Moving away from the most popular and some would say classic cities in Italy you will find Bologna. Bologna offers an alternative atmosphere and culture, something that you will not be used to seeing! In Bologna there is an incredible young and vibrant university atmosphere, as well as a rich culture, waiting to be explored.
What is there to see in Bologna
If you end up going to Bologna for your Erasmus year/semester, there are a handful of typical places and monuments that you been to go and see (of corse, when you are not partying):
- Piazza Maggiore: This is the equivalent to the Plaza Mayor but is obviously located in the small locality of Bologna. As it is so close to the university there are always a lot of people hanging around here. It is also recognised (unofficialy) as the main meeting point of the city.
- Torres de Bolonia: These Towers are said to be the tallest structures in the city, from the top of there you will be able to enjoy what are, unquestionably, the best views of the city. Having said this, if you have vertigo, you will not enjoy it as much! Not only due to the height but also because the strais are made of wood and between each one there is a hole… therefore they aren´t very safe!
- Podestá Palace: This is an incredible architectural complex that is crossed by two streets that intersect under the Voltone del Podesta under which stands the Torre dell’Arengo, whose bell it said to have once warned the people of Bologna before a extraordinary event took place.
- Mercancía Palace: As you will see, here you will be able to discover more than one or two medieval palaces. This palace is located in the Piazza della Mercanzia, an area full of delightful restuarants and clubs. It is worth pointing out the beautiful balcony.
Where to live
Bologna, year upon year, welcomes many students from all over the world. Despite this, it can be difficult to find accommodation here. It is better if you arrive in August or January so that you can find good accommodation for a good price. It is also, usually, very expensive (between 300 and 500 euros a month) and the weekend trip also tend to be very expensive too! Therefore you need to make sure that you organise your money and expenses very well whilst you are there.
The best and quickest way to find accommodation is to look on the rooms that are being advertised on the University or Erasmus Facebook pages. These Facebook pages are usually trustworthy but just to be safe make sure that you don´t pay anything until you are in Italy.
Remeber: you need to start looking for a room at least a few months before you arrive, in order to avoid unnecessary stress.
Where to go out
The nightlife in Bologna is incredible, considering the size of this city. There are many bars and clubs, the majority in the centre of the city. Here you will be able to get great food, attend fun and unique events, exhibitions and even live concerts. Amongst the, Crash, Link, Cassero, Arteria, Xm 24, Labas and Modo are the best…
If you want to meet new people whilst partying, the various different Erasmus organisations put on various different events in different pubs and clubs which are great for making new friends. However if you go to any pub in the centre you will have a great time, all of them will be full of university students. Bologna is characterised by its young and fun atmosphere.
The only downside to this city is that it is very cold during the winter. As a result many of the parties are private, hled in houses, but depsite this are still extremely fun! If you want to extend your evening there are a lot of local bars and pubs that you can go to! Kinki Clubis the best of them all and can be located in the centre.
Although we all know how good italian food is it is, in reality, very expensive to eat out. However in Bologna there is a small local bar that sells incredible pizza for a great price (a margheritta from only 2,50€). This is a very popular place for young people and is called Pizza Casa.
Close to the university zone there is another reasonable restuarant called La Osteria de L´Orsa, where you can eat incredible pasta dishes. It is open all day and seems to be a hot-spot for students.
Other restuarants are not as reasonable and therefore your best choice is to buy your own food in the supermarket and cook at home!