Bologna is the capital and largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, at the heart of a metropolitan area of about one million people.
Bologna is one of the most popular cities in Italy, a cultural and artistic center, renowned for its towers and porticoes, the oldest University in Western Europe and famous for its unique culinary traditions.
The earliest settlement of Bologna dates back to the first millennium. It was a central urban center, under the Etruscans and the Celts, during the Roman era and in the Middle Ages as a free municipality, and as a University city since 1088. Bologna’s urban structure is unconventional, with its medieval walls and city plan, which extend like spokes of a wheel from the heart of the city, marked by the two “sisters”: the Asinelli and Garisenda towers, whose construction is wrapped in exciting stories.
The city of Bologna is full of reminiscence and hides numerous secrets, mysteries and legends: 35 kilometers of colonnades characterize the city and reveal the keys to discover it. The Santuario della Madonna di San Luca is a must: the basilica watches over Bologna from a hill and can be reached by trekking up a path that winds like a snake. It is considered the longest portico in the world, made up of 666 arches and some 500 steps: the Bolognese and visitors from all over the world keep trying to count them.
Bologna is called “la dotta” (the learned) and “la rossa” (the red), also “la grassa” (the fat).
Bologna The Learned: The foundation of the University dates back to 1088 and in 1588 the absolute freedom of research was ratified and it is nowadays still considered a main mission. Thereafter Bologna becomes an obligatory destination for key intellectuals of the time and was the place for major studies: visiting Bologna allows you to walk the streets covered in time by Thomas Becket, Erasmus of Rottherdam, Niccolò Copernico and many others. Nowadays the University of Bologna is faithful to its mission, and fully aware that its activities can produce a significant impact on society and continues to invest in the quality of training and research. It has been awarded the use of the logo “HR Excellence in Research” and is among the top 5 Italian universities in the main international rankings. It is the second Italian University in terms of funds received by the European Commission under the Horizon2020 project, holds first place among Italian Universities in terms of the number of students abroad and is among the top 5 universities in Europe in terms of number of exchange students.
Bologna The Red: for the color of its buildings that fade from yellow to orange to red.
Bologna The Fat: many of Italian cuisine’s most popular dishes – such as tagliatelle al ragù, mortadella, tortellini, lasagne alla bolognese – are a tradition that you can came across everywhere here: wandering around the city, you can taste the typical products and discover the legends surrounding their origins, like those regarding the popular Tortellini telling of crazy loves, beautiful women and navels. Bologna’s food markets are among the best in Italy: the Quadrilatero, the centuries-old grid of streets in the very city center; Mercato di Mezzo and Mercato delle Erbe with their rustic ambiance still intact; Mercato delle Terre and its slow food straight from the source, where more than 40 vendors offer everything from artisanal cheeses to cooking demonstrations weekly.
Among the most creative cities in Europe, Bologna offers the chance of getting lost in wonder among its arcades, squares and markets, full of its unique charm and atmosphere, with a magic night life made of events, music, cinema and theatre.