Best & Fun Things To Do + Places To Visit In Bologna, Italy. #Top Attractions

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At least once in your life, you should go to Bologna, Italy. Check out our curated list of the best things to do in Bologna, Italy, and the best places to visit in Bologna, Italy below. Wondrous Drifter is a Web 3 travel company that aspires to disrupt the travel industry.


Archiginnasio,  Bologna, Italy / WordRidden / Flickr

If you’re ever in Bologna, make sure to see the Archiginnasio!

This palace is one of Bologna’s most prestigious and historic buildings. You can find it in the heart of the ancient town.

It was used as a campus for the ancient university and is now a library open to the general public.

It was constructed in the middle of the 16th century to consolidate all of the city’s academic institutions.

Archiginnasio was built to unite the schools of law and the arts.

The faculties of Medicine and Philosophy were eventually added to the university’s educational offerings.

You’re greeted by a beautiful and perfectly symmetrical courtyard as soon as you walk through the door.

On the inside, check out the Anatomic Theater, which was the site of the first-ever anatomy lectures!

You can also see several statues of doctors that were prominent in Bologna during the period.

It’s incredible how much beauty and wisdom there is all in one spot.

This is another one of those gems that you should not miss!

Address: Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

Basilica of San Petronio

Basilica of  San Petronio,  Bologna, Italy /Alessio Vallero /Flickr

In Piazza Maggiore, you’ll find one of the world’s largest churches.

The Basilica of San Petronio, devoted to the city’s patron saint, is regarded as the city’s most cherished church, a town symbol, and a Gothic masterpiece.

As the plaza’s centerpiece, this church’s unusually mismatched front has long piqued the interest of onlookers.

Although the Basilica’s construction began in 1390 and went on for decades, the project was never completed. Many architects tried their hand at it, but nothing happened for various reasons.

Consequently, a portion of the building’s exterior is now purely brick.

Once you enter, you’re overwhelmed by the vastness and majesty of its colossal size and beauty. Put another way: Don’t judge it by its cover if you see something.

Bologna and Europe’s ecclesiastical and secular history are incomplete without the presence of the Basilica of San Petronio.

This is still a worthwhile stop if you happen to be in the area.

Address: Piazza Galvani, 5, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

Bologna National Gallery

Bologna National Gallery,  Bologna,  Italy / Matthew Black / Flickr

Those looking for a lovely Bologna art gallery should visit this gallery.

The city’s most prestigious art gallery is the Bologna National Gallery or Pinacoteca Nazionale. It is housed in the former Jesuit Novitiate of Saint Ignatius.

To conform with European standards, the gallery underwent a comprehensive renovation. Today, it is one of Italy’s most renowned art galleries.

This gallery is a haven for art lovers and culture seekers alike, with a dazzling display of Italian masterpieces in one spot.

This museum’s impressive collection, spanning the thirteenth through the eighteenth centuries, is well-kept and well-documented.

Spectacularly organized and well cared for in every aspect, the collection of paintings and works may be enjoyed even by non-art enthusiasts.

This gallery is also well-liked because of the area it dedicates to exhibits and educational activities.

Spend some time admiring the magnificent displays. Almost all of it is certain to be of interest to you. Don’t leave Bologna without checking out this gallery!

Address: Via delle Belle Arti, 56, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy

Cremeria Santo Stefano

Cremeria Santo Stefano Bologna, Italy
Cremeria Santo Stefano is one of the best places to go in Bologna, Italy

When visiting Italy, it’s impossible not to indulge in some gelato.

Bologna is known for its cuisine and gelato. Many ice cream parlors are to be found throughout the city.

On the other hand, knowing who has the best gelato could prove challenging.

Cremeria Santo Stefano is regarded as one of the top gelaterias in Italy, not just in Bologna. This ice cream shop has a small yet attractive location.

“Cremeria,” as the name suggests, is renowned for its creamy flavor. 

Here, you’ll find some of the city’s best-known flavors. The daily and seasonal promotions are worth keeping a lookout for!

