Three Days in Bologna | Our Mini-Moon in Italy

Three Days in Bologna | Our Mini-Moon in Italy

Hello lovely people! Happy weekend! How are you? I hope you have something nice & cozy planned for yourself! I am literally about to step out the door for coffee with a friend, but I needed to share this with you first! It gives me great pleasure to introduce: Three Days in Bologna | Our Mini-Moon in Italy. As the title 100% mansplains – this is the first post covering all things mini-moon related! There will be two more posts in this mini-moon series; the first of which will cover all things Ravenna, while the second will cover the foodie haven of Modena! We actually had our mini-moon back in November, but between Christmas and everything else – yanno, LIFE – , there was just no time for me to sit down and write about it. Thankfully, the time has finally come! I’m so excited to share these posts with you!

And yes, before you come at me: there are a handful of Bologna travel guides already on the blog. My first one, Italian Adventures Part II: Bologna, is a wonderful base guide to the city, covering most of the tourist attractions. My second one, Bologna, A Love Letter, is exactly what it says on the tin, plus some foodie spots & bars thrown in. Our Engagement in Bologna, Italy, my third guide, is less of a guide and more of a diary entry documenting one of the best nights of my life. For my last guide, 72 Hours in Bologna, the Emilia-Romagna Capital, we sought out new-to-us tourist attractions and restaurants. THIS guide, our mini-moon recap, essentially covers all of our absolute very favourite spots in the city; a pilgrimage of sorts, around all of the spots where our love grew and strengthened over the years.

Shall we get down to it?

Eating Our Way Around Bologna | Our Mini-Moon Part I

Bologna is so blissfully easy to get to. Here’s how we made it into town from Dublin, Ireland:

• we flew direct from Dublin with Ryanair. Our flight time was approximately 2.5-hours.

• from Bologna airport – Guglielmo Marconi – we opted to take a taxi into the city. The taxi rank is outside the main doors of the airport on the right hand side and is well sign-posted. Our taxi-ride into the city lasted about 15-minutes, and cost us €19.60 in total.

• if you’d rather get public transport into the city centre, there’s a new monorail that takes you into Bologna Centrale station in just 7-minutes! We haven’t had the pleasure of taking the monorail yet, so I can’t give you my opinion – although it sure does look cute! For more information about the monorail, click here. The walk from Bologna Centrale into the centre of the city takes about 15-20 minutes along Via Indipendenza, the main shopping street. We usually make this pilgrimage into the city when we’re in Bologna, but we decided we deserved a little luxury on our mini-moon!

The way the flights for our trip worked out meant that we actually got to stay in two different accommodations over the course of our mini-moon. We spent two nights in the first upon our arrival in Bologna, and just one sweet night in the second on the last night of our trip. I’d truly have no problems recommending either! Details below.

Casa Salbego B&B // a lovely little B&B, in a central location off Via Indipendenza. Welllll, it’s described as a B&B online, and I suppose you do get bed and breakfast, but there’s actually only one bedroom in the place. Which, honestly, is way better – no awkward breakfast chats with other guests! The room itself is spacious, clean + cozy, with a nice en suite and powerful shower. The breakfast wasn’t anything to write home about, and the owner lady insisted on serving it rather early, but this wasn’t an issue for us. The room was really good value, and both owners were very pleasant to deal with. Added bonus: there are loads of great bars & restaurants in the surrounding streets! Both Serghei & Biassanot, below, are just around the corner! Would recommend. Address: via Augusto Righi n° 32 scala A piano 1°, 40126 Bologna

Albergo delle Drapperie // our absolute favourite hotel in Bologna! Smack bam in the centre of the quadrilatero district, you couldn’t possibly stay any closer to the heart and soul of Bologna. We’ve stayed here a couple of times over the years, but most notably in July 2022, when we got engaged in Room 302. Naturally, we requested the same room this time around, and it’s still feels just as magical as it did that July ❤️ You can read about our past stays at Drapperie here & here. Would recommend. Address: Via Drapperie, 5, 40124 Bologna

