24 hours in Bologna

Bologna was the perfect pit stop for us on our way from Treviso to Florence (a journey that could be done in a day but why not stop off while passing through). We had been warned however that since it was University holidays much of the city would be closed for the summer. So a quick visit was all that we needed to hit up the main tourist spots.

The Bologna tower is one of the most memorable climbs of our trip (if not only because I was in desperate need to get down as fast as possible!) and is good fun if you are willing to put aside your safety for a great view – I’m sure it’s perfectly fine but being a little risk adverse I don’t tend to seek out towers on a severe lean with ancient wooden, borer filled steps as a fun afternoon activity!

The Anatomy theatre at the Archiginnasio of Bologna is also a must see. This hall was once used for anatomy displays and lectures at the university and is exquisitely decorated. At only 3 euros to enter it is affordable too.

The central city is funky and really beautiful to walk around. It’s charming vibe and food options aimed at the student crowd make cheap eats easy to find and a definite lack of the tourist nicknacks is refreshing after somewhere like Venice.

A word of warning – if you can avoid it, Bologna is not somewhere to visit during the summer holiday season (particularly mid to late August). Unlike many of its sibling cities round Italy which are experiencing an influx of tourists and people at this time of year, Bologna in parts was a ghost town and even finding food options that were open during our stay out of the very centre of town was a challenge.

We are certainly glad we visited though and would recommend others do the same. It’s a town that would could easily be missed on a quick tour of Italy but which provides a nice change of pace from the tourist packed, selfie stick havens of Venice and Florence nearby. It would appear all set up to have a vibrant, youthful atmosphere when students are back in town. For a smaller City, Bologna had a large number of vegetarian restaurant options. This is very unusual in Italy. Unfortunately they were nearly all closed when we visited so we didn’t get to indulge ourselves!

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