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Bologna is a city in northern Italy and is the capital of Emilia-Romagna, a region in the Po Valley. The city has about 400,000 inhabitants and is one of the wealthiest cities in the country, at the same time offering splended culture and Italian cuisine to curious travellers who go beyond the general route.
Bologna's historical city centre is one of the biggest in Europe (after Venice) and there are dozens of buildings dating back to the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings styles.
Bologna's climate is nice, with generally warm summers from late May to September when temperatures are usually between 25 °C and 30 °C and nights are roughly 10 °C colder than that. It can get pretty hot though on some day in July and August and combined with the European crowds this may not be the best time to visit. Winters last from December to March with temperatures well below zero during the day but around freezing in the coldest months (December and January). Summers are driest although winters don't see that much of rain (or the odd snow flock) either. Most of the precipitation falls during the early spring (March-early May) and late autumn (October-November) months. A good time to plan your visit would be late May, early June or the month of September, avoiding hot or cold weather, rain and crowds alltogether.
Bologna Airport (BLQ) offers numerous flights throughout Europe and is one of the fastest growing airports in the country. Lowcost airlines like Ryanair serve cities like London, Oslo, Madrid, Brussels, Frankfurt, Valencia, Paris and Birmingham, among other smaller cities. Many other airlines have domestic or international flights, including to Rome, Reykjavik, Athens, Prague, Vienna, Dublin, Geneva, Berlin, Cologne, Lisbon and Casablanca.
The city is at the junction of the A1, A14 and A13 highways, and so is easily accessible from anywhere in Italy. Most traffic from Milan would exit the A1 and take the Tangenziale, but beware this road at rush hour because it is horrendously packed. Expect to use 2 hours from the A1 exit to the Tangenziale to the centre at certain peak times over summer busy weekends, especially at the beginning and end of August.
Ferrara has regular bus connections, taking about 1 hours. For most other regional or domestic cities, trains are a far better option.
Eurolines connects Bologna directly with several European cities, though again, trains and planes are a far better option and hardly more expensive, if not cheaper.
TPER manages public transport in Bologna. Their information and ticket centres are available at some central locations in the city, including the railway station Bologna Centrale and Autostazione di Bologna, the intercity bus station. Bus maps are available there. Single tickets and some other types of bus tickets can be also purchased at many other resellers around the city (newspaper sellers, tobacconists, cafés, etc.).
Bologna is a great place around which to travel on foot, as getting around the city is quite easy: the streets are well marked. It is also a great way to find hidden gems which are frequented by locals. Some care has to be taken crossing roads: the city centre swarms with scooters and small motorcycles (cars banned during the day) and they ride them everywhere.
Bikes are most popular among the people of Bologna. They are available for rent on various location around the city (Dynamo, the bicycle parking station, can be found nearby the train station). You can ride on the many bike trails and on the side of the road. Be sure to lock them safely with a good lock, as they get stolen all around town, especially around the University.
There are many choices for where to eat, as Bologna is generally considered to be the gastronomic centre of Italy, the Food Capital. It is difficult to find a truly poor meal as the Bolognese, like most Italians, use fabulous quality local produce with sparkling ingenuity.
Consider visiting the many pubs and clubs of Via Zamboni (university zone); some, such as "The Irish Pub", popular with students and foreigners, give happy hours on Tuesday/Wednesday. "Al Piccolo" down the road in Piazza Verdi is another famous student haunt, a live DJ playing techno into the early mornings. Otherwise, the Via Pratello has many bars and is the center of the city's alternative scene. Worth a look in particular is "Mutanye", whose owner is reputed to have been part of the Red Brigade in his youth, hence the many soviet posters. Via Mascarella, in the northeast area of the city, has plenty of nightspots, among them two jazz clubs. And, finally, check out the many bars and pubs hosting music contests and concerts, from rock to jazz to "liscio", the traditional folk songs in Emilia-Romagna.
