Northern Italy is famous for its great culture, delicious food and historic architecture. Many civilizations lived here for centuries, and all of them have left their mark in this beautiful territory. The result is an incredibly rich cradle of culture and history that will always have something to offer. Northern Italy is a great touristic destination: its friendly people, laid-back lifestyle and merry society will make your holidays impossible to forget.
Bologna is among the most visited cities in Northern Italy. Historic landmarks combined with 21st century entertainment and technology make it the perfect destination for many brits who want to enjoy the best of Italy in a couple days.
Bologna has countless things to offer, but has become famous worldwide for two reasons: food and architecture.
Regarding the former, food tourists and enthusiasts love to visit here, since a wide variety of delicious aliments are produced here locally, included Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, ham, salami and many others. Food tours as well as cooking with cersarine in Bologna are, for many people, reason number one to spend some time in Bologna.
Now with architecture, Bologna as any main Italian city has historic streets made out of stone pavement that has been there for centuries, old monuments and churches built hundreds of years ago, that provide a window to the past while still being relevant in the present. European architecture enthusiasts and religious architecture lovers can treat themselves with a stroll around downtown Bologna.
Now let's check four of the most reccommended fun activities for tourists in Bologna.
If you like shopping malls with a twist, then mercato delle erbe is something you shouldn't miss when you go to Bologna. This huge building gathers ristoranti and places to eat - both local food and international food-, some interesting shops and stores, and a great environment that combines the old architectural structure with the convenience and features of present day technology. Both Italians and tourists meet here every day to share a meal, walk around or kickstart their afternoon or night out together.
The mercato delle erbe is a great place to stop by for lunch or an afternoon snack, as well as an attraction in itself, with many stores and spots you can spend time visiting and enjoying.
Every Friday and Saturday - because God forbid the Italians be told to work on Sunday! - at the main piazza of Bologna the mercato della piazzola happens. A gathering of street vendors in tents where you can find many things from fresh food products to used clothes and shoes, ornaments, souvenirs and random items of all sorts. Here you can get gifts and products at a convenient price, and even if you don't want to spend a penny, the variety and appeal of the objects sold here is enough to provide entertainment for the entire afternoon.
Cheap shopping mercato della piazzola is a great touristic attraction but make sure to schedule your visit, because it only opens on Friday and Saturday!
Enjoying food isn't just about sitting down to taste it, but rather, experiencing the whole productive process and getting in contact with the techniques, places and traditions of its production. So there is no better option for a food lover than a food tour, where you will see where different foods are made, and then you get to taste some, and even buy products at a bargain place.
Emilia delizia offers food tours in Bologna and Modena, and drives you around from place to place. Tour guides in English will introduce you to the secrets of local cheese, balsamic vinegar, ham and salami. If you want, you can book a lunch where you will enjoy all these treats, and even a cooking class where you will learn to prepare traditional Italian dishes the authentic way.
The Complesso di Santo Stefano, also known as the 7 churches, is one of the most famous touristic attractions in Bologna. Around the Piazza Maggiore, a huge complex of religious buildings spreads in all directions, with a total of seven individual churches built one by the other. The result is an imposing construction with the sensibility and the style of traditional Italian religious art.
Each one of the seven churches is dedicated to a different saint or icon and features their own trademark look. You can also stroll around the Piazza Maggiore, from which most of Bologna's historic buildings are visible. This is a great starting point for a day of strolling around and visiting the most emblematic buildings of Bologna.
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