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Day trips from Bologna by train (in August)

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posts: 9
reviews: 12
Day trips from Bologna by train (in August)

When they say that Bologna is closed in August they are not kidding, so you may want to go on some excursions. Other tripadvisor members who have recommended day-trips from Bologna seem to have had cars. For those of you using the cheap and reliable trains I would recommend that you aim to arrive after 5pm when visiting Parma or Ferrara. Between midday and 5pm (the hours you would normally visit somewhere on a day trip) they are ghost-towns. Better still, go to Florence (open all day!) or spend a bit longer on the train and visit Venice.

st lucia
posts: 1,240
reviews: 1
1. Re: Day trips from Bologna by train (in August)

Arriving from Bologna to Parma takes approx 1 hour so you can arrive in the morning and do some shopping. When the shops close from 12.30-15.30 (16.00 at the very latest) you can have a lovely lunch in one of the many fine restuarants, then have a walk in the large and very lovely Parco Ducale a hugh park with a lake in the middle. By this time the shops will have opened up again and so where's the problem.

posts: 8
reviews: 7
2. Re: Day trips from Bologna by train (in August)

Having got back from Bologna this morning, I can confirm that Bologna is indeed pretty much closed in August! Many restaurants and shops are closed for at least the middle two weeks in August, many for the whole of the month. We enjoyed our short stay in Bologna - the historic buildings, churches, architecture are quite beautiful, and there is lots to see on that front and the food did seem to be good. I say 'seemed to be' because we had problems finding good/even half-decent/recommended restaurants that hadn't closed for the 'holidays'. This was annoying and resulted in lots of wandering the streets looking for 'open' signs.

If you don't mind the fact that many of the best shops and restaurants will be closed in August, or at least for a good chunk of it, then I'd still say go to Bologna in August...there seemed to be few tourists around and this did make wandering the streets and around churches and buildings manageable and comfortable, although the 'ghost town' atmosphere that did undeniably prevail was a little disconcerting. But if you want to be able to go to famous food shops/delis like Atti pasticceria and Tamburini delicatessen (both were closed for much of August) and have access to all the restaurants and shops in Bologna, as opposed to maybe 30% of them, don't go in August!!

Chorley, United...
Destination Expert
for Venice
posts: 17,463
reviews: 94
3. Re: Day trips from Bologna by train (in August)

I am not sure KAB has got the right idea. When staying in Bologna my wife and I have made day trips by train, very convenient, to both Parma and Ferrara. We went off after breakfast and spent the day in each of these cities. One of the delights was the excellent and lengthy lunches we had in both cities. I am not sure why Parma Ham tastes better in Parma than elsewhere but certainly it is excellent!!

In Parma we ate near the Duomo and had fine views of both the Duomo and the Baptistry. In Ferrara we ate opposite the lovely Romanesque Duomo and again had an excellent meal.

I think it is highly misguided to suggest arriving in either of these cities after 5 p.m. because they are "ghost towns". Silly, really.