|Albergo Centrale bologna||via della zecca 2 bologna||Hotel||85|
|Albergo delle Terme||Viale delle Terme 1113 Castel San Pietro Terme Castel San Pietro (Bo)||Hotel||-|
|Aparthotel Feeling at home||Via Bruno Tosarelli 76/2 - Castenaso Bologna||Apartment||-|
|Arcoveggio Hotel||Via Lionello spada 27||Hotel||87|
|Astoria Hotel||Via Fratelli Rosselli, 14||Hotel||81|
|B&B Alla Corte del Picchio||Via Picchio, 1 Castelguelfo di Bologna||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Anna||Via Orfeo 24||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Baroni Giorgia||Via Morgagni 9||Guesthouse||82|
|B&B Centro Turistico Citta di Bologna||Via Romita 12||Guesthouse||82|
|Bed & Breakfast a Bologna||Via Cairoli, 3||Guesthouse||86|
|Bergonzoni Marina B&B||Via Martiri Di Monte Sole 17||Guesthouse||-|
|Cà del Buco||V. Lavino 462 Monte Pastore, Monte San Pietro||Guesthouse||84|
|Cristina Rossi Bed and Breakfast||Via Porta di Castello 6||Guesthouse||90|
|Eurogarden Hotel Bologna||Via dei Billi 2/a Ozzano Emilia||Hotel||-|
|Fuoriporta||Via Montello 4||Guesthouse||-|
|Hostel San Sisto - Due Torri||via Viadagola 5||Hostel||68|
|Hotel Castello||Viale Terme 1010/b||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Due Torri||Via Degli Usberti, 4||Hotel||74|
|Hotel Europa-Bologna||Via Cesare Bodrini, 11||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Fiera||Via Stalingrado 82||Hotel||70|
|Hotel Holiday||via Bertiera 13||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Il Canale||Via Bertiera, 2||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Il Guercino||Via Luigi Serra 7||Hotel||72|
|Hotel Imperial||Via del Gomito 16||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Marconi||Via Trasversale di Pianura 2/C - Bentivoglio||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Nettuno||Via Serenari, 13||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Regina-Bologna||Via Indipendenza, 51||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Tre Vecchi||Via Indipendenza, 47||Hotel||-|
|La Bella Zola||Via San Pancrazio, 10 Zola Predosa||Guesthouse||-|
|Stazione Centrale||Galleria 2 agosto 1980 n.1||Apartment||-|
|Top Hotel Park Bologna||Via Nazionale Toscana, 67||Hotel||82|
|Residenza al Collegio di Spagna Bologna||Via Collegio di Spagna 13||Guesthouse||-|
|One Room||Via Antonio Di Vincenzo 33||Guesthouse||86|
|Centro Europa Uno||Via Emilia 297,||Hostel||-|
|King Rose Hotel||via Sandonato 79/2||Hotel||-|
|Stabellini-Brandola||Via Allende 9, Trebbo di Reno||Apartment||-|
|B&B La Conchiglia||Via Sant' Isaia, 27/2||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|AmaBologna||Via Saragozza 163||Guesthouse||-|
|Hotel Giardinetto||Via Massarenti, 76||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Continental||via Giuseppe Garibaldi 8 Zola Predosa||Hotel||-|
|Relais Antica Residenza D'azeglio Vicino Rizzoli||Via Massiimo D'Azeglio 64||Guesthouse||-|
|Lodole Country House||Località Lodole, 325 Monzuno||Hostel||-|
|Castello di Galeazza||Via Provanone 8585 Galeazza di Crevalcore||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Anna 2||Piazza dell'Unità 3||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Il Castello||Via Porta di Castello 4 Bologna||Guesthouse||84|
|A Casa Fachin||Via Frassinago, 16||Guesthouse||84|
|Residence Alle Scuole B&B||Via Scuole, 3 Granarolo dell'Emilia (BOLOGNA)||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|B&B Hope||Antonio Di Vincenzo 40||GUESTHOUSE||87|
|Accademia||Via belle arti 6||Hotel||84|
|B&B Romina||Via De' Gombruti 16||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|A Casa Vittoria||Viale Alcide De Gasperi 2/4||Guesthouse||-|
|Cherry Cat Bed & Breakfast||Via Fleming 38 Monte San Pietro||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Le Stanze del Carro||via del Carro, 11, 40126, Bologna, Italy||Guesthouse||-|
|B&B Ca De Taruffi||Via Maranina, 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Residenza Ariosto||Via Marsala, 11||Apartment||84|
