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Late September Visit

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Late September Visit

I am planning a trip to Bologna in late September. How many days should I set aside for seeing the town? What are the "must see" things? Should I plan to fly into Bologna or some place else and take a train?

Any tips that you can give me are appreciated.

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1. Re: Late September Visit

it depends on how you visit a city.

If you're like that only spend 5 minutes at each attraction just to say "I've see it" then a day is even too much.

Bologna is not like open air museum" like Florence/Rome/Venice.

It's smaller and there is less to see, however it is well worth a visit.

"Must see":

- the "Due Torri": they are the city icon.

Two towers, the taller, the Asinelli tower can be climbed (a bit less than 500 steps, no lift, you'd better not to suffer vertigo, stairs are steep) and atop you can enjoy the panorama and the red tiled roofs.

The other one, VERY slanted, is the Garisenda tower, not open to the public. Originally was taller but had to be shortened for evident reasons;

- Palazzo dei Notai is cute, just under the Asinelli tower;

- piazza Maggiore, is the center of the city. Here take place the major events. From the "Crescentone" (sort of lightly raised section/floor) you can see:

a) San Petronio is the biggest church in town. The story goes that it should have been the biggest church on Christendom (in Middle Age) but for lack of funds or political rivalry, it was never completed according to plan. Look at the front and you remark two clashing styles: on the lower part, white marble, very nice and refined, then on the top a brown unfinished and raw style.

Even on the sides something is not armonious: on the left, part of the aisle has been simply cut off or never completed to allow for the road longing the Pavaglione, the long portico from via Rizzoli to via Farini.

Minor trivia: inside on the left, the second or third chapel on the left, behind a grate, there is a fresco picturing Maometto in hell, on the left wall of the chapel;

b) turning to your right, there is "palazzo del Comune" with the big tower clock and statue of a pope, Gregory something don't remember the name. He was from Bologna, and it the one who reformed the calendar that is in use today;

c) on you right again there il "palazzo del Podestà". Podestà was the regent of the city in Middle Ages. Between Palazzo del Podestà and palazzo del Comune there is another symbol of the city, il Nettuno (the fountain of Neptune). Adjacent to the palazzo del Podestà and in front of Nettuno, there is another example of Middle Age architecture, palazzo re Enzo (king Enzo's palace);

d) turn again on your right and admire il Pavaglione, the most famous portico (arcade) of the city, where people walk to and fro to see and be seen. Bologna is reputed to be the city that has the most "portici" (covered streets) in the world.

- not far from piazza Maggiore, there is "piazza delle 7 chiese" (I don't remember if that's the proper name of the piazza but it's know with thatv monkier as well). Small and very nice. "7 chiese" because there are 7 temples, christian or not: if I'm not mistaken one predates christiany, it was devoted to the cult of Isis.

- San Francesco is a church interesting from architectural point of view, with it's flying buttresses, has a while marble altar that is worth visiting, really a small masterpiece IMHO, truly a stone merletto/trine. Peculiar the tombs of the "glossatori" on the exterior.

If you have some time left, you could visit the Sanctuary of San Luca, on the top of a hill dominating Bologna (there is a bus line that bring you there from coty center) , with a panorama on Bologna.

Everytime I used to come home from the motor way, seeing San Luca from afar caused me some emotion, it meant "home".

Well, it's big, not ugly while not exactly beautiful but imposing, another symbol of the city, captivating for me since it look like a giant cake witha big green cherry on top of it...

Where to eat:

if you come to Bologna, you have to sample the local cuisine.

Here's some places where you can eat correctly/well local gastronomy without ruining yourself:

- Tamburini, bang in the center of the city. Tamburini is a reference of the local gastronomy that used to have shops selling prosciutto (cured ham), salame, mortadella, tagliatelle e tortellini and the like and now has a very good self service (via Drapperie 1) where you can find his specialties cooked and ready to eat.

Around 15 euros

- trattoria del Rosso, via Righi 30: they used to have 2-course (pasta+meat) 10 euro menu, very good though small portions. I'm sure that if you eat à-la-carte, you'll eat more and of course you'll pay more. Count around 25 euros.

- da Bertino, via della Lame 55, around 25 euro;

- da Danio, vie San Feline 50, around 25 euros.

To avoid:

piazza Verdi, in the University zone: dirty, dangerous, crime is rife

Oh by the way, all the places I described are in the center, in a radius of around 500 meters from piazza Maggiore.

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2. Re: Late September Visit

I forgot: another place to avoid or at least where to be careful is around the railway station, at the beginning of via Indipendenza, in a square around an ancient gate (porta/piazza Galliera). Dealers, pick pockets and drug addicts, the same as in piazza Verdi.

Beware as well of people, individual of small groups, with dogs, one or more, that look "funny" (so called "punkabestia"), they do not just beggar, sometimes they do it aggressively.

Cambridge, United...
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3. Re: Late September Visit

I love that description of San Luca :)

Le sette chiese = Santo Stefano, I think... and they're definitely definitely worth seeing. I like the whole 'vibe' of that little square actually. And on the left hand side as you face the church there's an old house (I forget the name now) or perhaps two houses, that have been sort of converted into a (quite posh) little arcade with a nice (but quite pricey) little bar inside

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4. Re: Late September Visit

YES, Vicky2005, you're right, it's Piazza Santo Stefano.

It is said to be the most beautiful square of the world though I have my doubts.

However it's beautiful indeed, the place has been use for posh ads one of the hottest piece of real estate, with outrageous prices.

And there are in the neighbourd some little treasures in the internal courts/gardens of those patrician palaces: I remember I stared longly with envy the glimpses of one such court/garden on one palace right on piazza Santo Stefano.

Charleston, South...
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5. Re: Late September Visit

Thank you SOOOOO much! I can hardly wait to go! I love slow strolls through beautiful towns.

Thanks also for the restaurant advise and the advise about the problem areas.

Italy
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6. Re: Late September Visit

sorry, one typing mistake (amongst many):

Danio's is in via San Felice 50 and not San Feline... damned fingers...

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7. Re: Late September Visit

hello,

I will be staying at the Hotel Jolly in mid-september. I understand it is near the train station. Is the area so "bad" that you recommend a hotel in another part of the city?

P.S. The narrative on things to do in Bologna was very helpful.

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8. Re: Late September Visit

well it's not exacly a the nicest corner of the city in any sense, but you should be relatively safe.

Eventually, be a bit more on guard for you valuables, especially at night: in Italy it pays not to trust too much and to exercise an "enhanced common sense", without getting paranoid, of course.

In addition to what I've already written, prostitutes used to ply their trade on nearby "viali" (circular avenues), though not dangerous, that gives you and idea of the "tone".

Jolly Hotel should be a good choice, being a 4 star.

Problem is, urban degradation ((filth, tagging) cover much of the city, so unless you go in the pricey inner city center, a zone is almost as good as another in the center of Bologna (inside the walls), excepted via Zamboni/Piazza Verdi that is atrocious.

Oh I forgot, I would avoid at night the Montagnola (it a raised park on a sort of hill near the station).

9. Re: Late September Visit

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