In addition, there are chocolates and other delicacies on hand.

Isn’t it true that Italian ice cream is usually a fantastic idea? To satisfy your sweet tooth, visit Cremeria Santo Stefano, where you’ll be enchanted by chocolates and ice creams.

But be prepared to wait since it is trendy. Regardless, it is a must-try. Yummy ice cream awaits you!

Address: Via Santo Stefano, 70/c, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy

Enjoy Bolognese food

Enjoy Bolognese food, Bologna,  Italy / Alpha / Flickr

Popular gastronomic locations include Bologna, Italy. Eating and enjoying Bolognese food is recommended while visiting the city.

Nowadays, food lovers worldwide visit Bologna to sample firsthand the unique dishes and robust flavors you can experience on your Italy tour.

Salty cheeses, handmade pasta, hearty meat sauce, and gelato are some of the city’s best-known delicacies, but many more.

Bologna offers a dizzying array of culinary delights.

Get your hands on some ragu or Bolognese sauce, which goes well with homemade pasta.

Parmigiano Reggiano is a world-famous cheese made from only three ingredients: milk, salt, and rennet.

It wouldn’t be an Italian meal without including the classic Bologna dish, Tortellini in Brodo.

Aside from the foods mentioned above, there are a plethora of other delectable foods to pick from, as well.

Indulge yourself and make the most of your time in Bologna by savoring the city’s famous delicacies.


Finestrella, Bologna,  Italy / Revol Web / Flickr

This little treasure transports you to the canals of Venice!

In Italian, the word “finestrella” means “window,” which is precisely what this is.

Canale delle Moline, an outgrowth of the Canale di Reno, may be seen from this window, and it’s a particularly picturesque sight winding its way amongst the houses.

There are only a few spots in Bologna where you can see water, and that’s at this particular corner.

A nickname for this area of the city is “Little Venice.”

While the canal vista is a pleasant surprise, you can also dine at some of Bologna’s most refined restaurants here.

A walking tour is a must if you want to learn about the city’s history and discover its hidden treasures for yourself.

Although Finestrella is located in a small area of Bologna, it is still a breathtakingly beautiful site.

This city landmark is a must-see for any visitor. Take a moment to admire the view when you spot Finestrella!

Address: Via Piella, Bologna

Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune Bologna Italy
Fountain of Neptune, Bologna, Italy / xiquinhosilva / Flickr

This fountain is one of the city’s most well-known landmarks.

The Fountain of Neptune monument has appeared on many postcards and city photos.

You can’t help but be drawn in by this incredible piece of artwork in the midst of one of Bologna’s most stunning town squares.

Giambologna, a Flemish sculptor, was the one who erected it.

It is made of marble and bronze. It stands in a square in Bologna dedicated to the goddess of the sea.

The fountain’s objective was to adorn the emerging Piazza del Nettuno next to Piazza Maggiore.

The fountain’s statues are all naked, which sparked much controversy and criticism.

Despite this, it is one of the city’s most stunning sights.

Given how easily it can be reached and its central location, you won’t be able to avoid visiting this attraction. 

Nothing can replace seeing it for yourself. Give it a go. It’s well worth the effort.

Gelato Museum Carpigiani 

Gelato Museum Carpigiani Bologna, Italy
Gelato Museum Carpigiani is one of the best places to go in Bologna, Italy

You should absolutely do this if you’re in the Italian city of Bologna.

The Gelato Museum Carpigiani is the first museum in the world devoted solely to studying artisan gelato making.

Anzola dell’Emilia in Bologna is where it is located.

The foundation of Bruto and Poerio Carpignani was the one that planned and built it.

It opened in 2012 to provide knowledge to the public regarding the history and culture of this dessert that is so popular worldwide.

You can learn about the history of gelato in this educational museum and then indulge in some of their delectable confections afterward.

A photo mosaic and a collection of vintage packaging show how gelato has been consumed over the years.

In addition, if you have enough time, you will learn a lot more about the fun of preparing gelato yourself from scratch. How amazing is that?

