they have cocktails and appertivos before dinner. And, this is where I got familiar with what appertivos were. They are small finger foods that are served in every single establishment that serves any drinks. At first I thought it was just certain places, but then I started walking around more and realized that I didn't need to pay for dinner, I could've eaten for free this whole time! Dam fool! HAHAHAHAHAAH!
It is such a cool idea because they are all fresh and delicious and I didn't even get grossed out by other people touching the food, patrons are very respectful on grabbing their own (that was in my mind). HAHAHAHAHA!
The bars are small and encourage you to hang out in their patio area across from their front door. The strip that has a ton of bars to choose from is Piazza Malpighi.
The next day I wanted to head straight to Piazza Maggiore! It's the main hub of great shopping and museums. That's when I realized Bologna was a special place. I forgot to mention that all the sidewalks in this area are made from tile and marble, what the heck! It's crazy how beautiful the walkways are.
So, after I walked literally 20,000 steps I wanted to finish the last night with, you got it, more pizza! I took a chance on a small place that was close to my Air bnb. The name is trattoria pizzeria san felice. This is a down home cooking type place and man oh man they put their foot into the food! I still think I had the best pizza ever at this place while visiting Italy overall. Uh huh, that dramatic!
I gotta say that overall Bologna was a fantastic city to visit. I think a long weekend is a great length of time to stay there, and that's just due to the size. All of the attractions and places to see are in the City Centre area. I'm sure I missed some things, but I'll be back. In closing Bologna is filled with richness, culture, history and amazing food! I loved it!
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