“The red one”, “the learned one” or “the fat one”: the diversity of Bologna is already evident in the proud series of epithets that the capital of Emilia-Romagna bears. Its special flair with historical sights, an extraordinarily rich culinary tradition and varied shopping highlights can still hardly be put into words - you shouldn't miss a personal visit.
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What the epithets are all about is easy to explain: Bologna is called “The Red” because of the reddish glowing houses, which with their arbors and seemingly endless colonnades are true masterpieces of medieval architecture. “The Scholar” is the name of the capital of Emilia-Romagna as the seat of the oldest university in Europe: Scientists have been trained here since 1088, including celebrities such as Dante, Erasmus of Rotterdam and Copernicus. The nickname “die Fette” is based on the world-famous - and extremely rich - culinary tradition, which is why Bologna is considered by many gourmets to be the center of Italian food culture. Shopping fans will also get a taste for the northern Italian city - the perfect conditions to enjoy a short vacation dedicated to the good things in life.
In the lively old town, culture and history are combined with a young, urban lifestyle. The almost 40 kilometers long arcades that encircle the heart of Bologna exude the flair of an open-air art exhibition: In addition to historic buildings, churches and the famous medieval towers, the colonnades also feature charming restaurants, bars, markets, boutiques and shops. Even when it rains, you don't need an umbrella thanks to the characteristic “portici”.
The clear city center can easily be explored on foot and offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy a stress-free and varied day of shopping: The spectrum ranges from a medieval market and the prestigious Galleria Cavour with its luxurious boutiques in the Quadrilatero district to the shopping streets of Via Porta Nova and San Felice to the former Jewish Ghetto, where handmade shoes, accessories and furniture are sold. Innovation meets vintage flair in Via San Vitale, where the hip side of Bologna reveals itself with alternative boutiques and second-hand stores. A special highlight with a historical background is the La Piazzola market: cattle were already sold in Parco della Montagnola and on Piazza VIII Agosto in 1251, today everything from fashion, accessories and jewelry to flowers and pottery is offered here at over 400 market stalls whatever your heart desires - and at unbeatable prices.
In the ranks of the historical sights of Bologna, the medieval towers are right at the top - in the truest sense of the word. The leaning tower Asinelli rises 97.2 meters above the city and reveals an impressive panorama with an unobstructed view over the red sea of roofs. The clock tower forms the starting point for exploring the Palazzo d’Accursio, which, among other things, houses the city's art collection and provides exciting insights into the history of Bologna.
In addition to the enjoyment of culture, culinary delights are of course the top priority when visiting Bologna. Die Fette”embodies the tradition of food and wine like hardly any other city in Italy:“Ragù alla Bolognese”or handmade pasta such as tortellini, lasagna and tagliatelle are just some of the culinary creations that have cemented Bologna's reputation as the Italian center of food culture worldwide. The “sfoglines” are also legendary: the lessons of the so-called pasta women, who make wafer-thin pasta dough with fascinating dexterity, are attended by interested parties from all over the world. Carpigiani Gelato University brings another piece of culinary tradition closer to thousands of “students” every year. As an accompaniment to the diverse delights that Bologna has to offer, one or the other glass of wine from the region is recommended - and if you like, you can experience its origins up close by visiting a winery outside the city center.
The Instagram feed is of course not neglected when there are so many things to see on a Bologna vacation. If you need more “photo feed”, you can get it served on a silver platter in the Beautiful Gallery: 15 colorfully designed rooms offer the perfect backdrop for unique pictures.
Fantastic photo spots can be found on every corner in Bologna anyway - on a tour with the vintage Vespa, which leads from the medieval city center into picturesque rural areas, you can explore the many facets of the city and its surroundings in a particularly charming way.