Welcome to Bologna

No small wonder Bologna has earned so many historical monikers. La Grassa (the fat one) celebrates a rich food legacy (ragù or bolognese sauce was first concocted here). La Dotta (the learned one) doffs a cap to the city university founded in 1088. La Rossa (the red one) alludes to the ubiquity of the terracotta medieval buildings adorned with miles of porticoes, as well as the city's long-standing penchant for left-wing politics.

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Bologna activities

$177.48 Day Trips & Excursions

Emilia-Romagna Food Tour, Museo Ferrari Museum from Bologna

Start your small-group tour with a pickup from your central Bologna hotel or Bologna Centrale train station.Then, board your air-conditioned minibus and hear interesting nuggets about the culinary heritage of Emilia-Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital, as you travel to a factory that makes its famous Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.Head inside and watch the cheese-makers produce this legendary hard cheese, typically used to garnish pastas, risottos and salads. See how the milk is churned in huge vats and learn how the long aging process imbues Parmesan with its trademark tanginess.Sample some differently aged varieties and anjoy a really tasty breakfast, then depart for Modena and one of the region’s acetaia — family-owned farmhouses — that make balsamic vinegar. Discover how this ‘black gold’ is made in wooden barrels, and after trying some variants, perhaps buy a bottle of your favorite (own expense).Next, head for a prosciutto factory and learn the secrets behind this dry-cured ham. Find out about the lengthy curing process, and finally, sample some freshly cut slices of this succulent delicacy with Lambrusco wine.Then, drive on to the Museo Ferrari in the town of Maranello to immerse yourself in another of Italy’s iconic exports, Ferrari sports cars. A celebration of all things Ferrari, the museum tells the story of the brand with displays of vintage and contemporary models, and exhibitions charting its history and F1 honors.Enjoy a guided tour, and if you wish, use some free time here to test drive a Ferrari car, with an instructor beside you (own expense). Finish with a delicious a delicious 6-course lunch at a local restaurant, (see Itinerary for a sample menu), accompanied by wine and water, and followed by coffee and an after-lunch liquor. Then, return to Bologna, where your tour ends with a hotel or station drop-off.

$194.88 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Bologna Food Tour: Gourmet Lunch, Wine Tasting, Factory Tour

Venture out on a morning excursion to a cheese factory, where you will see all the working steps in the production of Parmigiano Reggiano, the world´s most famous (and delicious!) artisan cheese made only here the in the Emilia-Romagna countryside. You will have the rare opportunity to witness the entire process, from the early morning delivery of the milk from local farmers to crafting of the curds by the master cheese-maker, to the final aging process. You will also see huge storage of this cheese. At the end of the visit, you will enjoy the breakfast of the champion with a glass or two of good, dry Lambrusco, and, of course, plenty of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese tastings. Afterwards you can buy Parmigiano aged from 16 to 36 months for a quarter of the price you pay back home. Floors at this factory can be wet, so be careful. From the Parmigiano factory the tour moves to the "Acetaia" to see the secrets of the famous Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena D.O.P (certified Balsamic Vinegar, minimum 12 years old). This is not a factory-this is a single family producing small amounts of the world's finest vinegar for generations using the same ancient technique of aging grapes in oak barrels (batterie) that Italian families in this region have been using for centuries. The result is a condiment so delicious it has to be tasted. Full tasting of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale DOP allows you to compare 6 years old balsamic condiment with 12 and 25 years old Balsamic. You will also experience ricotta, balsamic jelly and ice cream with a 6-year-old balsamic condiment.Now you will continue to see the manufacturing of Prosciutto. Here you'll learn the careful craft of creating one of the most delicious pork products. You will also enjoy full tasting of fresh slices prosciutto di Modena D.O.P in a combination with some nice Lambrusco wine. On the Saturday tour, we have selected a local Prosciutto factory in Savigno, a small village in the Hills of Bologna.The next stop will be an authentic Italian lunch in a countryside original Trattoria or in a Certified Organic winery, a perfect ending to a day filled with the very best of Italian food culture. Here you will experience the famous Italian light lunch, multi-course gourmet lunch with local specialties paired with local wines.

