I had spent a lot of time in Italy over the years, and I felt like I had seen what there was to see of this beautiful country for the most part. I had been to Rome, Milan, Venice and Turin among others. A friend of mine recently returned from Bologna, where I had never been, and told me that I really hadn’t seen all of Italy if I hadn’t seen Bologna. I believed her, as she and I have been comparing traveling notes for decades. As it turned out, I was going to be in Italy the following week for work, but I wasn’t sure if I could shake free for a day to check it out. As it turned out, that’s exactly what happened, although it happened with no notice. If I wanted to spend a day in Bologna, I would have to find a Bologna hotel room in minutes.
I grabbed my phone and looked for an app that would help me find a hotel room in Bologna immediately. I found something called HotelTonight, and while I hadn’t used it before,I liked the way it looked. I searched for Bologna hotels and was pleased with the number of choices that were present. I chose a hotel that looked like a nice fit for me, and then I pushed forward with the booking process. I had my Bologna hotel room booked within seconds. I was all set–I had found a room in Bologna and was all set to go and spend a day there. All I had to do at that point was figure out where I wanted to go while on my adventure.
I wanted to start my exploration in the middle of it all, which is what I found with Centro Storico. I could easily have gotten lost while walking down all of the narrow streets, but I was OK with that, as everywhere I turned I found something I wanted to look at more closely. I also found this to be a very lively part of town, as there were a lot of different students around and others out performing in the streets. I had come to a place that seemed to be an homage to ‘old’ Italy, and that first stop only got me more excited about my day.
My next stop was to the north a bit, in a place called Bolognina, or “Little Bologna.” This was a very eclectic part of town where you saw people from all walks of life living together in what sure looked like harmony to me. I could not get enough of the piazzas that I had been seeing all day, and after taking photos of one, I found a cafe with seating that bordered it. I sat outside, sipped a cappuccino and just took in the entire scene. It was the perfect recharge session on what was becoming a perfect day for me.
As old as everything appears in Bologna, there are parts of town that appear to be one the come. One of those areas is Barca. If you ask someone who has lived in Bologna for a long time, he or she will likely say that this is a tough part of town. In recent years, a lot of reinvestment has occurred here and it’s now thriving and vibrant. It’s also home to some nice restaurants, which was becoming important as my appetite increased. I found a little place that seemed right for trying some famous Bolognese cuisine, and I was right–it was a fantastic meal.
My first stop after lunch was a place called Mazzini, which really showed me how the high-end folks of Bologna have traditionally lived. This is a very nice residential area with quite a bit of open space and places to walk around. I enjoyed that because I needed to work off that lunch. I also needed to find some gifts for the people in my life, and I found some shops nearby that were perfect for what I was looking for. I filled a few bags and began to think about my final destination for the day.
I ended my day in a relatively quiet place, but that was fine because I had been hustling and bustling myself all day and was ready to unwind a bit. Saragozza is a lovely neighborhood that was filled with restaurants. I had been looking forward to eating dinner in a city known as the “Stomach of Italy” all day, and I found a place that looked like it would work. I enjoyed some local favorites along with a nice glass of wine, and it was a dinner I may never forget. I loved the food in Bologna, but that hardly puts me in exclusive company.
Sadly, it was time to make my way back to my hotel. I had fallen in love with Bologna immediately, and I already wished I could stay longer. Perhaps I could at some point in the future, and if or when that time arrived, I would most definitely look to HotelTonight for my Bologna hotel room. It had been a great day, but I was now looking forward to a nice sleep in my comfortable room.