Emilia Romagna, the home of good food and the unmistakable cheerfulness of its inhabitants, is the ideal destination for a comfortable train trip: with Italo, you can easily reach Bologna and walk among its famous porticos and medieval palaces. Its cobblestone floors remind of its great medieval past, which harmonizes with its current modern character that makes it one of the most avant-garde Italian cities.
Bologna is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, which is why it has always been a privileged destination for Italian and international students, who have forged its cosmopolitan and friendly character. It is not a coincidence that Bologna also enjoys several affectionate nicknames that refer to its landmarks. Bologna la Grassa, in honor of its renowned culinary tradition; Bologna la Dotta, thanks to its university founded in 1088. Bologna la Rossa, a clear reference to the terracotta color of its historical palaces and porticos.
For a walk among its most beautiful places, you will have the embarrassment of choice: whether you are a cultural traveler, lover of museums and ancient churches, or more devoted to the good life among good food and entertainment, Bologna will not disappoint you. Start your itinerary from Piazza Maggiore, the seat of the Town Hall since 1336 and also celebrated by the most famous Bolognese songwriter, Lucio Dalla. Here you will find the Town Hall and the Municipal Art Collections inside, which will allow you to get an idea of the history and culture of the city from the 13th to the 19th century. From this square, the great covered path of the porticos starts, which winds through the old city for 40 kilometers and is a candidate to enter UNESCO's Heritage.
If you are in Bologna to appreciate its art, then the second must-see stop is the National Picture Gallery, which hosts some of the most important works of the Emilian artistic panorama such as Giotto, Parmigianino, the Carracci brothers and Raphael.
If you prefer to explore the center and maybe do some physical activity, what better opportunity to climb the famous Bolognese towers? The Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda Tower dominate Piazza Ravegnana and are the symbol of the city, built by the Asinelli family between 1109 and 1119. The Asinelli Tower, the highest with its 97 meters and 498 steps, is open to the public; visiting is recommended only if you do not suffer from vertigo or if you have already graduated... the urban legend says that climbing the tower brings bad luck to students who have not yet graduated!
To learn more about Bologna's religious itinerary and some of its most magnificent architectural works, start with the Abbey of Santo Stefano and the Gothic Basilica of San Petronio, which ranks 15th among the largest churches in the world.
Bologna's secular artisan and commercial tradition also makes it a privileged destination for shopping. The area with the highest concentration of commercial activity is the Quadrilatero, which historically houses numerous artisan shops, jewelers, markets, and local food shops. Finding this bustling commercial heart of the city is easy, starting from Piazza Maggiore, and heading into Via Rizzoli, Piazza della Mercanzia, Via Castiglione, Via Farini, Piazza Galvani and Via dell'Archiginnasio.
It is worth visiting Bologna just to taste its renowned cuisine: you are in the homeland of tortellini, ragù, mortadella... impossible to remain indifferent to the wide range of typical restaurants and osterias you will find at every corner of the city!
Finally, to appreciate the greener side of Bologna, you can get away from the center and treat yourself to some relaxation among the Bolognese hills. There are numerous public parks that can be accessed during an excursion outside the city, such as Parco Villa Spada, San Pellegrino or Villa delle Rose.
Now all you have to do is buy your Italo ticket and head to Bologna!