$91.64 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Bologna Food Walking Tour

This 3.5-hour walking food tour offers 5 authentic tastings (a big meal) at a diversity of places such as the food market with its ancient family-run shops, a bakery, a chocolate factory, a pasta laboratory, and a gelato shop. It is recommended to eat a light breakfast before enjoying this food experience. The small-group tour combines food and art while providing the chance to discover the Piazza Maggiore with the Neptune Fountain and St. Petronio Basilica, the Archiginnasio Palace - old University of Bologna, the Two Towers, and much more. This tour is led by entertaining local guides that will not only ensure you are well fed, but they will also educate you with stories, which will provide you with insight into Bologna's traditions and culture. You will visit the oldest bakery in Bologna and taste their delicious "torta di riso" (rice cake). Continue on to the most ancient chocolate factory of the town where the first solid chocolate "sfoglia nera" was invented and then sample their specialties. Afterwards, head over to a deli-store where you will be served cured meats and cheeses (Parmigiano Reggiano with balsamic vinegar, Mortadella, Salame di Felino, Caciotta, Prosciutto di Parma) with typical breads and local wine. Stop by a pasta laboratory to taste homemade egg pasta and then visit a gelato shop. That's a real progressive lunch, Buon Appetito.

$17.40 Walking & Biking Tours

Bologna City Walking Tour

Choose from a morning of afternoon departure, then make your way to the tourist office in Piazza Maggiore, which is situated in the heart of Bologna Old Town. After introductions, pop in your headphones (if your group consists of eight people or more) to ensure you can hear the live narration, and set off on foot with your guide.Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. Italians have several nicknames for the handsome city, one of which is ‘La Rossa’ meaning ‘The Red.' This nickname is partly due to the dominant red hue of the city’s buildings and façades. Before leaving Piazza Maggiore, admire the 16th-century Fontana del Nettuno, which depicts the sea god Neptune in all his muscly glory. Make your way to the nearby Basilica di San Petronio, a superb example of Gothic architecture. Listen as your guide talks you through its standout features including a large sundial on the interior floor, and several unfinished details on the façade.Continue on foot toward Piazza della Mercanzia and stroll around the narrow streets surrounding the square, where rows of vendors hawk local food products. As you browse the quality produce, it will soon become clear why Bologna is frequently cited as one of Italy’s top food cities.Next, arrive at the courtyard of the Archiginnasio, the former seat of the University of Bologna. The university, which is Europe’s oldest, dates back to the 11th century.After hearing about Bologna’s scholarly past, stop into the Church of Santa Maria della Vita to admire a monumental group of life-size Baroque terracotta sculptures. The work depicts several figures mourning over the dead Christ. Lastly, cast your eyes skyward to view the leaning Asinelli and Garisenda towers. Commonly known as the Two Towers (Due Torri), they are Bologna’s most conspicuous landmarks. Yout tour then concludes at this location.

$82.65 Private & Custom Tours

Private Tour: Classical Bologna Walking Tour

Untouched by mass tourism, Bologna is the capital of the prosperous Emilia Romagna region. On this Classical Bologna Private Walking Tour you'll discover why Bologna has so many nicknames, including La Dotta (The Learned), for its ancient university; La Rossa (The Red), for the warm colors of its roofs and houses, and La Grassa (The Fat), for the wonderful food you'll find here! This private walking tour takes you to see some of the most important buildings in the city, including Palazzo Accursio, Palazzo del Protesta, the Sala Borsa, Palazzo re Enzo and the famous Fountain of Neptune which dates back to the 16th century. Additionally, you'll view the Medieval Market and Loggia Dei Mercanti, the Anatomy Theater (closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday), Basilica of San Petronio, the Archiginnasio, the medieval Two Towers and the Complex of Santo Stefano. If you have a little extra time to explore the city, an extended tour may include San Giacomo, the Oratory of Santa Cecilia, San Domenico of the Sanctuary of San Luca. This in-depth, hassle-free private tour is hosted by an English-speaking guide. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history, culture) at the time of booking to alert your guide, so they can prepare for your private tour.

$123.25 Food, Wine & Nightlife

Private Tour: Gourmet Walking Tour of Bologna - Pasta, Mortadella and Chocolate

You'll visit a traditional bakery, followed by a pasta maker where you'll learn about the production of Tortellini and Tagliatelle. Continue to Beccari's salsamenteria to discover the history of mortadella, from the third century BC right up until modern times. The highlight of the tour is perhaps your visit to a traditional chocolate maker, where solid chocolate was invented! Your tour also includes a visit to a typical Bolognese osteria (restaurant), to discover the fun-loving side of Italy's oldest university. This in-depth, hassle-free private tour is hosted by an English-speaking guide. Please list any special interests you have (art, architecture, history, culture) at the time of booking to alert your guide, so they can prepare for your private tour.