Exploring Bologna in Less Than 24 Hours

by ShegoWandering
December 9, 2021 | 5 min read

Exploring Bologna in Less Than 24 Hours

The last 24 hours from my 8-day Italian trip, which started in Rome, then continued in Florence, ended here, in Bologna.

To see what happened with me before arriving at the university city, or the city of cheese and meat, or as you wish to call it.

After arriving in Bologna I went straight to my hostel which is called Dopa Hostel. It is a super cool place to stay while in Bologna. A bit bohemian, a bit modern, with boxed beds in the dorms.

To be honest, the reason I loved this hostel so much were those wooden boxed beds. I even had a curtain on the side, so as soon as I closed it, it felt like I’m completely alone in the dorm.

It somehow reminded me of my childhood, playing under the table, pretending to be in a tent. As I had so little time left, I was rushing to the city center, to quickly see as much as I can before sundown.

I really wanted to see these tiny canals in the historic center, but as it was in March, they had no water…

I was walking up and down around the center, as I was looking for some place to eat something. Since that big breakfast in Florence, I was starving. All I found however were colorful streets, with sidewalks under columns. Hundreds and hundreds of columns…

All along the centro storico most of the sidewalks are under these arches, so this is a reason why Bologna is also known as the city of colonnades.

Exploring the Historic Center

Soon I arrived to Piazza Maggiore, which is the main square in the city. I walked around to see the surrounding buildings such as Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo di Accursio, Palazzo del Podesta, and the ’Fontana di Nettuno’ fountain.

Do you know these typical Italian narrow streets, covered with cobblestones? Where each window has these window shutters which make those buildings so much poping. I wanted to find some of those streets, badly! Colonnades were enough for the time being!

I found this little street right near the Piazza Maggiore, the Via Pescherie Vecchie, which is absolutely adorable! It’s featuring a lot of local shops full of all kinds of goodies, like Italian cheese and meat products.

Almost every shop has a terrace where you can sit and eat or drink something. This was a bit strange for me at first, but I learned that it’s a very common thing especially in this part of Italy.

I was on a cheese hunt on this street!

Every time I’m in Italy, I’m going to a cheese shop like the one you can see above, and I stock up from all the cheeses I use at home, especially for cooking. My luggage is always packed in a way that in countries like Italy and Spain, whenever I’m going, I can do some food shopping on my last day, and take back with me some tasty products. It the freezer they survive, and I always have cheese from Italy, and Spanish ham from Spain.

It’s my thing… I always loved to buy local.


When the clock hit 6 pm, it was aperitivo time! I found a cute place on Via Massimo D’Azeglio. It was called Gran Bar if I remember correctly. They had a small terrace in front of the bar with heaters, so that was perfect for me and my Aperol Spritz.

What really shocked me, was that some of these shops and cafe’s around the main square don’t have restrooms for their guests. It just seemed weird… I mean, how can you run a cafe and not have a restroom? I don’t get it.

Bologna also taught me, that in smaller cities restaurants work a bit differently. During the day many restaurants ain’t open, just for lunchtime, then they close and they open for dinner time.

After my aperitif, I just kept wandering around the center, exploring as much as possible.

It was getting dark and I still had two things on my list I wanted to see/try! First, I went to see the Two Towers of Bologna, which I found pretty amazing, az one of them looks like it wants to fall?

Dinner time

I walked around in the area of the towers too, I checked some nice restaurants and beautiful shops. I was waiting for dinner time like crazy, because there was one more thing I needed to thick off my list.

Eating pasta al ragu (bolognese)!

I found a cute restaurant, and I ordered tagliatelle (a type of pasta) with ragu. In Italy, the Bolognese pasta is called pasta with ragu.

It was fantastic, absolutely delicious! Especially when the parmesan cheese flakes got on top… Oh my!

While I was walking home, I’ve seen bars getting filled, and I really wanted to go into one… But I had to remember, that I had a flight to catch at 8 am.

Well, the last morning was again full of excitement! I almost missed my flight. Before I did that, I couldn’t find the bus stop where the airport shuttles stop. Oh, and even before that, I managed to wake up everybody in the dorm with my alarm…

Let’s say it was a very interesting and challenging trip. Also my first trip outside Rome, alone. So I think, even though I lost my things, and lost myself sometimes too… I did pretty good. It definitely was a great birthday, with a great trip from Rome to Bologna.

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Any thoughts, tips or questions?

Hi! I'm Helga Dosa, from the ShegoWandering Travel Blog. I’m a writer, photographer and online entrepreneur based in England. As a professional, I’m a Historian, who turned her passion to explore, and the knowledge gained about the past into articles about the present. I have a great love for the sun, and warm, colourful places, and my main focus is on Italy and Spain.

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