Bologna is often overlooked by tourists in favor of some of the nearby cities, such as Florence and Venice, but it’s a city that has a vast range of exciting activities to do. Bologna is Italy’s food capital, so there’s no chance of going hungry as you tuck into pastas, cheeses and mortadella (Italian sausage). Since being named the European City of Culture in 2000, large amounts of money have been spent on the city to give it the glowing cultural scene it has now.
Day 1: Walking Tours
As well as the food and contemporary culture, Bologna is also a city which is rich in history and a great way to soak it all up is by getting a private tour guide to show you the sights. These tours can be tailored to your specifications if there are particular sights you wish to see, including Palazzo Accursio, Palazzo del Protesta, the Sala Borsa, Palazzo re Enzo and the famous Fountain of Neptune which dates back to the 16th century. So why not take to the streets and see the city that inspired Shelley and Goethe to write?
Day 2: Food and Wine
Sample the great food that Bologna has to offer on this great tour. Your guide will take you to an ancient market, followed by a bakery, a pasta factory (where you see how tortellini and tagliatelle is made) and will finish at the traditional chocolate maker where solid chocolate was first invented. If your taste buds still haven’t been satisfied then enjoy the wine and cheese tour, which takes you out to Italian countryside to taste local wines, see vinegar being made and also see the production of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
Day 3: Red Light District Tour
Up until 1958 brothels were still legal in Bologna, so take your time to see some of the brothels and bordellos of both medieval and more recent history. This tour takes in via Fregatette and via Delle Oche and can be an entertaining and eye-opening day for the open minded traveler.