Your children will have a blast here; the tour is kid-friendly and fun for everyone.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn something new and have some fun at this museum.

Address: Via Emilia, 45, 40011 Anzola dell’Emilia BO, Italy

Have an Aperitivo 

Have an Aperitivo Bologna italy
Have an Aperitivo, Bologna, italy / Caspar Diederik / Flickr

Take some time to unwind and sample one of Bologna’s most renowned delicacies after a long day of exploring the city: the Aperitivo.

In Italy, the practice of aperitivo is a long-standing and widely accepted custom.

It’s so essential in Bologna that it’s on par with lunch and dinner in terms of importance.

So, what exactly is an Aperitivo? An aperitivo is a little snack or appetizer served before a meal. It’s a traditional pre-dinner drink supposed to “open” the stomach for the meal ahead.

You can unwind while waiting for your dinner at nine o’clock in the evening! Also, it’s a terrific chance to get a sense of the local culture.

If you’d like to sample it, you can do so at a bar where appetizers are served.

The aperitivo hour is a time to sample some of the best food bites and wine in town.

As part of Italian culture, the aperitivo has become an integral component of the daily lives of every Italian.

While you’re in Bologna, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity!

Madonna di San Luca

Madonna di San Luca Bologna Italy
Madonna di San Luca, Bologna, Italy / Rob Oo / Flickr

You must visit Madonna di San Luca, one of the city’s most popular attractions!

On the mountain’s summit, you’ll find this stunning chapel and its surroundings.

It has served as a symbol of the city and a destination of religious devotion throughout history.

The dramatic floor of inlaid black, white, and red marble highlights the interior’s classical style.

In black, the Virgin Mary, purportedly painted by St. Luke, was brought to Bologna from the Middle East in the 12th century and now resides in the basilica.

Furthermore, a UNESCO World Heritage Site nomination was made in 2019 for the San Luca Sanctuary.

Many tourists flock to San Luca for its beautiful surroundings and trekking. 

Still, a visit to the church is a worthwhile experience as well. It dominates the skyline from its perch atop the hill.

Make a point to see this stunning location in the city of Bologna. It is absolutely worth it!

Address: Via di San Luca, 36, 40135 Bologna BO, Italy

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Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore Bologna Italy
Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy / Pom’ / Flickr

It’s best to begin your tour of Bologna in Piazza Maggiore!

The Piazza Maggiore in Bologna began as the “platea communis,” a gathering area where people congregate and hold markets.

One of Italy’s most magnificent squares, Piazza Maggiore, is the heart and soul of the city.

The locals deemed a central market and a public gathering place necessary around 1200.

These are some of the gorgeous structures in the city that you can see from here on out.

Piazza Maggiore is also home to numerous cafes and restaurants, making it an ideal spot for people-watching.

The city’s most notable events take place in this area, such as the film festival that keeps the nights alive.

Also, you can find here the beautiful Fountain of Neptune, right exactly in the middle of the square.

In the modern era, the square is full of people due to the incredibly laid-back atmosphere it creates.

Spend the day or night in Bologna’s historic center, mingling with the locals and tourists alike.

Address: Piazza Maggiore, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy


Quadrilatero Bologna Italy
Quadrilatero, Bologna, Italy / Luca Galli/ Flickr

The Quadrilatero is a must-see on every gastronomic tour of Bologna.

The city’s historic Quadrilatero neighborhood was home to numerous craft guilds during the Middle Ages.

Cafes and bars have flocked to the area, making it one of the most incredible spots in town right now.

It’s a foodie’s paradise and the heart of the old city center.

Quadrilatero is a market area in which you can buy nearly anything.

It’s dotted with tiny kiosks selling locally sourced, high-quality cuisine, from cheese, fish, and fruits to various portions of meat.

Because of the abundance of Bolognese specialties in this area, it’s a popular choice for foodies.

In Italy, Bologna is considered the gastronomic capital and so buying food and presents for loved ones can be fun when you shop here.

