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Bologna tours and excursions

Bologna tours

Bicycle tours

Two-hour cycling tours of Bologna with Bike in Bo depart from Via del Pratello 97/D on Wednesdays at 1000 (other times and days available on request). There are two routes available in English: the first focuses on the town; the second takes visitors farther afield. Booking is mandatory; minimum three participants. Bicycle hire and insurance are included.

Tel: +39 51 855 2419.

Walking tours

Walking tours of Bologna depart from the tourist office on Piazza Maggiore and are managed by Prima Classe Arte Cultura & Turismo. Tours in English depart every Monday and Friday at 1100 and every Tuesday and Thursday at 1500 (1600 June to September). These tours take roughly two hours and include Piazza Maggiore, the Archiginnasio, the Basilica di Santo Stefano and the Due Torri. No booking necessary.

Tel: +39 51 855 2419.

Bologna excursions


The artistic orgy of Florence (Firenze) is one of the reasons why visitors to Italy have overlooked Bologna. Some 80km (50 miles) south of Bologna, just 37 minutes by train, the city lies at the heart of the Renaissance and is home to some of the world's greatest works of art, including Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Michelangelo's David and Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise.
 Architecturally, the gravity-defying dome of Brunelleschi's cathedral and Giotto's elegant campanile dominate the skyline, but every nook and cranny of Florence holds a surprise.

+39 55 290 832.



About 90km (56 miles) northwest of Bologna, Parma has given the world parmigiano (Parmesan cheese), its delicious sweet cured ham, and resurgent food company Parmalat. But this prosperous, elegant city is much more than Italy's glorified larder. Parma boasts a fine musical tradition (this is Verdi country), is home to one of Italy's most important opera venues, the Regio Theatre. It also has a magnificent Romanesque Cathedral and National Gallery. Trains depart frequently for Parma from Bologna's central station every hour (journey time - about 50 minutes).

Tel: +39 52 121 8889.
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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.