Best of Bologna

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Bologna
Bologna’s university was founded in 1088, making this Europe’s oldest university town and home to renowned intellectuals from the 14th century onward, including Dante. But the city doesn’t just appeal to academics. The surrounding Emilia Romagna region is also the birthplace of culinary delights including parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar, Parma ham, and the home of luxury auto brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Maserati. 

Kimkim travelers can cover all of the city’s bases and explore the region as well. Start with a food tour and class where you can learn to make the city’s famed pasta Bolognese, or venture afield to taste all three of the area’s famous products. Speed it up in the Motor Valley where you can tour and test drive at the Lamborghini and Ferrari Museums, or slow down your tempo at the home of famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
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Ultimate Guide to Bologna: Churches, Towers, and Culinary Delights
Ultimate Guide to Bologna: Churches, Towers, and Culinary Delights

Welcome to Bologna, home of the world’s oldest continually operating university, not one but two "leaning towers," and some of the best food in Italy. Many tourists overlook this historic city in favor of Italy's other highlights—but Bologna is a can't-miss for culinary hounds and anyone who appreciates the artistry of grand Italian churches. Find out what to do, see, and eat below.

Homemade bread and olives
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 5 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 5 Days

Take a trip through the food and wine region of Emilia-Romagna with this 5-day itinerary. Delve deep into Bologna's historic city center, visiting the iconic university and the Quadrilatero district. Spend a day in Parma to learn about the production processes of prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano and, of course, taste the final products. Learn from an Italian chef in Milan as you prepare fresh pasta and mix cocktails at a guided cooking class.

Fresh Pasta, Bologna Market
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 6 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 6 Days

Visit northern Italy's historic cities of Bologna, Parma and Milan over 6 days. Italian food and wine are highly respected and valued around the world. You will taste some of the finest of these products, including meats, cheeses, and fresh homemade pasta, on this trip. These cities are also known for their important architecture, cathedrals, and piazzas, so you will have plenty to tour while working up your appetite for local delicacies!

Oak Barrels, Bologna
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 7 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna & Milan - 7 Days

Italians are deservedly proud of their food and wine culture- discover why on this 7-day trip. Taste Parma prosciutto and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Wander the markets and drink full-bodied red wines in Bologna. Enjoy aperitivo time in Milan as you learn how to mix classic cocktails from local experts, and explore the city on your own from Piazza Duomo. Escape the city (but not incredible cuisine) for a day, and visit the beautiful Lake Como with a local guide.

Tiramisu—The Perfect Dessert
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 8 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 8 Days

This 8-day trip is perfect for travelers who want a packed itinerary but don't have tons of time. Explore Bologna's culinary delights, from traditional Parmeggiano Reggiano cheese to local prosciutto, then head to Florence to see pieces by top Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Machiavelli. In Tuscany, visit medieval villages, sip on full-bodied Chianti, and relax in sun-filled plazas overlooking rolling hills. End the trip in Rome to see the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, and try your hand at making the perfect pizza. 

Fresh Pasta
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Verona & Milan - 8 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Verona & Milan - 8 Days

With 8 days to spend, eat and drink the best food and wine in Italy. Spend time learning about the production of and tasting fresh tortellini and prosciutto in Bologna, as well as exploring the 11th-century University of Bologna. Go wine tasting in the countryside near romantic Verona and explore its Roman Old Town. Try your hand at cooking fresh noodles and preparing other typical Italian dishes and refreshing cocktails in Milan.

Farm-fresh olives
Best of Mediterranean Food & Wine: Athens, Santorini, Crete, Tuscany, Rome, & More - 14 Days

Sample both Grecian and Italian fare on this two-week itinerary as you explore everything from Rome's busy piazzas to Santorini's beaches. You'll start your trip in Greece for equal parts culinary and archaeological education, with stops at the Acropolis and family-owned olive farms. From Crete, catch a flight to Bologna in Italy's Emilia Romagna region for local Parma ham and parmesan, before eating and drinking your way south through Florence to the capital city of Rome.

Former Jewish ghetto in the Cannaregio district, Venice
Map of Jewish Heritage in Northern Italy - 9 Days
Jewish Heritage in Northern Italy - 9 Days

Jewish history is of fundamental importance for Italian cultural heritage, and nearly every city in Italy can trace back their Jewish communities. Spend 9 days exploring the synagogues, ghettos, old cemeteries, and more to explore this rich culture. See the San Sabba concentration camp in Trieste, explore Venice's medieval ghetto and view ancient Hebrew texts in Bologna. 

