By Mattia Cipriano

Aerial cityscape view from the tower on Bologna old town center with Maggiore square in Italy

What makes Bologna a good travel destination?

Bologna is a fantastic travel destination for infinite reasons. It has an enviable position on the map because it’s very central and it’s a good point to travel to and from other places in Italy. Its historical heritage is immense (just think that the University of Bologna is the most ancient in the world!) and it’s clearly visible in its city centre where the ancient part, dotted with medieval towers, Renaissance buildings and marvellous statues and monuments such as Gianbologna’s Neptune, is matched with the porticoes which give elegance to its streets. Food is spectacular because the region of Bologna, namely Emilia Romagna, has great culinary tradition and boasts finest products (DOP Balsamic Vinegar, Parmigiano cheese, cold cuts, etc.) and recipes famous all over the world such as Tortellini pasta or Bolognese Ragù. Last but not least, the area between Bologna and Modena is known as The Italian Motor Valley where all the greatest Italian supercar brands (Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Ducati, etc.) were born.

Tell us something that every traveller should know when travelling to Bologna?

Sometimes the best way of exploring Bologna is to follow your senses. If smell something great while walking, just follow your nose, if you see a red brick building standing out in the middle of modern palaces, go check it out and so on. Bologna is a city of discoveries, you never know what’s behind the next corner.

Any essentials that one needs to carry when they travelling to Bologna?

Comfortable walking shoes and very good appetite are the only things you should carry with you!

Which are the most surreal places to visit when in Bologna?

Probably the top of its towers from which you can get the most spectacular view and also the ancient University is a really surreal and beautiful place to discover

Can you tell us a little about the life of the locals in Bologna?

The locals are very sociable people. The ones you might expect to find in a typical trattoria and share a story and bottle of wine with.

What are the local delicacies/drinks which one must try and wherein Bologna?

Handmade Tortellini (egg pasta stuffed with meat).
Ragù Alla Bolognese (meat and tomato sauce for pasta)
Tigelle (fried panini stuffed with cheese and cold cuts) which are perfect for small breaks
Original Lasagne (layers of flat pasta alternated with ragù and besciamella and oven cooked).
Lambrusco wine (typical from this area, Lambrusco is the top-selling wine in Italy)

Where can one get vegetarian food in Bologna?

The Emilian cuisine is not typically vegetarian, but since Bologna has become an international city, almost all the restaurants have vegetarian alternatives including even revisited recipes such as “Vegetarian Lasagne”. Handmade pasta and a great variety of typical cheese are definitely a more than valid alternative to the traditional meat-based cuisine.

What is a must try dish when in Bologna?

Above all, probably the original Lasagne is something you shouldn’t miss.

Can you please list the top 3 Indian restaurants in Bologna?

Taj Mahal, Ristorante India and Agra (the best Indian takeaway in Bologna)

What are the things which one must buy when in Bologna?

Since Bologna is world renowned for its food, a lot of typical food shops are prepared for shipping so food is probably the main thing. Apart from that, typical gifts are the ones related to supercars so we suggest you go for a trip to one of the Supercar factories and museums where you will be able to find gadgets which are perfect gifts for your family and friends.

Which are the most romantic places to visit in Bologna?

Either the small window in Via Piella facing on the Moline Canal or a panoramic spot such as one of the towers or San Michele in Bosco.

What are the local festivals which one must visit when in Bologna?

Whenever you go to Bologna there’s always a festival or fair. Most of them are related to seasonal food and those are definitely recommended!

The things guidebooks will not tell anyone about Bologna?

Below the crowded streets of Bologna, there’s a net of canals which are unfortunately closed to the public but, speaking with the right guide, you can build an interesting walking tour including unexpected views over Venice-like canals

According to you what is the best thing about Bologna?

Amazing food in the elegant and magnificent framework of the city centre.