Ahh BO-LOW-NYAA, I love you for one thing more than anything – for being the birthplace of ragu alla bolognese! Without a doubt one of my favourite comfort dishes EVER because of how moorish, filling and on-point it is. Who doesn’t love a good bolognese?! But in all seriousness this place is incredible and so different from Milan, Florence and Rome – why? Well as soon as I stepped foot in Bologna I noticed the bohemian vibe, young people and music EVERYWHERE – out of bars, cafes and on the street, this place is brimming with notes so it makes sense that in 2006 it was appointed the City of Music by UNESCO. Woo!
Bologna is also home to the oldest university in Europe and still to this day has so many educational institutions hence the young peeps. IMO Bologna is very much a working class city and was historically the the centre of the Italian Resistance movement and a base for the Italian Communist Party. Therefore the name “la rossa”, which Bologna is often referred to as, is ironic and represents a double entendre for the red bricks most buildings are made from as well as the city’s leftist politics.
Bologna is the largest city in the region of Emilia-Romagna with a population of about one million. Aside from the red brick buildings Bologna is famous for its towers, porticoes (over 38kms of them!), universities and one of the oldest anatomical theatres in the world. One of the things I found interesting was that Bologna has canals, and they are so stunning – not many but a few for us to view in hidden places! I didn’t find any tourists when I went to check it out too, cray! And honestly part of why I liked this city so much was because I felt like there were a lot more locals than tourists, and it’s always nice to experience that rather than a manufactured experience where everything is targeted to overseas customers. This place is authentic, its raw and red. Viva Bologna!
When I went to Bologna I was lucky enough to stay at two hotels, the first one being Stahotels Excelsior and the other Mercure Bologna Centro. I’ve got to be honest here and say that the differences between the two is vast, despite being right next door to each other! I would highly recommend Starhotels Excelsior as the rooms are spacious, modern and clean whilst I found the Mercure to be quite outdated and uncomfortable. Both are located in front of the Central Station, which I found to be a convenient location in which everything was walking distance!
La Sorbetteria Castiglione
La Baita Formaggi
No pictures for this one unfortunately but the food was so delish and probably my fave Bolognese! Fo sho!
Towers of the Asinelli and Garisenda
And as always remember to wander through the incredible streets – so much to see!