NEED TO KNOW
LOCATION Bologna lies in the Po Valley of northern Italy, between the Reno and Sàvena rivers
POPULATION Around 371,200
VISITORS PER YEAR Around 1.1 million
DAYTIME TEMPERATURES Jan: 36°F (2°C); Apr: 55°F (13°C); Jul: 73°F (23°C); Oct: 57°F (14°C)
Italians call the city “Bologna la rossa” (Bologna the red) and it is not hard to see why – many of its buildings are painted in reddish hues, from vivid red to terracotta, although the epithet is also said to refer to the city’s left-leaning politics.
The Old Town, which sits on the site of a settlement dating from the 5th century BC, was damaged during World War II, but still impresses with its medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings. It is also home to one of the world’s oldest universities.
Today, the city is best known to Italians for its food, which is quite something in a country famed for its gastronomy.
Bologna’s airport is connected to many cities in Europe and its train station has direct connections to other cities in Italy.
When to Go
Spring is generally the best time to visit Bologna. Summers can be oppressively hot and many businesses close in August, while winters are usually very cold.