Bologna – la grassa, la rossa, la dotta

Hello hello! I am back! Today is all about Bologna, Italy. To be honest, I got to visit this city only because flight tickets were super cheap. And by cheap, I mean 35 euros round-trip tickets for both, husband and I, with Wizzair. So it all makes sense now when I am telling you that I just couldn’t help myself, right? Heheee.

In my opinion, Bologna is so underrated! And that’s because of its close bigger sisters: Florence in the first place, Venice and even Milan. But because I don’t tend to usually do what other people choose to do most of the times, I just decided that we should stay only in Bologna and give this city a proper chance. I mean without adding another destination on our itinerary during this trip. Glad we did so!

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So why is it called “la grassa, la rossa, la dotta”?

La grassa: it means “the fat one” and it’s related with… yeah you guessed it right… the food! Not by chance, typical products of this region are Parma ham, Parmigiano Reggiano, balsamic vinegar and Bologna mortadella.

“We eat more in Bologna in a year than in Venice in two, in Rome in three, in Turin in five and in Genoa in twenty” (Ippolito Nievo, Confessioni di un italiano, 1867).

La rossa: it means “the red one” and it’s related with… the red rooftops throughout the city. If you ever find yourself in Bologna, you should definitely see the city from above. It’s an awesome view!

La dotta: it means “the learned one” and that’s because here it is the first university of the West, since 1088. The University of Bologna has attracted students from all over Europe. You’ll get to see many youngsters roaming around, this actually gives the city a very cool vibe.

DAY 1. We landed on Bologna’s airport, which is quite close to the city. The weather wasn’t that friendly, but it was ok coz it was January for God’s sake! It was a bit rainy indeed, but nothing too bothering.

We took a taxi, because the hotel we were staying at, was only 15 minutes away. If we would have taken the bus, we would have paid only few euros less, but then the journey would have lasted 45 minutes instead of 15. WAIT WHAT??? Too many numbers, right?

Anyways, we paid 15 euros by taxi, while taking the bus would have been 12 euros. See what I am saying? :)) 3 euros more for 30 minutes less. I am not good at math but sometimes, logic helps haha.

We stayed at Arcoveggio Hotel (rated as “Very good 8.3” on Booking). The room was clean and nicely decorated. But what I liked the most, was the big private terrace where we could drink our coffee in the morning! We paid 81 euros for 2 nights.

After we made the check-in and left our baggage, we just went outside for a walk. What I loved the most in Bologna was the picturesque old town, one of the best preserved in Europe. Also, you should know that the city is characterized by its 40 kilometers of porches that make it unique in the world.

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To be honest, we didn’t do much that night… just wandered through the city to get its pulse. We stopped at a restaurant near the Asinelli Tower (of course I don’t remember the name of the restaurant, why would I?) and ate there some pasta.

FUN FACT: you know those gypsies who come to your table trying to sell you diverse flowers or other things? This was the case here. And they were trying to convince husband to buy me a rose but he refused. However, I actually couldn’t resist and bought myself the ugliest and un-fancy rose ever :))) it was painted in blue with some cheap ink… a total kitsch, but the truth is I still have it at my home now haha. I guess the blue ink preserved the rose well!

DAY 2. Woke up in the morning, had our coffee and went outside to explore more of Bologna. This time, during day-light. The weather was quite gloomy though… meh.

Walking from the accommodation until the city center took approximately 20-25 minutes and we went straight to Piazza Maggiore. That’s where the old town is as well! And that’s where we also had our breakfast.

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In Piazza Maggiore, there is also the Basilica San Petronio. By the way, visiting the cathedral is free of charge. Wanted to visit it, I mean it… I really really wanted but… who am I fooling? The truth is I wasn’t that interested in visiting it and kind of let this one at the bottom of the “to do” list, until I actually didn’t visit it anymore! Shame on me.

Next stop: the canals of Bologna! Yup, you read it well. Bologna has some hidden canals in the city. Not that famous as Venice’s canals, but still… worth to find them. You should look for Via Piella and you’ll get to see them. Also, look for this cute little window. Here’s where the magic happens!

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A selfie a day, keeps the doctor away! At least that’s what I’ve heard hahaha. Anyways, moving forward… we were starting to be quite hungry so we stopped to have something to eat. We ordered a sweet Sicily wine. Totally recommend it! Oh and we also ordered food. Almost forgot about the food :))

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After having our tummies full, we just kept on walking through the alleys of the old town. We looked for Via Zamboni, because I heard there are lots of graffiti and many students hanging around as well. It also smelled a lot like pot in that area to be honest haha.

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We were quite tired because we literally walked all day long so we decided to just have our dinner and then get back to the accommodation.

We stopped at C’entro. I actually forgot the name of this restaurant as well but google it on maps until I found it, please appreciate my effort in this! Hahaha. Here, you can order a drink and eat whatever you want. Like you pay 8 euros for any drink you want and then you receive a ticket that allows you to eat as much as you want to! The food is always hot and fresh.

DAY 3. It was our last day in Bologna and we still didn’t climb the Asinelli tower. Everybody knows about the leaning tower in Pisa, but how many people have ever noticed that Bologna has two of them and that they are even older?

In fact, it appears that the buildings have a lot to offer: one of them, the Torre degli Asinelli, is much taller than the Pisa one, while the other, called Garisenda, leans a little more.

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However, you can climb only the Asinelli tower, as far as I know. Just 498 steps and you’re up! Heheee be ready to climb and climb and climb and climb and climb a little bit more until you get on top. But once you’re there… oh man, the view is amazing, trust me!

You need to purchase tickets from the Piazza Maggiore, they don’t sell the tickets at the tower, keep that in mind! The price was 5 euros per person and you have an exact time scheduled to go up (from 30 to 30 minutes).

I intentionally left this sight for our last day in Bologna becauuuuuseeee I was expecting a little bit of sun in the menu for that day. Or to be honest, I was more hoping for it!

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We just wandered a bit more through the surrounding area until going up in the tower, took some more pictures, made some shopping… Unfortunately I was still being SAD because it was still being CLOUDY. Until one moment, when the sky cleared up like instantly, right on time for climbing that tower. SAYYY WHATTT??? God really loves me sometimes, for sure.

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And now… let’s finally go up there! Are you ready for those 498 steps? Because I ammm! It’s funny coz I am a super short girl, but it seems I do not have altitude sickness at all.

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So that’s all folks! Time for us to head to the airport. But I just couldn’t leave Italy without having a gelato. Yummmyyyy

As a final conclusion… Bologna is a city that tourists do not hurry to visit but trust me, you’ll certainly have nothing to lose if you choose to do otherwise!

It was actually super relaxing for us especially because you don’t have many sights and landmarks to visit. We didn’t have to run from one location to another and we just took it easy. And the old town is one of the most beautiful ones seen so far, so yeah… you should definitely visit this city!

Until next time,

Andreea.

  • Our stay in Bologna: 26.01.2018 – 28.01.2018
  • Bucharest – Bologna and return flight: Wizzair 35 Euros
  • Accommodation: Arcoveggio Hotel 81 Euros
  • Total: 116 Euros as a couple

PS: If you are using booking.com to find the best accommodations like I do, then you should use the following link to receive 10% of your money back on your next travel! It’s a win-win situation… so why not?

https://www.booking.com/s/34_6/e222dd81

Thank you!

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