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Shopping in Bologna

When it comes to shopping, Bologna can hold its own against rivals such as Milan and Rome. It is particularly pleasant at the weekend when Zone 'T' (via Rizzoli, Via Independenza and Via Ugo Bassi) and the streets east of Piazza Maggiore are closed to traffic.

Key areas

The four main shopping streets (Via dell'Indipendenza, Via Ugo Bassi, Via Rizzoli and Via D'Azeglio) lead off Piazza Maggiore in crossroad formation. All the big name Italian designers can be found here as well as a proliferation of antiques and books.

Via dell'Archiginnasio is also lined with exclusive shops, including Gucci and Armani, with nearby Via Farini luring fashionistas too. Other shopping areas include Galleria Cavou, near the Archiginnasio Palace, and Corte Isolani close to Piazza Santo Stefano.


For a taste of Bologna, the streets to the east of Piazza Maggiore (Via delle Vecchie Pescherie and Via delle Drapperie, known as the Quadrilatero district) abound with stalls selling everything from seasonal fruit to fresh fish, seafood and salumerie (deli) stocked with prosciutto and mortadella.

The delectable Mercato delle Erbe, on Via Ugo Bassi, sells fresh fruit and vegetables every morning 0715-1300 and evening 1730-1930, except Sunday, and Thursday afternoon. There's also a daily produce market on Via Clavature, east of Piazza Maggiore. La Baita Formaggi, Via Pescherie Vecchie, is also renowned for its cheeses. At the weekend a huge flea market takes over Piazza dell 'Otto Agosto.

Shopping centres

Most of the major shopping malls can be found on the outskirts of Bologna, such as Centro Borgo, at Via Marco Emilio Lepido, 186, Centro Lame, at Via Marco Polo, 3, Centro Nova, at Via Villanova, 29, and Parco Commerciale Meraville at Via Tito Carnacini, 57.

Opening hours

As a rule, shops open Monday to Saturday 0900-1300 and 1530-2000, although larger department stores and supermarkets may stay open throughout the day. Nearly everything is shut during August, on Thursday afternoon and on Sunday.


Good Bologna mementos include Pignoletto, the local sparkling white wine, as well as pasta, oils and leather goods, including handmade shoes.

Tax information

Value added tax is 22%. Travellers from outside the EU can claim back sales tax on purchases over €155 (only those from shops displaying the sign 'tax free for tourists' or similar).

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Featured Hotels


Hotel Ideale

This good value hotel close to the railway station has small but clean en-suite rooms, and pleasant staff. It has tea and coffee making facilities but doesn't offer breakfast. It also has the option of a room in a nearby apartment.

Hotel Porta San Mamolo

Excellent value, this comfortable, quiet and central hotel is close to Piazza Maggiore. Rooms are light and prettily decorated with period fabrics, elegant furnishings, floral oil paintings and candy-stripe wallpaper. The bright breakfast room is set between two courtyards. There is free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and complimentary bike hire.

Hotel Paradise

Within walking distance of the tourist centre, the 3-star Hotel Paradise offers 18 rooms, including mini apartments with small kitchens. Most of the rooms have elegant modern decor and offer fantastic views of the city's red rooftops. Its free internet and Wi-Fi access is a bonus.

Hotel Albergo Atlantic

A cosy and charming budget hotel within walking distance of the city centre, Hotel Albergo Atlantic is also close to the train station. The rooms have been renovated recently and are light and bright. Expect friendly, welcoming staff, spotlessly clean rooms and a continental buffet breakfast. Complimentary Wi-Fi is included too.

Il Convento dei Fiori di Seta

In a 14th-century convent, this chic boutique combines the building's original features and traditional style (exposed brickwork, beams, oriental rugs and religious frescoes) with elements of contemporary design, such as Perspex and chrome chairs and blown-up modernist floral photographs. A spa area offers a Jacuzzi and Turkish bath.

Grand Hotel Majestic Già Baglioni

This 109-room hotel, on one of Bologna's main shopping streets, is the city's most luxurious. It was designed during the 18th century and built on orders of a pope. Murano glass chandeliers sprinkle the ceilings, while expansive corridors lead guests to beautifully decorated rooms containing antique furniture and modern amenities.