Unforgettable Travel Company

Luxury Bologna Tours & Vacations

One of Italy’s best-kept secrets, Bologna is the lively capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. Situated north of Florence between the Savena and Reno rivers, it’s overflowing with charm and boasts a rich history with magnificent architecture, including medieval towers, baroque treasures, and Renaissance monuments. It’s also home to the world’s oldest university, the University of Bologna which dates all the way back to 1088.

As the birthplace of many favorite Italian dishes prepared with Bolognese sauce, foodies on a luxury Bologna tour will enjoy sampling everything from lasagna and mortadella to tortellini. At the heart of the city is the main square, Piazza Maggiore, a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Its ancient porticoes with elegant arcades stretch for nearly 25 miles, representing the essence of Bologna while providing endless opportunities for a memorable stroll.

Luxury Bologna Tours

Located at the foot of the Apennines, Bologna is famous for its food and the University of Bologna. The medieval center is a joy to explore with terracotta buildings adorned with miles of porticoes. Many are undoubtedly drawn here for the culinary scene. In fact, Bologna’s moniker “La Grassa” translates to the fat one, referring not only to the indulgent cuisine but the prosperous economy. 

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Why we love private tours of Bologna

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Italy Specialist

Bologna, the vibrant capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, is a captivating destination renowned for its rich history, stunning architecture, and culinary excellence. The city’s medieval towers, including the iconic Two Towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), offer breathtaking views and a glimpse into its storied past. Bologna’s extensive porticoed streets, the longest in the world, provide a unique architectural experience, while its Piazza Maggiore buzzes with lively cafes and historic landmarks like the Basilica di San Petronio.

Beyond its architectural marvels, Bologna is an excellent destination for food lovers. It’s home to the original Bolognese sauce and offers an array of delectable local delicacies, from fresh pasta like tortellini and tagliatelle to mortadella and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. The city’s vibrant markets and traditional trattorias make it a gastronomic hub.

What to do in Bologna

Discover the best of Bologna, from sampling local cuisine at its bustling markets to marvelling at magnificent artwork at Bologna National Gallery.

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    Wander the Porticoes of Bologna

    The porticos in Bologna stretch for nearly 25 miles, most built between the Middle Ages and the early 20th century, expanding as the university did. They offer an ideal place for a shady stroll while getting to know the city as well as offering fabulous photo-ops with frescoes, columns, and unique angles. One of the most famous walkways will bring you to the hilltop Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, with your reward a panoramic view over the city.

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    Discover Piazza Maggiore

    You’ll want to spend plenty of time in Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s central square, set in the heart of the city. It’s a natural starting point for exploring just about everything here as well as being one of the country’s oldest and largest squares. A hub of political and social life, there are multiple landmarks here too, including the Basilica di San Petronio and several grand palaces. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink at one of the cafes while people-watching.

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    Explore Bologna Archaeological Museum

    Located in the 15th-century Palazzo Galvani near Piazza Maggiore, the Bologna Archaeological Museum is one of the most prestigious in the city. It opened nearly 150 years ago and contains many important finds from Bologna and throughout Italy, including thousands of grave goods like pottery and bronze tools. There are nine different collections, with artifacts dating from the prehistoric era to the Roman Age. It also boasts one of the most extensive Egyptian collections in Italy.

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    Visit Bologna National Gallery

    While it can’t compete with the likes of Florence’s Uffizi, the Bologna National Gallery can be more enjoyable to visit as you won’t have to elbow your way through the crowds. There are plenty of impressive works, including extraordinary pieces by Italian masters relating to Bologna and the Emilia-Romagna region. Works range from the 13th through the 18th centuries focused on the Renaissance, Mannerism, and Baroque periods. They include highlights like The Visitation by Tintoretto and Ecstasy of St. Cecilia by Raphael.

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    Explore Bologna's Markets

    There are many local markets worth visiting in Bologna that provide a great way to learn about the local culture and sample all sorts of delicious cuisine. That includes the centuries-old La Piazzolo in Piazza dell Agosto with over 400 different stalls and Quadrilatero della Cucina, a traditional market with food stalls selling a variety of local specialties like fresh produce, meats, and cheeses. Mercato dell’Antiquariato Santo Stefano is the place to go for antiques and vintage goods.

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    Climb the Two Towers

    Le due torri, or the Two Towers, are symbols of Bologna with Asinelli the taller of the two. Like the one in Pisa, it leans a noticeable 1.3 degrees, but the main reason to visit is that you can climb the nearly 500 steps to the top of the 319-foot building for a panoramic view. The vista includes everything from Piazza Maggiore and its Basilica of San Luca to green rolling hills and via Emilia, the ancient Roman road.

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When to go to Bologna

While many feel the very best time to visit Bologna is in the spring or early fall, it really depends on what you want to experience, your budget, and your travel preferences. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more budget-friendly trip, the month of November or anytime from mid-January through February are two of the best times to visit Bologna. Both airfare and accommodation rates tend to be lower and there will be fewer other tourists around. Of course, the weather will be chilly, so it’s not the best time for hiking in the surrounding hills or enjoying other outdoor activities, but sightseeing can be enjoyable simply by bundling up a bit. April/May and September/October are two of the most popular times to visit for those who want to enjoy pleasant weather without the biggest crowds of the year, although there will still be quite a few other tourists around.

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