There are may things to do for a weekend in Bologna, a perfect destination for three spring days having fun and tasting delicacies

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La rossa, la grassa, la dotta (the red, the thick, the learned one): that's how an old saying describes Bologna - for the peculiar color of its buldings, the richness of its food and the presence of the most ancient university in the world. For decades, it has been among the most beloved cities in Italy by tourists for its vitality, unmistakable architecture, cultural happenings, lively nightlife and, as we said, good food. 

And in case this is not enough for you, in our opinion spring and its mild climates are an additional excuse for a three-day getaway to this charming city. To prove it to you, we want to give you some hints for a weekend in Bologna that will allow you to really savor its atmosphere. 

Where to stay for a weekend in Bologna

Weekend in Bologna

Every year, millions of tourists from all over the world choose Bologna for a getaway full of culture, entertainment and to taste many typical delicacies that the City of Arcades has to offer. Fortunately, this trend seems not to want to stop, thanks in part to the countless events that enliven it-concerts, festivals, exhibitions, fairs, conventions. 

On the other hand, however, this has contributed to the rising prices of accommodations, so if you want to spend a weekend in Bologna, we recommend that you keep your budget in mind. Although lodging in the center is very comfortable, if you prefer to save money, you may find it difficult to find something affordable, especially at certain times of the year; in that case, we recommend you opt for the neighborhoods immediately outside the walls, such as San Donato (very close to the university), Cirenaica or Murri, which are convenient to reach on foot or by public transport, which is always very efficient and active 24 hours. 

Have you booked your room? Well, now let's go find out what experiences to have in your weekend in Bologna.

Your very exhausting work week has just ended-you deserve a reward! How about an apericena and a bar tour in the zone most frequented by the people of the night?

Apericena, as in other Italian cities, is a must in Bologna for all those who want to drink and eat at a reasonable price. Green light then to cocktails, beers or wine glasses and all you can eat buffets, or rich charcuterie boards with cold cuts, cheeses and tigelle, the small sandwiches that are typical of the area, which reach the peak of goodness with mortadella, one of the symbols of local gastronomy. This formula is very popular in city cafés and you'll be spoiled for choice, but we recommend staying downtown and in the university area. 

Let's complete the evening on Via del Pratello, the most popular with young people for its back-to-back pubs and hangouts, a place where you can continue to enjoy low-priced drinks and chat until dawn in an informal and friendly atmosphere. 

Saturday morning: learn how to make fresh pasta

Fresh pasta lab for your weekend in Bologna

Egg pasta, strictly rolled out by hand, is one of the specialties of which the people of Bologna are most proud, but not so much as not to reveal its preparation. That's why for your weekend in Bologna we suggest starting the Saturday with a workshop held by experts to learn how to make fresh pasta. Tagliatelle, pappardelle, lasagna and all the filled variants, such as tortellini and ravioli, will have no more secrets for you and you will be able to prepare them whenever you get homesick for the city.

Of course, after sweating with the rolling pin, you deserve to reward yourself with a steaming dish of pasta in one of the numerous taverns in the city. 

Lucio Dalla was one of the most beloved songwriters in Italian music. Born and raised in Bologna, he passed away in 2012, but fortunately he left us his home on Via D'Azeglio, behind Piazza Maggiore. The mansion has soon become a public museum telling about its souls, his love for music and art, his eccentricity, but also his personal dimension that emerges from the combination of awards, paintings and precious objects with cheap trinkets and knick-knacks. Each room has been renamed according to the "story" it narrates; for example, the "Caruso" (one of his most famous songs) is the headquarters of Dalla's record label, Pressing Line, which still launches talented singers. For your weekend in Bologna, you cannot miss the opportunity to discover the more intimate side of Lucio, an artist who left us too soon.

Saturday night with Pignoletto wine and lasagna

Lasagna and wine for your weekend in Bologna

You can't finish your Saturday without enjoying a typical dinner and the delicious Emilian wines. So go for the traditional lasagna, perhaps accompanied by a glass of Pignoletto. Downtown you will have at your disposal a huge amount of inns, taverns and restaurants, some of them historic, but if you want to move, we recommend the area of Via Saragozza, featuring the very long arcades that lead directly to the San Luca Sanctuary staircase and home to some legendary taverns visited also by celebrities; an area that is certainly quieter and more intimate than the historic center.

The Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca for your weekend in Bologna

Let's start the last day of the weekend in Bologna with a timeless classic, a visit to the Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca.

Located on a hill at 260 meters in altitude, the sanctuary dominates the city from above and is actually one of the best panoramic spots from which to admire a breathtaking view. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it can be reached by climbing no less than 498 steps and traversing 666 arches (for a total of almost 4 km), and you may be surprised to learn that many of the people of Bologna perform this arduous task every day, for an intensive workout that, they swear, keeps them young and active ((who wouldn't believe it!). We propose a far less exhausting alternative, by making the ascent on the lovely little scenic train departing from downtown and descending on foot-a compromise that seems acceptable to us. 

After the long descent from San Luca, it is time to dedicate time to beauty. A must in Bologna for lovers of exhibitions and contemporary art is Palazzo Albergati, a splendid example of 16th-century architecture located along Via Saragozza. The peculiarity of the projects promoted by the structure consists in favoring original and innovative projects, photographic and immersive exhibitions, thematic paths, focus on pop culture icons and everything that differs from "ordinary" exhibitions. At the moment, for example, you can see the exhibition "Animali fantastici - Il giardino delle meraviglie", a 360-degree excursus on the animal world by young international artists, a kind of brightly colored zoo: not to be missed for your weekend in Bologna. 

7 secret of Bologna in a tour on Sunday night

Weekend in Bologna to find its 7 secrets out

So vital and lively by day, so mysterious by night: in every corner of Bologna there is an ambiguous or hidden detail just waiting to be revealed. The regional capital city of Emilia, after all, is famous for its 7 secrets, all over the center, and by being patient and sharpening your eyes you will be able to discover them without too much difficulty - here we have already revealed 3 of them, you only have 4 more to go.

If, on the other hand, you want to put yourself in the hands of experts in Bolognese history and want to know all the details and curiosities surrounding it, be aware that there are numerous associations in the area that are responsible for organizing thematic walks and tours, both day and night. 

Immersing yourself in culture and beauty, taking long walks and enjoying good food and wine for a weekend is the best way to disconnect from everyday life and come back to work on Monday filled up with energy. To achieve this goal, choosing to spend the weekend in Bologna, as you may have noticed, is an ideal option during these sunny spring days. Follow our advice to experience the true spirit of the City of Arcades and return home full of wonders.

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