Bologna is a university city and because of this fact it has an unspoken energy to it. The students, that arrive in this orange-tinted town, come from all four corners of the world and they give the city it's pizzazz. Every night feels like a party and all you have to do is spill out onto the streets to be part of it. We started our trip in the worst of ways: looking for parking. To be honest this was the worst part of our trip, we arrived on Saturday morning during the market and spent about 45 minutes looking for a spot to leave our car overnight. Almost everything near the center was paid parking and we really had no intention of spending our food money on something so frivolous. So like a good Italian, my husband refused to give up and managed to squeeze our car into an impossibly small spot in a residential area. Italians love nothing more than to screw over the system, so sorry Bologna you didn't take our money that day. We dragged our carry-on suitcase to our apartment for the weekend; we thought that we would look out of place walking so far with the trolley, but it was the perfect accessory for the city as it seemed like everyone was pulling luggage around, I suppose students coming and going for the weekend.
We were guests of L'8 Boutique Apartments, a new offering run by two sisters right in the heart of Bologna in an old palazzo that their grandmother owned. The location cannot be beat and the owners, Francesca and Federica, are so helpful and have curated each apartment to perfection mixing old and new to create an eclectic and luxurious home away from home. Our apartment was equipped with a kitchen, making it a perfect option for anyone who needs to stay in Bologna on business or longer than a weekend. My favorite space was actually the bathroom. The sisters chose to leave some of the original tiling while updating all of the finishings so you have a lovely walk in shower surrounded by fabulous vintage tiles chosen by their nonna with little purple flowers. They also gifted us two invaluable pieces of paper: the first was a walking tour highlighting all of their favorite spots in Bologna and the second was a list of restaurants, bars and other places to eat like a true Bolognese.
Word of advice: if you happen to be in the city on a Saturday, do try to make reservations for dinner the day before, we didn't do this and we ended up drinking all night instead because all the restaurants were fully booked!
The city was absolutely bustling and we bar-hopped out and drink-hopped from wine to craft beer as we learned more about our newfound friends and our love for the city continued to grow. You could stay out all night here and never get bored or hungry, or thirsty for that matter. However, we ended up calling it a night around one in the morning, having spent all day on our feet and planning to climb the mythical Torre degli Asinelli (view in the photo below) the next day.
Bologna you were some kind of beautiful, we'll be back!
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