Caffe Zanarini // an absolute must. Whenever Husband and I are in Bologna, we always always always start our day off with a visit to Zanarini. Un cappuccino e un americano, al banco, per favore. Their pastries are some of the best we’ve had in Italy; my favourite is the crema croissant followed closely by the pistachio version, while Husband has a soft spot for the chocolate croissant. That said, you really can’t go wrong here – everything is delicious. Read about past visits here, here, or here. A must-visit. Address: Piazza Galvani, 1, 40124 Bologna

Ahh, my favourite section: where we ate! We ate out little hearts out over the course of this trip, and it was so dang well deserved after the lead-up to the wedding! Below is a list of everywhere we savoured a bite or two, divided into lunch / dinner / gelato. You know, the three main meals in Italy 😉

Osteria del Sole // not exactly a restaurant, per se, but still our favourite spot in the city for lunch! A lovely old osteria where you buy a glass of vino or beer for a couple euro and bring your own food with you. We usually bring a picnic lunch consisting of meat, cheese & bread etc., but you can bring whatever you fancy! On our last visit, while I secured a spot amidst the locals along the communal tables, Husband nipped around the corner to Pizza Regina for a mouth-wateringly delicious margherita con salsiccia. Read about past visits here, here, or here. See also: where we drank. A must visit. Address: Vicolo Ranocchi, 1/d, 40124 Bologna (Pizza Regina address: Via Montefiorino, 3, 40134 Bologna)

Tamburini // the place to go shopping for meat & cheese in Bologna. Most recently, we stopped in for one of our aforementioned OdS lunches: salami finocchiona & mortadella, delicious pecorino romano cheese, and a freshly baked ciabatta. The quality is always top notch. On our way out of the city, we also picked up a takeaway panini to eat as an airplane snack – it was great! The only downside to the place is a complicated ordering/paying system that has you queueing up three different times(?). Despite this: would recommend. Address: Via Caprarie, 1, 40124 Bologna

Trattoria dal Biassanot // one of, if not the, first restaurants we ever ate at together in Bologna! This was our first time returning and it was so! good! To start, we each had a bowl of tagliatelle al ragu – which we gluttonously blanketed in parmigiano reggiano – and for mains we shared a giant pork shank with roast potatoes & a side of spiced chicory. Everything was absolutely delicious; the ragu was second only to Husband’s homemade version ( 😉 ), the pork was beyond tender, and the potatoes were fatty in the best possible way. The restaurant itself is charmingly Italian, with white tablecloths and checkered red + white napkins, and the service is, although perhaps a little cold, prompt. Added bonus: it’s fantastic value for money! The whole meal, including a bottle of house red wine, cost a grand total of just €78! Would recommend. Address: Via Piella, 16, 40126 Bologna

Trattoria Serghei // call us boring, but we eat here every time we’re in Bologna, and we always order the same thing. A meat and cheese antipasto to share, a bowl of gramigna alla salsiccia each, and a huge pork shank with chicory to share for mains; it’s reliably wonderful every single time! However – dun dun dun! After our last trip, Husband thinks the pork shank next door in Biassanot is perhaps slightly more tender? Très controversial! Read more here, here, and, you guessed it, here. A must visit. Address: Via Piella, 12, 40126 Bologna

Ruggine // where to even begin? Let me preface this with: on our last trip to Bologna, we enjoyed Ruggine so much that we went back twice. This time? Notttt so much. We ate the very last meal of our trip here, and it was such a ridiculously large let down. Lackluster service, wrongly taken-down orders, food coming out at different times, missing parts of our order etc. We were disappointed from beginning to end, and I’m not sure either of us would think of returning again. If you’d like to read about a happier visit to Ruggine: click here. Address: Vicolo Alemagna, 2/C, 40125 Bologna

