In this travel guide I show you the things to do in Bologna and the surrounding region Emilia Romagna. From strolling around the old town of Bologna, driving a Ferrari F430 in Modena to relaxing at the beach in Rimini.[box type=”info” ]This article is part of the free Backpacking in Europe Guide where you find more great information, resources and destination guides to plan & organize your trip to Europe! Consider learning basic Italian online and don't forget to book a travel insurance![/box]
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1) Things to do in Bologna & Emilia Romagna
Bologna is the capital of the region Emilia Romagna where you can find a lot of diversity in the things one can do here. Use this selection to make the best out of your stay!
a) Strolling the old town of Bologna
The old town of Bologna is beautiful, especially the arcades are great and make it possible to explore the city even if it is raining. Take the time for a walk and discover the inner city with it's nice old houses and stop for an espresso at one of the many good Cafés.
b) Torre Asinelli – Bologna from above
Legends have it that there have been more than 180 towers in Bologna back in the 14th century. Today only a few are left, the Torre Assinelli has once been the highest building in europe – from there you can enjoy the best view over the city today!
c) Enjoy the italian cuisine
The Emilia Romagna is often called the kitchen of Italy due to the fact that a lot of Italian specialties have their origin here: Parmesan, Parma Ham, Motadella, Balsamico, Tortellini and Tagliatelle al Ragú (“Bolognese”) to name just a few.
Therefore take your time to pick some good restaurants (find some recommendations below) to enjoy the delicious food of the region!
d) Driving a Ferrari in Modena
Although it's not cheap, I guess it is a must-do for Ferrari lovers: driving a Ferrari F430 Challenge on a race track. The Autodromo di Modena isn't a very long race track but a lot of fun!
Where: Autodromo di Modena
Price: from 440€
e) Ferrari Museum Maranello
Another Must-Visit for car lovers is Maranello with all its Ferraris – beside the Ferrari Museum where you can checkout some beautiful cars you'll also find various car rental services to rent a Ferrari.
Where: Museo Ferrari
Price: from 13€ (Entrance fee, museum)
f) Football & Tifosi
Though you don't find the most popular Clubs of Italy here, the emotions and energy at the football matches are as good. The FC Bologna and AC Cesena are going up and down between the first and second league, therefore it's mostly easier to get tickets here than for matches of Milan or Juventus. ;)
g) Hiking at the National Park Casentinesi
Time to go for a walk in the woods – the more active things to do in Bologna & Emilia Romagna can be found in the Apennines. The National Park “Foreste Casentinesi” is located at the border to Tuscany and awaits with some beautiful hiking trails e.g. at the Camaldoli monastery close to Bagno di Romagna.
h) Mountain biking in the Apennines
Cycling is a big thing in this region – every year cyclists from all around the world visit the Emilia Romagna due to it's variety. Besides the ‘Giros' on the streets you can also go mountain biking: I used Acquapartita as starting point, from here you have various options (e.g. the source of the Tiber).
i) San Marino
San Marino is the world's oldest republic and has a beautiful old town as well which is worth an excursion. Due to the fact that the city os located on a mountain you're able to enjoy stunning views from the 3 towers. Don't miss to bring your passport to get it stamped at the tourist information (fee: 5€).Reisepass nicht vergessen wenn man sich einen Stempel abholen möchte (gg. 5€ Gebühr).
Transfer: regular bus from Rimini for 9€ return (aprox. 1h)
j) Relax at the beach of Rimini
Rimini has a well developed tourist infrastructure with all it's advantages and disadvantages – instead of lonely bays you'll find a long wide beach. Nevertheless it's a great option for a few days at the beach and the city also has a nice old town!
One of the things I miss: You meet with friends at a bar in the afternoon for an aperitif – a lot of bars have a special Aperitivo offer where you only buy the drink (usualy 5€) and get complimentary food. Aperol Spritz or “Spritz” is mostly the way to go ;)
2) great Restaurants / Cafés
As mentioned above food is very important in Emilia Romagna – here are my personal recommendations where you can eat delicious food without spending a fortune!
a) Osteria dell'Orsa, Bologna
A lively spot which is very budget friendly – quick service and great atmosphere. The Osteria dell'Orsa is located in the university and highly recommended for ordering the local ‘Tagliatelle al Ragú'!
What: Lunch, Dinner
Address: Via Mentana 1, Bologna
The place to go for great pizza, also very budget friendly and popular amongst locals.
What: Lunch, Dinner
Addresse: Via San Vitale 45, Bologna
The oldest wine bar of Bologna where you can bring your own food – you'll find great shops to buy local food around the Osteria del Sole. Get's crowded from 6 p.m.
What: Wine / Beer
Address: Vicolo Ranocchi, 1/d, Bologna
d) Caffè Terzi, Bologna
The best Espresso in Bologna you can enjoy in this traditional Café
What: Espresso, Snacks
Address: Via G. Oberdan 10/d, Bologna
e) La Sorbetteria Castiglione, Bologna
This little walk is worth the efforts – the best ice cream in town! :)
What: Ice cream, Chocolate
Address: via Castiglione, 44, Bologna
e) Osteria Stallo del Pomodoro, Modena
The chef Max prepares delicious, local dishes – all homemade at one of the best restaurants you can find in Modena.
What: Lunch, Dinner
Address: Largo Hannover, 63, Modena
e) Ristorante Il Toscano, Acquapartita
Alvaro brought his cuisine from Tuscany to Emilia Romagna – you should try the Ravioli!
What: Lunch, Dinner
Address: Via Acquapartita, 94, 47023 Acquapartita
g) Casina del Bosco, Rimini
One of the Must-Eats in Rimini – the perfect spot to try the traditional Piadinas with various fillings – delicious!
What: Lunch, Dinner
Address: Viale Antonio Beccadelli 15, Rimini
h) Beach-Restaurant Savoia Hotel, Rimini
Usually I'm not a fan of Hotel restaurants – this is an exception as they have amazing food, especially the sea food is recommendable!
Address: Am Strandabschnitt 35 / Lungomare Murri 13, Rimini
Bologna as well as Rimini are great cities to dance the night away and enjoy some drinks. While you're right at the beach in Rimini, you're surrounded by students in Bologna.
a) Via del Pratello, Bologna
Along this street you'll find numerous pubs and bars – great to get in touch with locals!
LGBT Center and Disco with good Music.
Address: Via Don Minzoni, 18, Bologna
Disco with Rock music and a restaurant with a view to the beach of Rimini.
Address: Largo Ruggero Boscovich, Rimini
Street Disco and good House Music – very popular!
Address: Via Lungomare Tintori 5, Rimini
a) Bologna: B&B Dell'Orso
A small Bed and Breakfast with modern rooms, free WiFi and good prices (more than a hostel, less than a hotel). The breakfast is included – you get vouchers for a good Café which is located around the corner.
Prices: Double room from 65€ – Book now
Even though it's a 4 Star Hotel it offers great prices and is therefore a good option for some relaxed days in Rimini. The breakfast is huge, the service great and the rooms are modern and offer a great beach view.
Prices: Double room from 72€ – Book now
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