Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! This weekly post is to help readers get a slew of travel advice from thousand of Deals We Like blog readers. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to Maui, The Greek Islands, Pacific Coast Highway, Argentina /Buenos Aires, Costa Rica, Cape Cod & The Islands, Iceland, Geneva, Canadian Rockies, Rome, Israel, Peru / Inca Trail , Stockholm, Chicago, Paris, Hanoi, Austin, Puerto Rico, Bruges, Salzburg, Istanbul, Las Vegas, Jamaica, India/Golden Triangle, Auckland, Singapore, Moscow, The Oregon Coast,Seattle, Portland, Hawaii Islands, Alaska Skiing, Brazil, Prague, Budapest, Paraguay, Cabo San Lucas, Edinburgh, San Diego, Hilton Head, Dubrovnik, Tanzania, The Seychelles, Belize, Miami, Vienna,London, Tahiti, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Burgundy, Charleston, and Savannah.
A few weeks ago many readers wrote in asking for Italy in general due to the sub $150 fares from Newark to Milan. While I already did a post dedicated to Rome last year, I wanted to hit on the other major tourist cities in Italy as well to help those readers that will be heading to Italy soon, and for cheap! This will include Venice, Florence, Milan, Bologna, Genoa, etc. (let me know of this are any other cities you want me to cover)
This week is going to be dedicated on Bologna. Here are some things I am sure readers will want suggestions on:
- Where to stay?
- How many days to stay
- Sites to see
- Recommended restaurants
- Anything else you might think is valuable!
If you’ve ever been to Italy, specifically Bologna, let’s help out many Deals We Like readers!
Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!
Headline says Bologna, body says Florence?
The last time I was in Bologna our stay was combined with a trip to San Marino (to see England play there in the World Cup qualifiers). While Bologna is of course fantastic (beautiful architecture, great food, lovely Italian cultural vibe etc), if you are there for a few days, I’d strongly recommend a day (or overnight) trip to San Marino.
San Marino is a tiny, fully independent country, contained within Italy and 1.5 hours drive from Bologna (no passport checks, and they use Euros). We drove there from Bologna, but you can also get a train to Rimini, then a bus. The old town of San Marino clings to a mountain top, and is focused around three castles on three separate peaks. It’s a great place to spend a day, and the views of the surrounding peaks and countryside are fantastic.
We stayed at the hotel Bellavista, which was reasonably pricey for what you got, but came with stunning views.
Sticking to Bologna, we stayed at the Savhotel, which is just outside the old town. It offered remarkable value – €54 a night (through hotelsclick), although that was nearly a year ago. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent hotel and I imagine a lot cheaper than the old town options.
We also had a couple of great meals at an authentic restaurant called “Bologna, I Matti Della Polenta”. Classic Italian food, good value, and very genuine service.
So – Bologna is a lovely town, and well worth a few days, but if I’m going to recommend something that the guide books might not, then that would be to extend your horizons a bit, and take a trip out to San Marino.
We took a day trip to Ravenna on Sunday when Bologna is pretty much shut down. Very nice mosaics all around town; a nice way to spend a Sunday! We also paid for a tour that included visiting a cheese factory, balsamic vinegar estate, and a vineyard.
Walking around the town was nice, though not initially.
My curling iron died on me on the first day of my trip and it was quite an adventure trying to (first) describe curling iron in Italian, then finding that no place we were sent to had one. Finally, by happenstance we walked by a small store on a side street that had one in the window. I could have kissed the lady that owned the place!
That experience taught me a lot about wandering around and immersing yourself. I felt like a local after that experience.
This September I spent 6 days in Bologna. Of all of my Italian travel, Venice, Rome, Florence, Sicily and Tuscany, Bologna is my least favorite place. We stayed in a fabulous hotel, the Grand Majestic, and we certainly enjoyed ourselves, but the best part of Bologna, for me, was access to the train station. We visited other cities and towns daily.
Thanks to your recommendation we’ve found the perfect hotel in Rome for our upcoming trip with the children on your site..and we are really very excited about are trip to Italy..Hope for the best..