Typical Italian Pizza
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 9 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 9 Days

If sitting on a Tuscan hillside winery with a glass of Chianti, kneading fresh pizza dough, and seeing the Sistine Chapel sound like a good way to spend nine days—look no further, because this packed itinerary is for you. Start in Bologna to see the 11th-century university and stuff yourself full of Parmeggiano cheese, prosciutto, and Ragu alla Bolognese. Continue to Florence to see Michelangelo's 'David' in the Uffizi Gallery, then spend a day drinking Chianti like the Romans do in Tuscany. Finish in Rome to see the Galleria Borghese and Colosseum before becoming best friends with your perfectly handmade Italian pizza. 

Bologna Cafés
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Milan & Turin - 9 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Milan & Turin - 9 Days

On this 9-day food and wine itinerary, indulge in Italy's best regional produce. You'll start in Bologna and Parma sampling the high-quality cured meats and cheeses sold in bustling markets, as well as exploring iconic buildings and piazzas. Move on to the foodie-friendly city of Mila and, wander the Navigli District, enjoying aperitivos with locals along the canals. Take a day trip out to Lake Como for a relaxing tour of the villages and a boat ride. End your trip in the Piedmont region, origin of the Slow Food movement, and go on a full-day wine tasting experience in the Langhe Hills.

Dining with a view
Best of Mediterranean Food & Wine: Athens, Santorini, Crete, Rome, Tuscany, & More - 21 Days

Indulge in the best of the Mediterranean region's food and wine on this comprehensive three-week getaway. Start the trip in Athens, home to both the famed Acropolis and the bustling Varvakios Market. Spend a few days island-hopping for winery tours and some of the world's best olive oil, before catching a flight to the south of Italy. Enjoy the best of Italy's cuisine, from pizza in Naples to parmesan in Bologna as you eat and drink your way through the country.

Tuscan Countryside
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 7 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 7 Days

Eat and drink your way through Italy's famous culinary regions —Bologna, Tuscany, and Rome—on this packed weeklong tour. Start in Bologna, Italy's food capital, to try the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and see the University of Bologna. Continue to Florence to see works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, then sample local Chianti in a Tuscan winery. End your trip in Rome to experience Vatican City, Roman ruins, and the perfect Italian pizza.

Cafe in Bologna's Porticos
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 10 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 10 Days

Ten days may not be enough time to see all of Italy, but you should try anyway! Fuel your Colosseum-sized appetite with regional cheese & prosciutto specialties in Bologna, then head to Florence to see art by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Leonardo da Vinci. Take our word and sample the fresh-pressed olive oil and handmade chocolate focaccia, then spend a full day drinking Chinati in Tuscan vineyards and medieval courtyards. End your trip in Rome, where the Vatican City, Roman Forum, and the perfect cup of gelato await. 

Parmigiano-Reggiano in Parma
Map of Food & Wine in Northern Italy - 7 Days
Food & Wine in Northern Italy - 7 Days

Eat and drink your way through the incredible cuisine of Northern Italy on this 7-day tour. Explore the 11th-century university and covered porticos in Bologna, indulge your taste buds with visits to prosciutto and parmesan producers, and stay in a quiet medieval town in the Emilia Romagna countryside. End the trip in the Valpolicella wine region for a full-day wine tour and cooking class. 

Evening view of the Vatican, Rome
Map of Rome, Bologna, & Florence: Best Itinerary Ideas
Rome, Bologna, & Florence: Best Itinerary Ideas

For most travelers, 7 to 10 days is the perfect amount of time for a trip with stops in Rome, Bologna, and Florence. Travelers with less time can hit the highlights in 6 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop, or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Venice and the Amalfi Coast. Get inspired with our trip ideas below.

Navigli Canal, Milan
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Verona, Milan & Turin - 10 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Verona, Milan & Turin - 10 Days

10 days is a great amount of time for a trip to Northern Italy. Foodies and wine connoisseurs will be amazed by the offerings of the Emilia-Romagna region. Verona is a charming historic city nestled in a renowned wine region. Tour the city and wineries to taste different Valpolicella wines. Learn new culinary skills from expert chefs in Milan at a pasta and cocktail making class. Explore Turin's street food scene with a local guide and sample regional specialties such as grissini breadsticks and agnolotti (fresh stuffed pasta).

