5 good reasons to go to Bologna
To see / do
Culture and history
Palaces of all kinds
Piazza Maggiore is Bologna’s central square, and is an open-air museum where remarkable buildings stand proud. You will get a 360° view of the square, with the Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo dei Banchi, San Petronio basilica, Palazzo d'Accursio and lastly the Palazzo Re Enzo.
An interdisciplinary university
Built in the 16th century, the Archiginnasio encompasses several Bolognese schools: art, case law and science. The palace is currently occupied by the library and its archives, as well as by the Teatro Anatomico. Body dissection classes used to be given in this splendid lecture hall.
At the top of the towers
Not far from the Palazzo della Mercanzia, the 100-metre tall Asinelli tower reaches for the sky. The slightly slanted construction has an unrivalled view. The entire city spreads out beneath it. However to make the most of it, you will need to climb up its 400 wooden steps.
Italian atmosphere at the Quadrilatero
The Quadrilatero is bursting with great places to have a drink or eat. This area in the centre of Bologna boasts a number of typically Italian grocery shops, bars and restaurants. In the same street, you can do your shopping, sip a spritzer and enjoy some delicious tagliatelle with ragù. Colourful houses make this lovely little break even more charming.
Lunch at the Mercato delle Erbe
Just a few steps away from Ghisilieri tower, the Mercato delle Erbe is a fabulous area for a quick lunch. Walking by the stalls filled with flavours and smells will awaken your senses. This taster of Italian cuisine is perfect for building up an appetite. The tables in front of the take-away food stalls are a lovely place to sit and eat.
Real bolognese sauce
Here, spaghetti bolognese does not exist. Don’t let the locals catch you ordering any! The typical sauce here is known as ragù. It is made with minced beef and pork, with a touch of tomato. The sauce is left to simmer for several hours, and served with tagliatelle.
Pasta, yes, but not spaghetti
Let’s leave spaghetti to its place of origin in Naples. In Bologna, tagliatelle dominate all dishes. Both thicker and wider, they better hold the sauce. Yet what locals in Bologna love the most are tortellini and tortelloni, which are bigger than tortellini. This type of pasta is stuffed with vegetables, ricotta or ham, and sprinkled with parmesan cheese.
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