“Bologna la dotta, la grassa, la rossa”
Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Bologna is well deserving its nickname “La dotta” (the erudite). The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 by a group of intellectuals led by the famous Italian writer Giosuè Carducci. Over the years, famous scholars from all over Europe have come to study here, from Dante Alighieri and Thomas Becket, to Albrecht Dürer and Niccolò Copernico.
Bologna “la grassa”, “the fat” due to its delicious traditional cuisine. When visiting Bologna, hungry visitors should be sure to call into one of the city’s many “trattoria” to enjoy typical dishes like tortellini, lasagne and mortadella.
Bologna’s third nickname is “la rossa” or “the red” due to the colour of the roofs of the buildings. Obviously, you won’t be able to see this from the ground, so the best things to do is brave the climb (498 steps, we counted) and head up the tower “degli Asinelli”. This is one of the two towers that make up the symbol of the city, the other being Garisenda. (Legend has it that the Asinelli and Garisenda families who built the towers around 1110, were fighting for supremacy and decided that whoever could build the highest tower would gain the power of the city. We’ll let you decide for yourself who won.)
What we will be seeing (list is subject to change):
- The Quadrilatero
- Piazza Maggiore
- Basilica di San Petronio
- Torri degli Asinelli e Garisenda
- Basilica di Santo Stefano (“Sette Chiese”)
- Finestra sul canale della Molina
- Trattorie per cibo e vino tipico