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Things to do in Bologna

Get body conscious at the Teatro Anatomico

We are fortunate enough to live in a world where body dissections go on behind closed doors. In the 17th century they took place in Teatro Anatomico, wonderfully ornate wood-paneled rooms that were damaged by bombings during WWII but have been beautifully reconstructed. Speak to the tourist office ( about admission times.

Hike up to San Luca

A portico is a succession of arches holding up a roof or shelter. Bologna's portico di San Luca is a hefty 3.5km (2 miles) long, and wends from the Porta Saragozza in the centre of town, up to the 10th century Santuario Madonna di San Luca (Church of San Luca). The views from the top are the best in town.

Learn to cook ragù alla Bolognese

In a city renowned for its culinary art, it would be unwise to not learn how to cook like a local. Get to grips with a ragù alla Bolognese (Bolognese sauce) at Bologna Cooking School (, which offers everything from half-day classes to three days of lessons. There are courses specialising in fish, fresh Porcini mushrooms and truffles too.

See the real leaning towers

The world and its daughter already know of the leaning tower of Pisa, but Bologna has some vaguely inclined buildings of its own in the Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda (Tower of Asinelli and Garisenda). The Asinelli tower is 97m (318ft) tall, with a lung-busting 498 steps. The views at the top are worth it, though.

Tee off at a championship golf course

Golfing fans can tee off at one of four championship golf courses close to the city. Golf Club Le Fonti, Golf Club Casalunga, Golf Club Bologna and Golf Club Molino del Pero (tel: +39 544 916 280; will all test your putting prowess, no matter your ability.

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Featured Hotels


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.

Hotel Corona D'Oro

Situated by the Two Towers in the heart of the historic centre, this luxury hotel is housed in an historic 14th-century palace and is within walking distance of all the major sights. Rooms are grand and elegantly furnished with spacious bathrooms. Particularly popular is the aperitivo buffet at happy hour and its plentiful breakfast.

Hotel Metropolitan

With minimalist decor, white walls, clean lines, candles and South East Asian art, Hotel Metropolitan is something of a calm oasis. The buffet breakfast is stocked with organic produce and there is a little courtyard to relax if the weather is good. The central square is just a short walk along one of the city's main shopping streets.

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.