Loading ...

10 of the Best Things to do on a Weekend in Bologna

Find out about things to do in Bologna Italy. Explore where to eat in Bologna. How many days should you spend in Bologna? 3 days makes for an ideal weekend in Bologna in June.
How many days should you spend in Bologna? We found that 3 days makes for an ideal weekend in Bologna Italy in June. 

There are so many things to do in Bologna. Read on for our recommends on what to see and where to eat in Bologna in the heart of the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

Weekend in Bologna: Bologna viewed from above

1. Slow Food Market

Bologna and Emilia Romagna are known for food. Check out Mercato della di Terra Bologna to sample mortadella and other regional cuisines.

Weekend in Bologna - Mercato della di Terra

2. Shady Porticos

Bologna has great atmosphere thanks to its porticos. These shady walkways jut out from most buildings and protect pedestrians from both the passing traffic and shifting weather patterns. 

When we visited in June, it was quite warm in town and the porticos offered some much needed cover from the powerful sun.
Weekend in Bologna - Porticos

3. Window Shopping

Many of the storefronts in Bologna have been around for years and have great character. I particularly liked window shopping at places like this old lamp shop tucked away under a portico not far from the central train station.
Weekend in Bologna - the Lamp Shop

4. Central Market (Mercato delle Erbe)

June is the perfect time of year to pick out fresh fruit at Mercato delle Erbe. Strawberries, cherries, citrus, and more are on offer. 

We only know a few polite phrases in Italian but managed to point and mime our way to a bag of cherries that we enjoyed with the local frizzante wine later that day.
Weekend in Bologna - Mercato delle Erbe

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Bologna is a great home base for a broader Emilia Romagna food holiday. Take time for day trips from Bologna to Modena and Parma. Also, make sure to spend a day in Ferrara.

5. Piazza Maggiore Day and Night

Piazza Maggiore is the beating heart of Bologna and you'll find people hanging out here day and night. The Duomo anchors the square while other dark flat brick buildings add to the atmosphere. 

Don't forget to seek out the statue of Neptune tucked away down one of the streets leading to the square.
Weekend in Bologna - Piazza Maggiore
Weekend in Bologna - Piazza Maggiore and the Duomo both Day and Night

6. Climb One of the Leaning Due Torri

In the 12th and 13th century, Bologna was a city of skyscrapers and featured almost 180 towers dotting the city. Very few of these towers remain today with the landmark twin towers (the Due Torri) leaning more precariously than the leaning tower of Pisa. 

On a sunny day, you can see for miles. The rather grueling climb up the taller of the Due Torri involves a series of progressively narrower wooden staircases and can be a bit vertigo inducing. 

For us, it was worth it in the end when we emerged and looked out upon the panorama of the city.
Weekend in Bologna - Due Torri

7. Spotting Ornate Knobs and Knockers

I love exploring the smaller details that make a place unique. For Bologna, the various knobs and knockers adorning the massive entry doors to the buildings in the town center were charming to behold. 
Weekend in Bologna - Door Knockers

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT:  Did you know that European Capitals of Culture have been designated since 1985 and that Bologna was a European Capital of Culture in 2000? We've visited a number of European Capitals of culture. Here are some recommendations for a culturally themed trip:

  1. Explore 23 ways to do a day in Dublin Ireland (1991)
  2. Spend a weekend exploring Luxembourg with a Luxembourg Card and don't forget to do some day trips from Luxembourg City (1995, 2007)
  3. Spend a day in Stockholm Sweden (1998)
  4. See Rotterdam in winter (2001)
  5. Drink port as old as you are with 3 days in Porto Portugal (2001)
  6. Learn about awesome things to do in Cork City Ireland (2005)
  7. Head to the Baltics and visit Riga Latvia (2014) or Vilnius Lithuania (2009)
  8. Get off the beaten track with a day in Mons Belgium (2015)
  9. Explore Bulgaria’s Roman past with a bus ride from Sofia to Plovdiv for a weekend (2019)

                8. Aperitivo Time

                Aperitivo time is the best time in Italy. In Bologna, small snack bars put out tables under and near the porticos and serve drinks and snacks. 

                We sat outside and sipped bitter Campari and soda to wash down complimentary salty crisps and peanuts while doing a bit of people-watching on the street. This is a lovely way to spend the early evening in Bologna.
                Weekend in Bologna - Aperitivo

                9. Seeking out the Town Gates, An Echo of the Past

                In Medieval times, Bologna was a walled city featuring twelve gates. Just a few of the city gates still remain as a monument to the past. 

                It can be disconcerting to watch the speedy Italian drivers whiz by these vestiges of Bologna's medieval glory.
                Weekend in Bologna - Medieval Gates

                10. Life in the Fast Lane

                Italy in general and Emilia Romagna in particular are known for over the top sports cars. We got our first taste of life in the fast lane at the Bologna airport where bright yellow and sleek silver Lamborghinis stood proudly on display. 
                Weekend in Bologna - Lamborghinis on Display
                I hope you've enjoyed this introduction to Bologna. If you've got more time, you can definitely fill a week in Bologna. Stay tuned for more on eating well and day trips to nearby towns in the Emilia Romagna region. 

