Our weekend stay in Bologna, Italy was short but absolutely delightful, to say the least. Being one of many Italian cities on the Forum-Nexus summer itinerary, I found Bologna to be the most authentic to the Italian culture. Bologna was much more laid-back and less touristy, giving me the opportunity to walk around and explore more freely.
Walking around the city was an absolute treat. The architecture was beautifully aged, yet vibrant. During my stay, I discovered Bologna is home to the oldest university in the world, The University of Bologna, a title highly esteemed by citizens and visitors alike. Bologna also had many other beautiful focal points including the Fountain of Neptune, Due Tori (two towers), Piazza Maggiore, and the Basilica of San Petronio. The rich Italian culture was evident everywhere I looked. Another popular feature of Bologna were the many shopping markets around the city. The markets were affordable and they were great places to buy leather products. The best aspect of discovering Bologna was how easy it was to navigate the city and not feel overwhelmed by tourists or city dwellers because it’s a very spread out and relaxed city.
What I was not expecting was how insanely delicious Bologna’s cuisine was. Of course, Italy is known for delicious food, but Bologna surpassed all of my expectations, especially compared to other cities in Italy we visited. I was not disappointed at any point during my food quests in Bologna. There were gourmet pizzerias and gelato shops on nearly every corner. The shops were friendly, affordable, and most importantly, the food was delicious. Throughout the weekend I was able to try a few customary Italian dishes including linguine with Bolognese sauce, tortellini, and Tagliatelle alla bolognes. I completely understand why Bologna is regarded as the “Foodie Capital of Italy”- and I agree!
Another great advantage to staying the weekend in Bologna was the flexibility to hop on a train and visit a nearby popular Italian city. The two most popular destinations were Venice and Florence. There was a very accessible train station near our hotel in Bologna. In a short five-minute walk, I was able to buy a ticket and board a train for a day-trip with my friends. Many other Forum-Nexus students took advantage of this as well.
Bologna might be considered one of those spots “off the beaten path,” but I am so happy I was able to visit. It was a relaxing, culture-infused, and memorable stay. I hope to return one day to re-experience the magnificence of Bologna, Italy.