Cities Recommendations

10 Reasons to go on Erasmus in Bologna

Bologna is the great capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, located in northern Italy. This city is home to almost 400,000 inhabitants and it is an important place due to its good location and communication by road and rail with all parts of Italy. It is an area where important mechanical, electronic and food industries reside.
It’s a place where you can find prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions, and one of the most advanced fair districts in Europe. In 2000 it was the "European capital of culture", while since 2006 it is a UNESCO "creative city for music". In 2021 its arcades were recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Geographical location of Bologna


Bologna is the ancient and lively capital of Emilia-Romagna, more precisely in the Emilian part of the region, to the north-west. Its territory is characterized by the extensive and important Po Valley that runs through the region. Moving away from the heart of the historic center you can find mountainous landscapes belonging to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines.
The sea is only an hour away by transport (the train is the most used), so in a very short time you can visit cities full of life, especially in summer. Among the most famous are: Riccione, Cervia / Milano-Marittima, Rimini, Lidi Ferraresi, where you will find a great variety of discos and night parties.
If you want to reach and visit other cities during your stay in Bologna, you should know that it is a very well connected city and is close to other famous Italian cities such as Florence, Venice, Milan, Rome, Padua and Genoa.

Places to visit in Bologna

Bologna is a city rich in history and culture, since thanks to its strategic position it has suffered the influence of several towns over the years, which is why there are several museums and monuments from various domains.
Its almost 40 km of porches that cross the main streets in the center are characteristic and the longest in the world, especially useful in winter when it rains. They were declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2021. It is very beautiful to walk under these arches and admire the city.
There are numerous places to see to know to the best the city that make it unique, here we show you the most important ones:

  • Cathedral of San Petronio
  • The Mayor Square
  • Statue of Neptune
  • Via Indipendenza
  • Montagnola Park
  • Torre Asinelli
  • Old Market
  • Santo Stefano Square
  • Little Venice, a window to the canals
  • The Jardine Margherita
  • Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca

Itinerary to see Bologna in one day

Although Bologna is large, it has all the important places nearby to visit, so it can be visited even in one day. Here is the itinerary we recommend:


  1. Montagnola Park
  2. Via Indipendenza
  3. The Mayor Square
  4. Sala Borsa
  5. Neptuno
  6. Cathedral of San Petronio
  7. Old Market
  8. Torre Asinelli
  9. The Three Arrows of Corte Isolani
  10. Santo Stefano Square and the Seven Churches
  11. Little Venice (Window to the Canals in Via Piella)
  12. The Jardine Margherita

Curiosities of Bologna

The Neptune Statue in Maggiore Square

Bologna is a city very rich in culture, in fact it is also called "La Dotta" and at the same time very fun and youthful, we are going to discover some of its secrets!

The asinelli tower, the diabolical city

It is rumored that Bologna has several references to Satan, in fact, there are numerous representations for the city and the portico of San Luca is made up of 666 arches. Lastly, it is said that the Torre degli Asinelli and the Garisenda were built by the devil himself in one night, especially the second one due to its particular slope, of which Dante also writes in the Divine Comedy.

The Giant: Questions of Perspective

Nettuno, also known as The Giant, was sculpted in the mid-16th century and has a fun perspective game. If you look at the statue in the direction of the Basilica with the Borsa Hall behind you, you can see how his finger turns into an erect phallus!

“The cordless phone” at the Palazzo del Podestà

From Piazza Maggiore, with your back to the Cathedral of San Petronio, continue straight on towards the arch in the center of the Palazzo del Podestà. You can play a little game by stopping at one of the corners of the arch while your friend stands in the diagonally opposite corner. Whisper something into the wall and your friend in the opposite one will hear you loud and clear despite the hustle and bustle downtown!
The most surprising thing is that the corner walls have turned black from all the people who have tried the cordless phone game.
Legend says that this was a place used by lepers during the Middle Ages to confess without having direct contact with their confessor, thus avoiding the risk of contagion.

Little Venice

Bologna is located in a maze of underground canals that were built during the 21st century and have a structure similar to Venetian canals. In Via Piella it is possible to see a similar panorama through a small window that overlooks the Canale delle Moline.

The Arrows of Corte Isolani

Passing under the portico of Corte Isolani, if you pay attention, armed with patience, you can see 3 arrows stuck in the wood, which have remained there for centuries.
Urban legends are varied but here we tell you one, in our opinion the funniest:
It is said that a noble woman was accused of adultery and her husband wanted to kill her for it; for this reason he hired three archers. The woman, very beautiful and cunning, in order to escape her destiny at the right moment she took her clothes off, causing the archers to lose their aim, bewitched by her beauty.

Party in Bologna

Bologna has the oldest university in the world, founded in 1088 called Alma Mater Studiorum, so it is of special importance and many students want to study in this city. Therefore, the university atmosphere is very lively and there are several bars where you can enjoy Bologna at night with your friends, Erasmus parties are very famous!

Gastronomy in Bologna

Tradicional food of the city, Tortellini

In addition to being “La Dotta”, Bologna is also called “La Grassa” for its gastronomy.
Ragù is known all over the world, so don't miss the opportunity to try this tasty sauce! The first typical dishes are tortellini, passatelli and lasagna, consumed especially in winter, as they are hot and heavy, followed by tagliatelle with ragù sauce.
Do not forget the "crescentine", the petronian chop and the mortadella!

Transport in Bologna

Bologna is a city with an excellent transport system within the city but also for trips outside the city.
The company that operates in Bologna is TPER and a ticket costs approximately € 1.30 with a duration of 75 minutes, with which it is possible to take several lines by transferring. If you buy it on the bus, the cost is approximately € 1.50.
In the center, buses run very frequently and line 27 is very important. If you want to travel to the outskirts of Bologna, we recommend using lines 97 (A / B / C).
In good weather, cycling is recommended as it is a bike-friendly city; It is also possible to rent one through the MObike application for a maximum of 30 minutes for € 2. The service is widely used by young people, as it allows you not to buy a bike and continue to use it when you need it.

Cost of living in Bologna

In Bologna the cost of living is medium / low, possibly the most important expense of your mobility is that of renting an accommodation. Having an aperitif with a spritz, a typical Italian drink, will cost you € 5 and is a type of activity that students love to do. In general, the aperitif is consumed in the middle / late afternoon and it is taken with little snacks.
Accommodation in the historic center costs around € 300-400, but with Erasmus Play you can find the best student accommodation in Bologna the easy way!

Climate in Bologna

The climate is temperate-humid with very hot summers and quite cold winters. Due to the Po Valley, it is always foggy in winter, especially on the outskirts of the city. In the center there are also but in less quantity, so do not worry. We recommend that you bring a raincoat if you are going to study during the winter season.

Official language in Bologna

In Bologna you can learn Italian little by little if you study and interact with local students. Here are the essential words to communicate with local people in Italian:

Hello: ciao
Sorry? : scusi?
Thank you: Grazie
Please: Per favore
Yes: yes
No: no
What's up ?: Come stai?
How much does it cost ?: Quanto costa?
I'm sorry: My dispiace
The bill: Il conto
Beer: Birra

In conclusion, Bologna is an ideal city to do your Erasmus, between culture and youth atmosphere, you are sure to have a great time! We hope this article written by a local Bologna student (Aurora Pezzulli) has convinced you to choose this city as your perfect destination!

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