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Bologna Culture & history

Our most recommended Bologna Culture & history

From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

1. From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

The Basilica of San Luca is one of the symbols of the city of Bologna. Situated on the Monte Guardia, the Sanctuary connects to the city center through the longest continuous portico in the world, made up of 666 arcades. At the meeting point, you'll receive a map and a timetable of the return train, which is available every 45 minutes. You’ll also receive a voucher for the food tasting.  This tour departs every day and will help you discover the city from aboard the San Luca Express train, where the audio guides, available in 8 languages, will tell you about the city until your arrival at the Basilica of San Luca. Here, you can visit the Basilica at your own pace and decide what time to return by consulting the schedules on the map. On board, you will find a member of staff who'll welcome you and provide any information you may require. When you return, you will get to taste typical products in one of the historical markets.

Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

2. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterwards drive towards Siena, whose highlight is Piazza del Campo. Continue to Florence where you will check in at your hotel before enjoying dinner (included) and a well-deserved night of rest. Day 2: Florence After breakfast, spend the day exploring Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. Visit the Duomo, the Campanile Tower, Palazzo Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. Lunch (for free) in a typical Tuscan restaurant in Piazza Santa Croce. In the afternoon, wander the cobbled streets or take a short, optional trip to Pisa where you could enjoy a tour of the Square of Miracles, the Leaning Tower and the Duomo. Dinner is at your leisure. Back in Florence rest in your hotel and recharge your batteries for the next day. Day 3 Depart for Bologna after breakfast in Florence. Wander through the city’s 38 kilometers' worth of elegant arcades, for which it is famous. From Piazza Malpighi, walk to Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city. In the afternoon, continue towards Padova, with its original Sant’Antonio Basilica. Later, you will arrive in Venice, famous for its quaint gondola boats and intricate architecture. Check in at your hotel and enjoy your first Venetian dinner (included) and overnight stay. Day 4: Venice Hit the water and board a private waterbus to enjoy a cruise through the canals of Venice. Stop off at Murano to learn about the ancient art of glass blowing. Continue on to St. Mark’s Square for an exterior visit of the splendid cathedral. See the Doge Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Enjoy a spritz or Prosecco with your guide to cap off a day of discovery. Spend the afternoon roaming along Venice’s canals at your leisure and then return to the hotel and overnight. Day 5 After breakfast, departure from Piazzale Roma heading to Tuscany, world-known for its landscapes, its churches, castles and its delicious wines. Proceed to Val di Chiana with a stop in Montepulciano, a medieval town rich in history and art. Known for its “Noble” wine, on purchase in local wine houses, Montepulciano also hosts an annual jazz and wine festival every July. Lunch in a typical restaurant included! Spend the afternoon discovering Montepulciano at your own pace, enjoying free wine tastings in many wine shops and free time for shopping. In the evening, you will arrive in Rome, where the tour ends.

Bologna: Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Tour

3. Bologna: Highlights Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Tour

Explore Bologna with an interactive smartphone tour. Immerse yourself in the city while solving location-based riddles on this walking tour. Marvel at the two leaning towers  Asinelli and Garisenda. Admire the 12th-century Santissimo Salvatore church. Solve puzzles outside of ten Bologna attractions. Use clues at each attraction to find your next destination. Enjoy the challenge of using logic, imagination, observation, and team spirit to complete the game. Feel the satisfaction of solving each riddle. Have the freedom to pause or resume the tour whenever you want. Admire the city at your own pace. Uncover interesting information and facts about the city. Snap as many pictures as you want.  You can start playing anytime, the schedule is indicative. Start your tour at Towers of Bologna. Visit the Biblioteca Salaborsa with its unique archives. Photograph the municipal complex of Palazzo d'Accursio and the chapel and admire the Santuario di Santa Maria della Vita with its original Gothic style and lifelike sculptures. Then head to the Salina Palace and Osteria Le Sette Chiese for some unbeatable photo opportunities. Admire the beautiful Piazza Minghetti and the interior of Basilica di San Domenico. The small but miraculous Oratorio dello Spirito Santo is well worth your time, and the icing on the cake is the Church of the Holy Savior.

From Bologna: Balsamic Vinegar, Pavarotti and Ferrari Tour

4. From Bologna: Balsamic Vinegar, Pavarotti and Ferrari Tour

Explore 3 of Modena's biggest landmarks in just one day. Join a guided tour with a hotel transfer and visit the Luciano Pavarotti Museum, the Ferrari Museum, and a traditional balsamic vinegar factory. Learn insightful facts about local history and heritage, and taste some authentic flavors. Begin by discovering the house that the Pavarotti called home and hear about his life behind the scenes. Visit a family-run acetaia and learn about the fascinating production process of traditional balsamic vinegar. Enjoy a tasting of Modena's "black gold" at the end of the visit. Delve into the world of Ferrari, the legend of luxury cars, by visiting the Maranello Museum inside the Cittadella Ferrari. Afterward, relax and enjoy a tasty meal at a local restaurant, made with typical products. Get dropped off back at your hotel after the tour.

From Bologna or Modena: Parma Gastronomic Tour with Lunch

5. From Bologna or Modena: Parma Gastronomic Tour with Lunch

Discover the production of two excellences of Italian cuisine, Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma Ham, on a gastronomic tour from Bologna. After being picked up from your accommodation in Bologna or Modena Learn more about Parma and its local cuisine that is so popular that it often ends up dominating conversations among locals. Visit a historic Parmigiano Reggiano factory where an expert guide will show you the stages of production, and you'll be able to taste some of the cheese made by the factory. Then, discover more about the production of Parma Ham. Learn the secrets of this Italian delicacy followed by a tasting paired with a glass of local wine.  Following your visit to the Parma Ham factory, enjoy a light lunch at a prosciuttificio with typical products and dishes. Finally, head back to your accommodation in Bologna or Modena.

