Why Bologna?

Home to the oldest university in the world, established 1088, Bologna has a student population nearing 100,000. And there are many reasons why you should become one of them. The red city that blessed the world with ragù – which has somehow become known as Spaghetti Bolognese, despite the fact the traditional dish is served with tagliatelle – is a very tempting alternative to the likes of Milan, Rome and Florence, often overwhelmed by tourists. From jazz bars to rich cuisine and market culture, steeped in tradition and socialist rebellion, Bologna is one of Italy’s finest.


"I couldn’t recommend Bologna enough as a year abroad destination. Making the most of an experience in Bologna seems so doable, thanks to the great price points (€2 bottles of wine ?!) and lively student culture."
Year Abroad 20/21
Giardini Margherita

Giardini Margherita

Originally inspired by the romantic English garden, Bologna’s biggest park is just outside the city centre. Bring a book or some running shoes and soak up some of the sun next to the lake!

Cantina Bentivoglio

This live jazz bar doubles as a restaurant, making for a truly unforgettable experience. Make sure you smarten up and book yourself a table in the sala musica (music room) at our experts’ favourite place in town. Photo credit: Cantina Bentivoglio

Finestrella de Via Piella

Finestrella means window, and when you open this one, you will feast your eyes on the Canale di Reno. Just like this hidden surprise, Bologna is waiting to be discovered – you just have to open its doors. Once you’ve taken a picture, indulge in a gelato, a coffee stop or perhaps an Aperol Spritz if it’s nearing 5 o’clock.


If it is a proper party that you seek, take a 30 minute bus ride to just outside of Bologna to the cultural-hub-come-club known as Link. There’s live music, club nights, cinema showings, food and ample outside space, meaning you’ll never be cramped in a smoking area when you need a breath of fresh air.

The Best of Bologna



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Bologna is very well-linked to lots of neighbouring Italian cities by train. Verona, Milan, Florence, Turin, Trieste…that’s just to name a few. Within the city itself, it is best to get around by bike or simply on foot – do not rush through its winding streets, past its ancient monuments or the smells of the traditional kitchens that perfume its streets.
Mobike is a really convenient way to get around the city (as Bologna is relatively small) and costs about 25 cents an hour.

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Our Community

Get in touch with one of our ambassadors who have spent an extended period of time in this place. They have great advice!

General FAQs

Barcelona is mostly a fairly flat city, where it’s always sunny, so getting around by bike is a very good option. Barcelona has its own version of Boris bikes called Bicing. Also apps like Yego where you can rent mopeds all over the city for around 20 cents a minute.

It is also a good option to buy a T-10 card. With this card you will have 10 trips on all public transport, otherwise it’s €2.20 per ride. The metro runs 5am to midnight Sunday to Thursday, till 2am on Friday and 24 hours on Saturday.

Avoid Uber if you can. It’s a very small city, so its very easy to walk places. FreeNow is a reliable taxi service around the city.