Wanderlust Wednesday // Northern Italy Part 3- Bologna

To wrap up our tour of northern Italy, we visited Bologna. Bologna is home to Europe's oldest university, so it's brimming with students. It definitely has a college town feel, with plenty of cheap eats, dive bars, and coffee shops throughout. It seemed "grittier" and less touristy than many Italian cities we've been to. We felt like we got the most authentic sense of life in Italy during our stay. I love that our trip had such a mix of cities, all with very different ambiences and settings. Bologna was a nice change of pace after serene Lake Como, touristy (but so, so beautiful) Verona, and then the countryside


Bologna is nicknamed "la grasss, la dotta, la rossa." La grassa or "the fat one" celebrates the rich food history (bolognese sauce was invented there), la dotta means "the learned one" a nod to the university, and la rossa, "the red one," alludes to the red colored buildings and roofs throughout the city.

Bologna is well known for its cuisine and is considered the food mecca of Italy. There are many open air food markets throughout the town, and if you ask locals for their favorite spot to get traditional tagliatelle Bolognese, they're sure to rattle off a long list. 

street corner in the old Jewish Ghetto

Like all of the towns we visited on our trip, there weren't tons of "must-see" tourist spots, so we felt like we could relax. We spent our time watching live music in the piazzas, getting lost in Bologna's portici (covered terracotta arcades), and chatting with locals in the student bars. However, the stunning church of Santo Stefano, and the city's landmark, the due torri (two towers), are two stops every visitor must make.

Where: Bologna
Do: Eat and drink! Visit the winding streets of the old jewish ghetto and get an aperol spritz at a student bar, taste the award winning chocolate gelato at La Sorbetteria Castiglione, try the bolognese at Osteria Dell'Orsa, a local favorite


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