From its medieval town center to its legendary culinary scene, Bologna is one of Italy’s most beloved cities. Explore the city by bike, join a local guide for a food-themed tour, or get outside the city to learn about the regional tradition of luxury cars on a racetrack during a visit. Here are our top choices for three days in Bologna.
Day 1: Welcome to Bologna
Learn about Bologna’s history and architecture during a walking tour including major landmarks such as Piazza Maggiore and Basilica di San Petronio. Opt for a cycling tour to cover ground quickly, or customize a private tour according to your interests and see the city’s ancient canal system and historical palaces. Explore—and sample—Bologna’s vibrant food scene with a culinary-themed walking tour and visit markets, bakeries, and traditional food stores including a pasta maker. Finish the day with a Vespa rental and cruise through the city at your own pace to check out the glow of the city’s landmarks after dark.
Day 2: Hot-Air Balloons and Cheesemakers
Start the day with a hot-air-balloon ride above Emilia Romagna to view vineyards, valleys, and castles. Continue an adventure outside the city center with a food experience, either a Parmigiano-cheese-and-balsamic-vinegar-themed tour or an itinerary that also includes prosciutto and a local winery. These gourmet culinary experiences include multicourse meals at authentic trattorias and wine tastings from local vineyards. Return to the city center of Bologna with a much greater understanding of its culinary traditions.
Day 3: Drive on a Racetrack
Learn about the art and design of Ferrari and Lamborghini during a tour that includes their production lines and museums displaying a variety of powerful cars and sports bikes. Slip into the driver’s seat on a tour that includes a test drive or a driving experience on a racetrack for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the production of some of Italy’s most famous sports cars. Travelers that aren’t interested in luxury cars can opt for other day trips including to the charming city of Modena, known for its food and a quieter atmosphere than Bologna.