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Concierge.com

Bologna Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Albergo Al Cappello Rosso
Via dei Fusari 9
Bologna
Italy
Tel: 39 51 261 891
Fax: 39 51 227 179
www.alcappellorosso.it/ing/index.html

By looks alone, you'd never know this hotel was 630 years old. The 32-room boutique is as 21st century as they get in Bologna. Furnishings are urban luxe, with dark woods, warm-colored bed linens, and all the latest amenities (soundproof rooms, satellite TV, minibar, and Internet access). The hotel claims it's just 164 feet from Piazza Maggiore (but who's counting). Its name means "red hat" and refers to the headwear worn by workers who stayed here while building the square's church of San Petronio.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Albergo delle Drapperie
5 Via delle Drapperie
Bologna
Italy 40124
Tel: 39 051 223 955
info@albergodrapperie.com
www.albergodrapperie.com

Currently the best centro storico budget option, this 21-room novelty opened in 2004. It's in the heart of the action, on a colorful street of food shops and fruit and vegetable stalls. One of the things that keep prices low in this four-story hotel is the fact that there's no elevator. The style is cozy antique, with rotating exhibitions of modern paintings by local artists that lend a more contemporary touch. Bedrooms—which are on the small side—have cute cast-iron headboards; some rooms also have frescoed ceilings. There's air-conditioning and satellite TV, but no Internet access (though there are plenty of student-oriented Internet cafés in the vicinity).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Convento dei Fiori di Seta
34 Via Orfeo
Bologna
Italy 40124
Tel: 39 051 272 039
info@silkflowersnunnery.com
www.silkflowersnunnery.com

A novelty on the staid Bologna hotel scene, the "Silk Flower Nunnery" offers ten rooms in a converted 15th-century convent. Some will find the contrast between contemporary design details and the surviving original brickwork and frescoes a little jarring, but it works better in real life than it does on the Web site: Though colors and contrasts are bold, there's a playfulness in the mix of designer chairs, silk drapes, Turkish carpets, and huge flower prints (the nuns who lived here were famous for their floral embroidery) that mostly works. The lobby, mezzanine breakfast area, and four ground-floor bedrooms occupy the original convent church; the sacristy has been turned into a tiny but highly glamorous wine bar. Six upstairs bedrooms are more modern in style. Bathrooms are generous in size—and although only one has a tub in addition to the shower, there's a small basement spa area where guests can soak in a four-seater whirlpool or take a Turkish bath. Free Wi-Fi access is included in the price of the room.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hotel Baglioni
8 Via Indipendenza
Bologna
Italy 40121
Tel: 39 51 225 445
ghbologna@baglionihotels.com
www.baglionihotels.com/pages/hp_bologna.jsp

This 300-year-old palazzo opened as a hotel in 1911 and remains the swankiest place in town. Its Old World charm, marble lobby, and five-star service endear it to visiting dignitaries and celebrities. Each of the 109 spacious, individually decorated rooms is named after a famous Italian artist or performer. Plush drapes, brocade wallpaper, flowery prints, antique reproductions, and marble bathrooms give the accommodations an aristocratic swagger. Top-floor rooms are most popular and include small balconies, and all units are soundproofed to block out street noise. The hotel's ultraformal I Carracci restaurant is named after the famous Carracci brothers, whose 16th-century frescoes appear throughout the hotel: It's a favorite with expense-account businessmen and well-off local families gathered for dynastic Sunday lunches.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Corona d'Oro 1890
12 Via Oberdan
Bologna
Italy 40126
Tel: 39 051 745 7611
arthotel.corona@inbo.it
www.bolognaarthotels.it

A small, charming hotel just a few minutes' walk from Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the medieval quarter, the Hotel Corona d' Oro occupies part of a 14th-century house that still retains its original facade, complete with rustic wooden columns. The highlight is a stunning Art Nouveau salon with a retractable glass roof, where breakfast is served. Popular with visiting opera singers, actors, and artists, this is one of the few places in Bologna where you can be fairly sure of avoiding the business crowd. A tasteful 2004 refurbishment has given the whole place the feel of an elegant townhouse, with cream and beige tints predominating in the 40 bedrooms, none of which are alike. Some of the first-floor rooms have ceiling frescoes dating back to the 15th century; others have views of the city's twin leaning towers. A few feature small terraces. Part of the Bologna Art Hotels group (which includes Hotel dei Commercianti, Hotel dell'Orologio, and Hotel Novecento, the hotel offers free Wi-Fi and bicycle use.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel dei Commercianti
11 Via de' Pignattari
Bologna
Italy 40124
Tel: 39 051 745 7511
arthotel.commercianti@inbo.it
www.bolognarthotels.com