From Bologna: Lamborghini & Ferrari Museums Private Day Tour

6. From Bologna: Lamborghini & Ferrari Museums Private Day Tour

Embark on a private tour of the Lamborghini and Ferrari museums from Bologna. Start with pickup from your hotel in Bologna. Discover the history of the iconic cars made in Italy on a tour in the Lamborghini Museum, from the first models such as the Miura and the Countach to the ultimate and exclusive ones like the Aventador SVJ. To follow, visit the Ferrari Museum in Maranello and enjoy a guided tour of the Cittadella Ferrari, in which the guide will share information about the factory, the history of the Fiorano racetrack, and of all the Cittadella Ferrari, which still preserves the original factory entrance door. At the end of the tour, stop at a local restaurant for a tasty lunch with typical products. Afterward, relax on the journey back to Bologna.

Bologna: Clock Tower Audio Guide and Food Tasting

7. Bologna: Clock Tower Audio Guide and Food Tasting

This unique experience will let you discover Palazzo d'Accursio, one of the most iconic and impressive places in Bologna. The Clock Tower acts as the beating heart of the city, and you'll explore it using a handy audio guide. While listening to facts and stories on your smartphone, you'll make your way through the various parts of the tower until you finally reach the inner mechanism that makes the clock work. You'll also get to admire the Municipal Art Collections, full of artistic treasures that reveal the history of Bologna, and hear anecdotes about how the building has functioned over the centuries. Finish your day with a tasting of typical products in the city center to get the full Bologna experience! 

Bologna: Old Town Hidden Gems Exploration Game

8. Bologna: Old Town Hidden Gems Exploration Game

Be led on an exciting self-guided tour around Bologna's Old Town while playing a mobile-based quest with your friends and family. Solve clues and discover the fascinating history behind the monuments and attractions. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. Follow clues that will take you back in time to learn about the origins of some of the city's most iconic buildings and tourist sites. Here's a sneak peek at the storyline: “You’re an emerging writer from London, whose debut novel was a success. But now writers’ block has struck. The year is 1815. [...] In your despair, you’ve come to Bologna. You heard the city’s many secrets and artistic flair inspire many artists. You hope to be next...." Unlock the secret stories of the places you visit as you solve the problem and guess the answers. Learn about the seven secrets that cloak Bologna in mystery, the streets of the Quadrilatero, and more. Use the clues to lead you from one site to another. Each clue provides you with exact directions so you won't need a map, GPS, or guide. Complete the tour in about 1.5 hours, however, there’s no time limit, allowing you to go at your own pace. Play as a group or split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end of the tour.

Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

9. Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

The Basilica of San Petronio, dedicated to the patron saint of the city, is the largest church in Bologna. It dominates Piazza Maggiore and, despite being largely unfinished, its imposing dimensions make it the 4th largest church in Italy and the largest Gothic brick church in the world. In the Basilica of San Petronio it is impossible not to know what time it is. Instead of a clock, the structure houses the longest sundial in the world. It measures 67 meters and crosses the floor of the church since 1657. It was Domenico Cassini who built it; an astronomy professor, who believed that the motion of the planets depended on the sun. With this guided tour, you will learn about the art and history of this church to finally discover its magical rooftop terrace and enjoy the splendid views over the city. Savour a small food tasting at the end of the tour.

Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery City Game

10. Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery City Game

Discover Bologna’s hidden secrets by following clues and solving puzzles on this murder mystery exploration game played on your phone. Discover new places and amazing stories with an app as your guide. Start at Porta Galliera. From there, simply follow the game route and instructions. Explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from any location where you paused it. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and directions on your phone will guide you to the next stop. Explore Via dell'Indipendenza and Santa Maria della Vita along with lesser-known places. Discover the city’s most famous marketplace. As you explore, learn about the stories behind the city, including the puzzling history of the Old University, founded in 1088 by an organized guild of students. Choose to play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups to compete against each other and race to the final stop of the game. Enjoy an experience that’s the perfect mix between a tour, outdoor escape game, and treasure hunt. The entire game will take around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

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What people are saying about Bologna

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 149 reviews

In general many friends are asking us for everything company name tour activity ect. We fell like family in the activity. We laugh a lot. Every one shares memories and situations that’s each country have. Ours tour director Antonio & Bus driver Franco was the best the best of the best. GRAZIE MILE! ARRIVEDERCI En general muchos amigos nos están preguntando por todo, nombre de la empresa, actividad turística, etc. Nos sentimos como en familia en la actividad. Nos reimos mucho. Todos comparten recuerdos y situaciones que tiene cada país. Nuestro director de gira, Antonio y el conductor del autobús, Franco, fueron los mejores, lo mejor de lo mejor. GRAZIE MILE! ARRIVEDERCI

A little chaotic getting on the train on a busy day but once you’re off it’s magical and fun. The basilica is really beautiful and the views are astounding on a good day. If it’s clear it’s 100% worth it to pay extra at the top to climb to the dome viewing deck. The free lunch tickets are great but they may not fill you up too much! Relax, enjoy and have a laugh at the buffoons who ran all the way up the portico.

This was a non-stop Italian extravaganza. All stops were architectural gems. Highly recommend this five day tour. Splurge on the optional tours, well worth the cost. Particularly enjoyed the Venice at night. Make sure to bring your walking shoes, this tour requires walking uphill and heavy walking endurance. Not for the faint of heart. Enjoy!

A nice train tour, with an incredible view while you listen in your language about the history of Bologna and the Basilica of San Lucas. Safety pin.

A great trip, my children are satisfied :) the driver picked us up from the hotel on time. Everything smoothly and on schedule. I recommend!