Parmigiano-Reggiano in Parma
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 11 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Rome - 11 Days

Eat like royalty, drink like a Roman, and explore Italy's top cultural and historic sites on this packed 11-day trip. Start in Bologna and explore the 11th-century university and the covered porticos which line the streets. Indulge your taste buds with the local Parmigiano Reggiano and mortadella, then continue to Florence to see the iconic Duomo and Galleria dell'Accademia, which houses Michelangelo's 'David'. Pair handmade chocolate Foccacia with a glass of chilled Prosecco and the rolling Tuscan countryside for a perfect afternoon delight. End in Rome to see the Galleria Borghese & Sistine Chapel and spend lazy afternoons trying every single flavor of gelato.

Parmigiano Reggiano, Parma
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 11 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 11 Days

Over 11 days, taste the best of Italian food and wine. Begin in Bologna with open-air markets and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Venetian palaces and gondolas await you in Venice alongside delicious cuisine. Then, head to Casa di Giulietta in Verona to see the inspiration for Romeo & Juliet's love story, before going wine tasting in the Piedmont countryside. Try Barolo and Barbaresco wines, and sample regional cheeses.

Lemon Stand on the Amalfi Coast
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Amalfi Coast, & Rome - 12 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Amalfi Coast, & Rome - 12 Days

Is twelve days enough time to try every single gelato flavor? Likely not—but you can try your best with this food-centric tour of Italy. Start in Bologna, where artisanal cheese, cured ham, and medieval architecture dominate the scene. Then, head to Florence and visit a perfect Tuscan winery before soaking in the sunshine of the Amalfi Coast. End your trip in Rome, with nightlife, the iconic city highlights, and plenty of pizza.

Homemade Pasta, Italy
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 12 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 12 Days

Experience Italy's famous food and wine scene with this 12-day itinerary. Tour grand piazzas in Bologna while working up your appetite for regional delicacies, eat cicchetti in Venice and visit Europe's largest open-air market, Porta Palazzo. Delve deep into Roman history and wine making in Verona, and get your apron on to prepare a traditional Italian meal at a cooking class in Milan.

Ripe Wine Grapes in Tuscany
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Amalfi Coast, & Rome - 13 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Bologna, Florence, Amalfi Coast, & Rome - 13 Days

If you like eating and think thirteen is a lucky number, then we've got the trip for you! Start in Venice, the "City of Water", and explore the Grand Canal with a ride on a gondola. Sample Parmigiano-Reggiano, local prosciutto, and explore medieval architecture in Bologna, then head to Tuscany to see Renaissance-era art in Florence and spend a sunny afternoon with a glass of local Chianti. Explore the steep cliffside wineries, turquoise water, and lemon groves of the Amalfi Coast before ending your trip in metropolitan Rome at the Galleria Borghese & Sistine Chapel, and exploring bohemian Trastevere in a full-day food & wine tour.  

Parma, Emilia-Romagna
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 13 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 13 Days

This 13-day itinerary will leave you feeling like a local, as you discover and become expert in great food and wine in Northern Italy. Begin with a guided tour through the markets in Bologna and taste handmade tortellini pasta and sweet treats. In Venice, spend a self-guided day on the lagoon islands of Murano and Burano, then go wine tasting in Verona and the Piedmont countryside. Take a cooking class and mix aperitivo cocktails in Milan before rounding off your culinary adventure in Turin with a street food walking tour.

Regional Foods, Emilia-Romagna
Map of Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 14 Days
Food & Wine in Bologna, Venice, Verona, Milan & Turin - 14 Days

Over 14 days, eat and drink your way through Northern Italy with this food and wine-focused itinerary. Tour the 11th-century University of Bologna and visit nearby Parma to enjoy fresh prosciutto and cheese. Explore the highlights of Venice and spend a half-day at Valpolicella wineries near Verona. Learn to make homemade pasta and discover the mouthwatering food scenes in Milan and Turin. Try street food, chocolate, and more wine and regional delicacies in Piedmont!

Selection in a Local Gelateria
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, & More - 15 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, & More - 15 Days

This 15-day itinerary is our most comprehensive culinary tour through Italy, from a Venice street food excursion to wine tasting in Tuscany's medieval vineyards. You'll visit Bologna for medieval churches, aged cheese, and cured Parma ham, spend four days relaxing on the sunny Amalfi Coast, and end your trip in Rome, where the Vatican City, Colosseum, and the perfect cappuccino await.

Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta in Aquileia
Map of Explore Northern Italy: Trieste, Venice, Milan, Bologna, & More - 14 Days
Explore Northern Italy: Trieste, Venice, Milan, Bologna, & More - 14 Days

One of Italy's biggest attractions has always been its food, and you can sample plenty of it over the course of these two weeks. You'll relax by the seaside, walk through former Roman cities, and hike over mountains as you make your way to various tasting and art experiences to satisfy all of your sense.