Much of the original architecture is still intact in this 12th-century palazzo that was once Bologna's town hall. Restoration work exposed parts of the original medieval structure, including massive oak beams, but while there are playful hints at its Gothic origins (heraldic motifs, a suit of armor sitting on a divan in the lounge), the prevailing style is warm, classic modern, with earthy wall colors and retro cherrywood furniture. The 34 rooms are mostly small but bright and cheery, with parquet floors and tasteful printed linens. Some have views of Piazza Maggiore; others (including four third-floor doubles with terraces) face the side windows and Gothic buttresses of San Petronio, the city's cathedral. The breakfast buffet is served in an area of the house where Roman and early medieval artifacts were discovered during renovation. One of the four Bologna Art Hotels—along with the Corona d'Oro, Hotel Novecento, and Hotel dell'Orologio—the Commercianti has free Wi-Fi, a fleet of bicycles for guests' use, and its own garage, though parking will set you back around $40 a day.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel dell'Orologio
Via IV Novembre 10
Bologna
Italy
Tel: 39 51 745 7411
arthotel.orologio@inbo.it
www.bolognarthotels.it/orologio/index.html

Simple, stylish and well located, this 34-room boutique, named after the clock tower (orologio in Italian) it faces, is steps from the famous Piazza Maggiore and other Bologna attractions. Small rooms, most with views of the square, have antiques, fabric walls, and marble bathrooms. There's a computer terminal in the lounge for guest use. Owners Cristina and Mauro Orsi of Bologna Arts hotels also operate Hotel dei Commercianti, Corona d'Oro, and Novocento properties. Each offers complimentary buffet breakfast and free city parking passes (vehicles are not permitted at the hotels, only in designated city lots for a fee).

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Novecento
4/3 Piazza Galileo
Bologna
Italy 40123
Tel: 39 051 745 7311
Fax: 39 051 745 7322
arthotel.novecento@inbo.it
www.bolognarthotels.com

Small but perfectly formed, the Novecento is our current candidate for best-value centro storico accommodation. The building that houses the hotel goes back to the early 1900s (hence the name), and its origins are hinted at in design details inspired by Viennese-style Art Nouveau (dark wood furniture and fittings, chrome bedside lights). But the overriding design idiom of this 2003 newcomer is a comfortable modernism, with stripy silk and organza curtains, colorful cushions and dried flower arrangements lending warmth to the sleek lines and muted cream and white color scheme of the 25 bedrooms. Bathrooms in sand-colored marbles have all the amenities, and the generous breakfast buffet features lots of fresh fruit, homemade jam, hams and cheeses. It's one of four Bologna Art Hotels (along with the Corona d'Oro, the Hotel dei Commercianti, and the Hotel dell'Orologio, whose perks include parking permits for the Old Town, free Wi-Fi, and complimentary use of bicycles.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
I Portici Hotel Bologna
69 Via Indipendenza
Bologna
Italy 40121
Tel: 39 051 421 85
info@iporticihotel.com
www.iporticihotel.com

If you need to be near the train station, this handsome newcomer is a more attractive option than any of the maxi-hotels that overlook the tracks (including the uninspiring new Una Hotel Bologna). Housed in a converted palazzo that belonged to a Belle Époque iron magnate, I Portici goes for a neutral, minimalist palette of colors and furnishings that serve to focus attention on its acres of restored Art Novueau frescoes—which embellish 60 of the 87 guestrooms. On the ground floor, next to the airy, skylit lobby, what was once the Maccaferri family's private theater is now used for regular café-chantant evenings of cabaret, theater, and jazz; here too is the restaurant, with a light Bolognese menu presided over by former Grand Hotel et de Milan chef Sergio Corvi. The hotel has free Internet access and a 50-berth parking lot, plus a small gym and Turkish bath.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Torre Prendiparte
7 Via Sant'Alò
Bologna
Italy 40125
Tel: 39 335 561 6858
info@prendiparte.it
www.prendiparte.it

This unique bed-and-breakfast advertises itself as "a tower for two," and that's just what it is: Owner Matteo Giovanardi has turned his former home—the second-highest of Bologna's famous medieval towers—into a one-bedroom romantic hideaway. Come prepared for adventure rather than five-star luxury: The thick-walled tower, which dates back to the 12th century, is 65 yards high, and the wooden staircases that lead to the rooftop terrace, with its breathtaking views over the Old Town, are vertiginously steep. But the main living room and sleeping area—an elegant old-world space with vaulted ceilings, furnished with family heirlooms—is on the second floor. Above this is a kitchen, where guests fix themselves a self-service breakfast, and a dining room where candlelit dinners can be arranged—accompanied, should you so desire, by a string quartet or medieval-style minstrels. Much in demand (from locals as well as visitors) for surprise birthday and anniversary treats, the Prendiparte is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.