To get a taste of genuine Italian cuisine in the heart of the city, head to the bustling Quadrilatero. This is a must-see attraction.

 Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita

Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita Bologna Italy
Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita, Bologna, Italy / Anton Skrobotov / Flickr

The Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita — a collection of ecclesiastical buildings in Bologna – is a must-see for anybody visiting the city.

In the heart of Bologna, this late-Baroque Roman Catholic church reflects the city’s artistic and architectural splendor.

Visitors are primarily drawn to the museum’s interior design and the artworks it houses.

It has a magnificent dome with beautiful artwork on the ceiling.

Tilt your head back, and you’ll see a stunning Madonna mural emerging from the roof ashes. The dividers are covered in religious symbolism.

In addition, there are numerous Italian sculpture masterpieces to be found there. A high level of craftsmanship is evident in their creation.

Gold and priceless artworks and frescoes also adorn the building’s interior walls and vaults.

This is indeed a gem in Bologna, and you should not miss it. You should definitely pay a visit if you have the time.

Address: Via Clavature, 8/10, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

Santo Stefano (St. Stephen Basilica) 

Santo Stefano St Stephen Basilica Bologna Italy
Santo Stefano St Stephen Basilica, Bologna, Italy / Elliott Brown/ Flickr

Of course, Santo Stefano (St. Stephen’s Basilica) has to be on the itinerary for everyone visiting Bologna.

If you want to see something truly unique in Bologna, head to Santo Stefano, where the ancestors’ faith was born and nurtured.

It sits in the heart of the city, surrounded by magnificent palaces.

As you visit this location, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back to the medieval era, as nothing has been modified.

Intricate carvings adorning its walls reveal the ravages of time.

It’s interesting to see this church because it’s actually a variety of various churches. 

The attention to detail in the design is astounding, and it has been preserved beautifully.

At first, the central church appears to be a single structure. Still, the many forms become increasingly apparent as you progress further within.

Strolling through this sanctuary is a joy because it provides a tranquil setting.

Check out this location if you plan on visiting Bologna.

Address: Via Santo Stefano, 24, 40125 Bologna BO, Italy

 The Observatory Museum

The Observatory Museum Bologna, Italy
The Observatory Museum is one of the best places to go in Bologna, Italy

Is astronomy something you’re interested in? If so, then this stunning museum is the place to go!

The history of astronomy and its artifacts are well-represented in this museum.

To serve as an observatory for the newly established Science Institute, the former Poggi Palace was transformed in the early 18th century.

The Alma Mater Studiorium of the prestigious University of Bologna houses the Observatory Museum.

The various collections are held in the tower used to examine the night sky and where the astronomy department was established.

You must take a guided tour to access this museum, but the explanations and stories that the guide may offer you make the cost well worth it.

Additionally, you can climb to the top and gaze out over the city and nearby landscape towards the end of the trip.

Astronomy enthusiasts should visit this location, absolutely not to be missed. 

Everything in the museum is sure to pique your interest.

Address: Via Zamboni, 33, 40126 Bologna BO, Italy

The Porticoes in Bologna

The Porticoes in Bologna Italy
The Porticoes in, Bologna, Italy / Dimitris Kamaras / Flickr

The porticoes in Bologna, Italy, are an excellent way to see the city!

It’s impossible to find a city globally with more porticoes than Bologna, Italy.

The Porticoes of Bologna have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites with great pride.

In the early days of the entrances, wooden beams and covering were commonly used.

For the most part, porticoes nowadays have a variety of decorative elements, such as marble floors and arched openings.

The colorful and genuine warmth of the city is provided by these porticoes, which are frequently painted orange and yellow.

The porticoes fulfill a variety of functions. People may walk on them no matter the weather, even when it’s pouring rain, and they’re a welcome respite from the summer heat.

They are a fundamental part of the city’s architecture, and their presence cannot be ignored.

Check out these beautiful and vibrant sights in Bologna, Italy. Take a leisurely stroll through the city.