Baklava: the quintessential Grecian dessert
Best of Mediterranean Food & Wine: Rome, Florence, Bologna, Crete, & Santorini - 10 Days

From Crete's rocky hillsides to the rolling farmlands of Tuscany's heartland, this 10-day itinerary delivers top destinations in both Greece and Italy — and leaves you hungry for more. Start the trip in bustling Rome, where archaeological sites and quiet neighborhood gelaterias compete for your attention. Continue north to Florence and Bologna for Chianti and Parma ham, then catch a flight to the Greek islands where wineries and ocean-view sunsets abound.

Wine Barrels
Map of Food & Wine in Verona, Padua, Treviso & Bologna - 11 Days
Food & Wine in Verona, Padua, Treviso & Bologna - 11 Days

Italians are extremely proud of their food and wine and, with this 11-day itinerary, you'll find out why! Cook fresh pasta with a local chef in Verona, and escape the city for a day to the tranquil Lake Garda. Visit the iconic frescoes at the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and enjoy a delectable tasting of local Italian extra virgin olive oil. Discover the waterways and canals in Treviso and Venice. Sample prosecco on a day trip to bubbly wineries near Valdobbiadene, and eat Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in the city of Parma.

Roman Arena, Verona
Map of Food & Wine in Verona, Lake Garda, Padua, Treviso & Bologna - 12 Days
Food & Wine in Verona, Lake Garda, Padua, Treviso & Bologna - 12 Days

Take a 12-day trip and taste the best food and wine Northern Italy has to offer! Learn how to make fresh pasta and regional dishes in Verona and relax on Lake Garda, enjoying a guided tour and boat ride. From Padua, visit local wineries and spend a day in Venice at your own pace. Wander the Old Town of Treviso, exploring the medieval walled city and its cathedrals. Last but not least, Bologna's bustling markets and traditional tortellini await you at the end of your trip.

Traditional Buranelli Cookies
Map of Food & Wine in Italy: Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, & More - 14 Days
Food & Wine in Italy: Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome, & More - 14 Days

Rome wasn't built in a day, but you can spend fourteen days eating and drinking your way through Italy's top culinary destinations! Go for a gondola ride in Venice, try the decadent tiramisu, and sample the local Cicchetti. Head to Bologna to see 11th-century architecture and try the Parmeggiano, then head to Florence to see Michelangelo's David and Leonardo's top works. Pair a bottle of Tuscan Chianti with a farm-to-table charcuterie board, then head west for four days on the sunny Amalfi Coast. Explore medieval fishing villages and learn to make the perfect Neopolitan pizza before capping your trip off with visits to the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, and local gelateria in Rome. 

View of the Grecian coast
Off-the-Beaten-Path Greece & Italy Road Trip: Lake Garda, Bologna, Tuscany, Olympia, Nafplio, & More - 21 Days

Explore the back roads and small villages that characterize the countrysides of both Italy and Greece on this three-week road trip. You'll visit well-known highlights, like Florence, charming Tuscan hill towns, and the first Olympic site in Olympia, as well as some places a bit off the beaten path: Romeo and Juliet's Verona, the medieval villages of the Peloponnese, the wineries of Nemea, and more. With full control of the daily driving schedule, you'll have time to plan for spontaneous stops for coffee, for shopping at roadside markets, and for late-afternoon beach breaks.

Santa Lucia Archway in Bologna
Discover Northern Italy, From Florence to Milan - 12 Days

Discover the best of Italy's northern regions, starting in the medieval city of Florence, with guided walking tours and wine tastings in Tuscany. Make your way through San Marino and the coastal cities of Riccione and Ravena before heading into Emilia-Romagna for a culinary exploration through Bologna and Parma. Take a cooking class and learn how to identify wine with a sommelier, then enjoy exploring the extravagant shores of Lake Como and the fashion-focused streets of Milan.

Evening in downtown
Map of Explore Northern Italy from Milan - 5 Days
Explore Northern Italy from Milan - 5 Days

Explore Northern Italy's cities and landscapes in this packed 5-day trip. Start in Milan, the fashion, culture, and business capital of Italy, to see the 16th-century Royal Palace-turned-art-museum and enjoy buzzing nightlife at the Navigli canals. Continue to Lake Como to enjoy a day on the lake and a trip on the funicular to see views of the snow-capped Alps. End in Bologna and Turin to explore medieval churches, the National Cinema Museum, and endless cafes and aperitivo bars.