Cremeria Santo Stefano // considered by many to be one of the best gelaterias in the whole country! I’m pleased to confirm: it’s amazing!! I went for my usual hazelnut and pistachio, while Husband went rogue and ordered custard cream; both were delicious! A must visit. Address: Via Santo Stefano, 70c, 40125 Bologna

Eating Our Way Around Bologna | Our Mini-Moon Part I

Osteria del Sole // just in case I didn’t make myself clear enough earlier: this is our favourite spot in Bologna. Generally, I like to pretend I’m a local by ordering a glass of lambrusco or pignoletto, while Husband is more of a Menabrea kind of customer. On our last visit, we were pleased to discover that they’ve also started making Aperol spritzes – and they’re wondrously strong! See also: where we ate lunch. Address: Vicolo Ranocchi, 1/d, 40124 Bologna

Bar Senze Nome // our second favourite spot for a tipple in Bologna! A very chilled out, laid-back spot that’s run entirely by deaf people – this bar is straight up cool. We’ve been coming here since our first trip to Bologna together and LOVE it – it just wouldn’t feel right if we didn’t make it out for a visit! Our usual order is an Aperol spritz or two (or three), but most recently Husband had a glass of house lager which he rather enjoyed! Read more here.  A must-visitAddress: Via Belvedere, 11/B, 40121 Bologna

Enoteca Italiana // another old fave. Located conveniently close to Casa Salbego B&B, above, we stopped in here one evening for a glass of vino before dinner. Husband had a local Emilia-Romagna sangiovese, while I had a glass of still pignioletto, also local. Both were marvellous, but the still pignioletto was a revelation – who knew such a thing even existed!? Read more here or here. A must visit. Address: Via Marsala, 2/b, 40126 Bologna

Fabrik” // a buzzy little spot almost next door to Casa Salbego B&B, above. We stopped in for two Aperol spritzes one evening and arrived at just the right time for a little aperitivo board of olives and crisps; it was delightful! Would recommend. Address: Via Augusto Righi, 32e, 40126 Bologna

Birreria Popolare // a fantastic little beer spot in the city! We visited a good few years back when we stayed in this area of town, but I’m pleased to report that it’s still just as great today! We nabbed two stools at the bar & enjoyed a couple pints of Pilsner Urquell while watching the tennis finals with the locals. Read about our last visit here. Would recommend. Address: Via dal Luzzo, 4a, 40125 Bologna

Pastis // a hipster haunt, just a few doors down from Bar Senze Nome, above. We enjoyed an Aperol spritz and Bierra Moretti each one evening, but I must confess that I find their neighbour much more cosy. Address: Via Belvedere, 7c, 40121 Bologna

Eating Our Way Around Bologna | Our Mini-Moon Part I

Okay, we didn’t exactly TOURIST anywhere – that just isn’t what this trip was about for us. That said, we did hit up a few of our fave spots in the city that could technically be classed as tourist attractions! Here’s where we hit:

Santa Maria della Vita // our favourite church in the city! It’s small, quiet, and tucked away off a side street in the Quadilatero district. Churches in Italy are just nice spots to pop into, you know? A must visit. Address: Via Clavature, 8/10, 40124 Bologna

Basilica di San Petronio // I repeat: Italian churches are just nice to walk around. Address: Piazza Galvani, 5, 40124 Bologna

Librerie Zanichelli // a lovely Bookstore on Piazza Galvani, a few doors up from Caffe Zanarini, above. We always always ALWAYS stop in here for a browse – they have some fab books! Sure, we don’t really speak Italian, but their arts section is plentifully stocked with many a beautiful coffee table book! Would recommend. Address: Piazza Galvani, 1/h, 40124 Bologna

And there we have it: Three Days in Bologna | Our Mini-Moon in Italy! I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Stay tuned for my Ravenna guide, hopefully coming at you in the next couple of weeks!

Until then,

Vicki xo

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