Current Time



Lay of the Land
Seen from the air, or on the map, Bologna is a rather battered bicycle wheel, with the rim marked by the line of the former town walls—now replaced by tree-lined avenues, with only some of the defensive gates, like Porta Saragozza and Porta Galliera, still standing. At the center of the wheel is the city's civic and spiritual hub, Piazza Maggiore; from here the spokes radiate, with busy, shop-lined Via Indipendenza heading north to the train station, while Via d'Azeglio heads south past the fashion shopping district to Porta San Mamolo gate, beyond which begins the series of rolling, olive- and vine-covered hills that locals refer to simply as la collina ("the hill"). To the east of Piazza Maggiore, beyond the landmark Asinelli and Garisenda towers, is the University district, one of the city's oldest, which spreads along Via Zamboni and Via San Vitale; characterful Via Santo Stefano, with its cluster of ancient religious buildings, and winding Via Castiglione are also well worth exploring.


Bologna, like much of Italy, is best avoided in July and August, when the weather is extremely hot and sticky. Spring and autumn are the best times, but the city is atmospheric in winter, too, if you don't mind the cold. And all those protective arcades provide shelter from even the most torrential downpours.


Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi is just over three miles from Bologna (Via Triumvirato 84; 051-647-9615, Buses run every 15 minutes from the airport to the central rail station. A one-way ticket costs €5 ($8).


Located just north of the Porta Galliera town gate, Bologna's main train station offers high-speed connections to Milan (one and a half hours), Florence (one hour), and Rome (two and a half hours). It's also well connected with Venice (two hours on the regional train), via Ferrara and Padova. For information and tickets, see

Most of the Old Town is off limits to vehicles. Walking is the best way to get around, and most attractions are near Piazza Maggiore. City buses are frequent and cheap; tickets can be purchased in tabacchi (look for the "T" sign), newsstands throughout town, or (single fares only) from roadside parking meters and dispensers on board buses. The single fare is ԁ ($1.60); €3 ($4.70) buys a day pass (ATC-Public Transport Bologna; 051-290-290; Taxis are best picked up at designated ranks—or call CAT-Consorzio Autonomo Taxisti (051-534-141, Visitors intending to drive into the center of town to hotel parking lots should call ahead to their hotel for instructions. Note that daily hotel parking fees can be steep—as high as €30 ($47).


In fall and spring, visitors compete with trade fair attendees for the best rooms and tables in town. Check the list of Bologna trade fairs before planning a trip (


The main tourist office is located at Piazza Maggiore. Branches can also be found at the airport and train station. For more information about Bologna, check the official tourist office Web site:

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



I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›


Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions


Send  to your phone!

Don’t show this box again.
This information will be sent directly to your phone and waiting for you in a text message. Simple click on the url in that message or browse on your phone.
Need more help? Our FAQ may contain the answer you need.
Never want to type in your cell phone number again?
Register now with and you'll be able to save your number and enjoy other great features like this.
I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement , Privacy Policy, and mobile terms and conditions. Standard text messaging rates apply.