The best areas to stay in Bologna
Are you traveling to the Emilia-Romagna region and the Po Valley in Northern Italy for holidays? Discover the best neighborhoods to stay in Bologna!
Located between Parma and San Marino, between Venice and Florence, the city of Bologna has a population of around 390,000 and a population of approximately one million people in the entire metropolitan area. Home to world’s oldest university – founded in 1088 – Bologna has earned many nicknames, one of which is La Dotta (“the learned one”), and La Rossa (“the red one”) which alludes to Bologna’s left-wing anti-establishment tradition and its large proportion (30%) of students among its population. Bologna’s rich architectural heritage (the famous medieval towers of Bologna), its world-famous gastronomy, and its age-old culture shine throughout the rest of Europe.
Bologna is divided into nine administrative districts named Borgo Panigale, San Donato, San Vitale, Sàvena, Navile, Porto, Saragozza, Santo Stefano, Reno. To help you select the area that suits you best, we have prepared a presentation of the best places to stay in Bologna.
Old Town of Bologna
The historic center of Bologna is larger than that of Barcelona or Vienna. It takes the form of a wide hexagon extending over two kilometers from east to west and from north to south. The Old Town houses the city’s main square – Piazza Maggiore -, surrounded by the two Bologna Towers. If you’re keen to shop, walk down Via Rizzoli – the former Roman road “Via Aemilia” – a bustling shop-filled street. The Old Town is undoubtedly the economic, political, spiritual and cultural heart of Bologna since its foundation. If you’re fond of history and culture, this is where you should stay in Bologna.
The Old Town features an array of must-see sites including the municipal palaces, the Gothic basilica of San Petronio, the old libraries, the baroque cathedral of San Pietro, the medieval museum and the shops of the “Quatrilatero” area. If you’re a party aficionado, Via Pratello is the place to be: it’s Bologna’s bar-packed street, the perfect place to have a good time out. On sunny days, if you’re in the mood for a stroll or a relaxing outdoor moment, go to Parco Della Montagnola, north of the old town. The Old Town is an excellent area to stay in Bologna: a central district which should appeal to all ages and sensibilities.
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Piazza Verdi, the student district
An extension of the Jewish Quarter situated around Plaza Maggiore, this is Bologna’s trendy quarter, home to many students. Packed with an array of bars, cafés, and restaurants, this area is one of the city’s most vibrant and cheapest districts to stay in Bologna. If you’re keen to stay in a lively area, take a walk around Piazza Verdi, the favorite haunt of local students who gather there to chat, idle, drink, and smoke. The area houses several militant associations that perpetuate the city’s anti-establishment and the revolutionary tradition. As a result, a host of cultural and political events take place there. A vibrant neighborhood, the area around Piazza Verdi exudes an alternative atmosphere and boasts a creative soul. Don’t miss a visit to the Poggi Museum, housing collections that are unique in the world. An excellent place to stay in Bologna.
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San Michele in Bosco
Located to the south of the city, the area surrounding the church of San Michele in Bosco is the most affluent and also the quietest “bourgeois” quarter of Bologna. It enjoys proximity to the Margherita Park – Bologna’s green lung – and the San Luca Sanctuary. Home to spacious and elegant villas dotted with greenery, San Michele in Bosco is quite an expensive area to stay in Bologna: accommodation rates are likely to be high. You can head uphill to the Parco di Villa Gotti to enjoy beautiful views of the city center.
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