|Bologna Old Town||Via A. Rubbiani n. 2||Guesthouse||85|
|Bozz 2||Via Palestro 23||Apartment||83|
|Il Nosadillo||Via Nosadella, 19||Guesthouse||86|
|B&B Parigi||Via Parigi 4 Bologna||GUESTHOUSE||83|
|B&B Centro Turistico Citta di Bologna||Via Romita 12||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Riva Reno B&B||Via Riva di Reno 33||GUESTHOUSE||82|
|Hotel University||Via Mentana, 7||Hotel||83|
|Hotel Donatello||Via Dell' Indipendenza 65||Hotel||-|
|B&B Pratello||via Del Pratello, 97||GUESTHOUSE||84|
|Hotel Atlantic||via Galliera 46||Hotel||-|
|B&B Via del Carro||Via Del Carro 8 40126 Bologna||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bologna Bed and Breakfast||San vitale 126||GUESTHOUSE||75|
|Guest House Bologna||Via Sant'Isaia, 21||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bozz 3 Apartment||via Asiago 21||APARTMENT||-|
|B&B Adriano||Via Dei Mille, 10||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Ayhome B&B||Via Savenella 2||GUESTHOUSE||87|
|Pisolo B&B||Via Giuseppe Ceri 17 Bologna||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Apartment Bergami||Via Bergami 12, Bologna||APARTMENT||-|
|Casa Pisano||Via N. Pisano n. 46||APARTMENT||-|
|Bed & Breakfast Fiera City Bologna||Via Michelino, 67||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Park Hotel||Via FILIPPO turati, 1||Hotel||-|
Almost all towns and cities in Italy have internet cafes. A growing number of budget hostels and nicer hotels have free Wifi. By law all public-access internet points must keep records of web sites viewed by customers, and even the customer's ID: expect to be refused access if you don't provide identification. Hotels providing Internet access are not required to record IDs if the connection is provided in the guest's room, although if the connection is offered in the main public hall then IDs are required. Publicly available wireless access without user identification is illegal, so open Wi-Fi hotspots (like the ones you might expect to find in a mall or cafée) all have some form of (generally one-time) registration.
See also: International Telephone Calls
The main networks are TIM (Telecom Italia Mobile, part of Telecom Italia, formerly state controlled), Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (only UMTS cellphones). Best advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card (from € 10 upwards) and a cheap mobile phone (€ 19 upwards) to put it in (if you don't have a cellphone already that you can use). It will be much more practical. All land line numbers start with 0. Mobile numbers start with 3. Numbers starting with 89 are high-fee services. In case of emergency call the appropriate number from the list below. Such calls are usually free and calls to 112, 113 (police), 115 (fire), 118 (health) can be made from payphones for free without the need of inserting coins. 112 (standard emergency number in GSM specification) can be dialed in any case for free from any mobile phone.
Post Italiane is the national postal services of Italy and has quite an efficient network of postal offices and reliable postal services. Standard letters and postcards (up to 20 grams) cost €0.39 to send within Europe and the Mediterranean countries outside Europe and €0.41 to all other destinations throughout the country. Up to 50 grams, prices start at €0.52 for Europe, €0.62 for other areas. Packages start at €1.55 within Europe, and around €2.50 for other countries. Post office business hours in Italy are from 8:30am to 2:00pm from Monday to Friday, with closing times at Saturday and the last day of the month at 12 noon. In general, larger post offices in bigger cities and in tourist areas keep longer hours than those in local towns. Also note that business hours in the south might be different than the north, with longer hours at night, especially in summer! If you want to send packages you might try faster and more reliable/efficient private courier companies like TNT, UPS or DHL.
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