The Two Towers

The Two Towers Bologna Italy
The Two Towers, Bologna, Italy / Rob Oo / Flickr

Regardless of the time of year, when you travel to Bologna, you must climb the city’s twin towers!

Bologna’s historic center was formerly littered with several towers, but few exist now.

People in Bologna like taking tourists to the city’s leaning towers as one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

The city’s iconic twin towers, called Le Due Torri, are a well-known landmark.

A short distance from where Bologna’s ancient Via Emilia entered the city

Bologna can be seen clearly from this stunning skyscraper.

The Asinelli Tower is the tallest building in the city, and it may be reached through a 498-step interior wooden stairwell.

In contrast, the Garisenda tower is a very modest structure.

However, tourists are barred from the tower for their own safety because it started to tilt a few years after being built due to ground subsidence.

Plan your visit in advance so that you don’t have to deal with any inconveniences.

Look through one of the openings to see how far you’ve got to go. If you have a fear of heights, proceed with caution.

Torre Prendiparte 

Torre Prendiparte Bologna Italy
Torre Prendiparte, Bologna, Italy / WordRidden / Flickr

The Torre Prendiparte remains one of the city’s most venerable structures in the historic core.

Known as the Coronata Towers, this structure was erected in the 12th century as a defensive measure.

The tower is a real-life historical monument that’s still standing today.

The view from the rooftop patio, which requires a little effort to reach, is one of the city’s most significant.

The tower of Torre Prendiparte dominates the town’s skyline.

There are numerous restaurants, pubs, and tourist attractions within easy walking distance.

With a height of 60 meters, Bologna’s second-tallest tower after the Torre Asinelli.

The tower has 11 stories and is situated in a peaceful area, which sets the tone for the sense of seclusion you’ll experience once you enter.

Guided tours are available if you’d like to learn more about the area’s history.

This is a must-see while in Bologna! Incorporate it into your travel plans.

Try whispering on the walls of Palazzo Podesta

Try whispering on the walls of Palazzo Podesta Bologna, Italy
Try whispering on the walls of Palazzo Podesta is one of the best places to go in Bologna, Italy

Did you know that Bologna’s walls can speak?

There are many exciting things to do throughout the city, including testing the walls’ whispers.

You’ll notice folks hunched over in the corners, chatting with the walls as you enter. So, this is a really cool thing to do, right?

If you’d like to give it a whirl, go on one side of the room and have your friend stand on the other, but diagonally, so you can hear each other appropriately.

While speaking into the wall, you’re sending your message up to your pal.

Because it works with the other corner, you won’t hear anyone in either corner alongside you.

According to legend, this was a site where lepers might come and confess their sins during the Middle Ages.

Consider this spot; it’s a must-see in Bologna if you’re seeking something fun to do.

Address: Piazza Maggiore, 1, 40124 Bologna BO, Italy

Villa Ghigi

Villa Ghigi Bologna, Italy
Villa Ghigi is one of the best places to go in Bologna, Italy

There is no better place to get away from it all than Villa Ghigi park, which offers sweeping views of the city below!

The Villa Ghigi park in Bologna is a must-see if you have a few days to spare in the Italian city.

Located on the first hills outside Porta San Mamolo, Ghigi Park encompasses around 28 hectares of open space.

The abundant greenery of this park makes it an ideal location for enjoying the outdoors in the sun.

In addition to its breathtaking views, the area contains sustainable groves and several routes for visitors to explore.

However, certain places are steep, so keep your pace in mind.

It is possible to have a picnic with friends or family in this park.

Even if you’re out for a jog or a romantic stroll, you’ll always come away feeling refreshed by visiting this park.

Indulge in a few hours of fresh air surrounded by a beautiful vista. It’s guaranteed to soothe your body and mind.

Is there anything else holding you back from making Bologna, Italy, your next vacation destination? Hop over to reasons to visit Bologna, Italy, at least once in your lifetime here

Address: Via San Mamolo, 105, 40136 Bologna BO, Italy

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