                Did you enjoy this post about a weekend in Bologna? Sharing is caring...

                Weekend in Bologna: Things to do in Bologna Italy
                Top 10 Things to Do on Weekend City Break in Bologna Italy - http://www.sidewalksafari.com/2015/09/top-10-weekend-in-bologna-italy.html

                SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for some other amazing destination ideas in Italy? Why not:

                #DrJSabbatical,38,Adriatics,5,Africa,12,Americas,52,Argentina,7,Asia,40,Asia Pacific,25,AUNZ,21,Australia,13,Austria,5,Baltics,4,Barcelona,1,Belfast,1,Belgium,13,Berlin,3,Best of,385,Best of Europe,2,Beyond Dublin,31,Bologna,3,Boston,2,Brazil,2,Bruges,2,Brussels,2,Bucharest,2,Budapest,1,Buffalo,3,Bulgaria,2,California,13,Cambodia,6,Canary Islands,1,Canterbury,2,Cardiff,1,Central America,3,Central Europe,66,Chile,7,China,5,Christmas Market,4,Copenhagen,1,Cork,3,Costa Brava,3,Costa Rica,2,Croatia,2,Cyprus,1,Czech Republic,1,Denmark,3,Dresden,1,Dublin,49,Dusseldorf,1,Eastern Europe,8,Edinburgh,3,El Calafate,1,England,18,Essen,1,Estonia,1,Europe,216,Faversham,1,Featured,5,Financial District,1,Finland,3,Fisherman's Wharf,1,Flanders,1,Florida,3,France,17,Galway,2,Gdansk,1,Germany,17,Girona,1,Granada,1,Greece,4,Greece and Cyprus,5,Hamburg,1,Hangzhou,1,Hanoi,3,HCMC,2,Helsinki,1,Ho Chi Minh City,2,Hobart,1,Hoi An,2,Hungary,1,Hurling,1,Hyderabad,2,Iceland,4,India,5,Ireland,89,Ireland & UK,117,Ireland Road Trips,16,Italy,13,Itinerary,3,Jackson Square,1,Japan,12,Kaunas,1,Kilkenny,1,Kuala Lumpur,1,Kyoto,1,Languedoc,2,Lanzarote,1,Latvia,1,Leipzig,1,Liechtenstein,1,Lima,1,Limerick,1,Lisbon,17,Lithuania,2,Ljubljana,1,Lloret de Mar,1,London,9,Los Angeles,2,Louisiana,1,Lucerne,1,Luxembourg,2,Machu Picchu,1,Madeira,3,Malaga,1,Malaysia,1,Malta,1,Marrakech,1,Marrakesh,1,Massachusetts,2,Mendoza,1,Menton,1,Miami,1,Midwest,3,Modena,2,Monaco,1,Montpellier,1,Morocco,1,Muenster,1,Munich,1,Naples,1,Netherlands,4,New England,3,New Orleans,1,New York,9,New Zealand,8,Nice,2,Noe Valley,1,Nordics,18,Norrkoping,1,North America,43,North Beach,1,Northern Ireland,1,Norway,5,Nuremberg,2,Ollantaytambo,1,Osaka,1,Palafrugell,1,Panama,1,Paris,1,Parma,2,Patagonia,3,Pennsylvania,6,Perth,1,Peru,5,Philadelphia,1,Pingyao,1,Piran,1,Pittsburgh,5,Poland,8,Porto,1,Portugal,34,Puerto Natales,2,Punta Arenas,1,Queensland,1,Recent,80,Regensburg,1,Reykjavik,1,Riga,1,Rio de Janeiro,1,Rochester,1,Romania,3,Rotterdam,1,Rovinj,1,Russia,2,San Francisco,4,San Sebastian,1,Santiago,1,Scandinavia,10,Scotland,5,Seattle,3,Segovia,1,Seoul,2,SF - Further Afield,7,Sicily,3,Siem Reap,2,Singapore,1,Sligo,3,Slovakia,1,Slovenia,2,South Africa,1,South America,19,South Beach,1,South Korea,2,Southeast Europe,14,Southern Europe,65,Spain,17,St. Petersburg,2,Stockholm,2,Strasbourg,1,Stuttgart,1,Sweden,3,Switzerland,11,Sydney,3,Taipei,2,Taiwan,3,Tallinn,1,Tasmania,4,TBEX,1,Telegraph Hill,1,Texas,3,Thailand,1,Tipperary,1,Tokyo,2,Top World Destinations,4,Torres del Paine,1,Transylvania,1,Trieste,1,Uganda,10,UK,28,Union Square,1,United States,46,Uruguay,1,Valparaiso,1,Vietnam,9,Vilnius,1,Wales,2,Warsaw,2,Washington,3,Western Australia,1,Western Europe,37,Westfield,1,Whitsundays,1,Wicklow,2,Wroclaw,1,WWI,1,Xi'an,1,Zurich,5,
                Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: 10 of the Best Things to do on a Weekend in Bologna
                10 of the Best Things to do on a Weekend in Bologna
                Find out about things to do in Bologna Italy. Explore where to eat in Bologna. How many days should you spend in Bologna? 3 days makes for an ideal weekend in Bologna in June.
                Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog