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A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Singapore
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A week in Italy with Bologna as base

We arrive in Bologna on 10 Oct and will stay for 7 nights. We plan to take a train to Milan and Florence and split our 7 nights between Bologna and these 2 other cities. Seems like staying next to the central station would make sense?

1) Is it reasonable to drag luggage on the streets and walk 5-10 mins to nearby hotels or are we better off staying further away and use the bus from the train station?

2) Any good hotels on a reasonable budget to recommend?

3) Any tips on saving on train fares between cities?

4) Would love to do a day foodie tour and cooking course at Bologna - any recommendations?

Thanks in advance for the help.

New Zealand
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1. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Hi Gourmet Travel,

I was in Bologna in June this year and did a cooking course with Bluone - Cooking Tours in Italy

Here is their web site www.bluone.com

Raffaella and Marcello are great. You get a tour of the markets and selct food to cook later in the day. Learnt to make pasta by hand and a traditional ragu as well as other dishes.

Also did a food tour with Alessandro his web site is www.italiandays.it

This was an amazing day as Alessandro is so knowledgable about the food of the area.

As i was travelling on my own, doing these tours were great - Also have the names of some great local restaurants the were recommended by the B&B I stayed at if you are interested.

Enjoy your trip Bologna is a great city to explore.

Ciao Mitch

Singapore
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2. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Hi Mitch, thanks for sharing, I would love to have your list of restaurants and b&bs!

Johannesburg, South...
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3. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Did you notice any business hotels that looked good please?

karachi
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4. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Hi loverofmilan!....stayed at the four star Best Western San Donato this May past....lovely hotel....would deliver for both "business" and leisure travellers....centrally located....ten minutes on foot to the enchanting Piazza Maggiore....very comfortable room....excellent breakfast spread....no complaints whatsoever.....would happily stay here again....

Johannesburg, South...
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5. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Thanks so much..Will check it out now.

Not sure why I didn't think of Best Westin.

msida-malta
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6. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Dear Gourment travel, and all others who asked. I have just this minute arrived back home from 3 nights in Rimini and two nights in Bologna.

Bologna is a very nice and historic city....and lot to see.

About transport in this city i find it very efficcient from as soon one arrive at Bologna airport. As soon one get out of airport terminal one find the eurobus and for just 5 euros it takes to Bologna train and bus station.One you there regards trains one can go everywhere.

Regard Bologna it is very important that everyone buys the 24 hour transport pass .It's start from time you use it the first time for 24 hiurs.

Regards hotels there are many ,but if you want to stay in a hotel a bit outside the Bologna Centre and the central station but 4/5 minutes from Bologna fairs and Congress Centre, one can try the Savhotel appx 15 minutes away from train station by bus .I was very lucky to find a great weekend special rates offered by Savhotel,a wonderfull hotel with spacious nice designed bedrooms and a great full breakfast. Hotel also have free wifi in rooms. A hotel with very polite and friendly english speaking staff.

http://www.savhotel.com/

I have made this booking in, this great hotel trough www.travelrepublic.co.uk .

I just spend a weekend in Bologna so i will be ready to help where i can.

Anthony Malta

karachi
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7. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

So nice hearing from you Anthony....we meet again!....glad to learn that you enjoyed your weekend break in Bologna....write and tell us all about it, please....will visit Valetta some day.... on the cards!

San Francisco
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8. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

If you arrive by train Piazza Maggiore is about 10 blocks, not difficult on foot, but so much easier with a cheap taxi ride or bus. From the airport, the local bus will take you to the train station for 5 euro, but if your hotel is around the piazza ask the driver to let you off earlier at Via Independenza. That's what we do when we stay at Albergo Centrale, a 2 star with 3 star hotel ammenities and the biggest breakfast we have ever found in Italy.

http://www.albergocentralebologna.it

I highly recommend Ristorante Diana on Via Independenza as well as Da Nello just off Via Independenza on Via Monte Grappa, the small alley behind McDonald's (from the sublime to the ridiculous) .

New Zealand
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9. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Hi Loverofmilan,

In Florence I stayed at the B&B Relais Del Duomo, This was a great little B&B and only one block from the Duomo. They have good sized rooms and lovery b/fast with great coffee. Downstairs is a great restaurant where it looked like a lot of locals eat. very good food. Osteria Dell Olio the same address as the B&B Piazza dell'Olio.

Also eat at Restuarant Marione this is on Via della Spada. Infact eat there twice the food is so good.The slow roasted lamb just melts in your mouth.

The second restuarant recommended to me was so very different. very small traditional restuarant Called La Spada, good food and great company as they sat two locals with me who could speak english. Very funny evening.

If you want a great Gelato try Perche no! on the Via dei Tavolini. The flavours were some of the best I had in Italy. I also did a food tour with Samanta she has very good english and is also an accredited tour guide. Here are her contact details angelwalksinflorence@hotmail.it

In Bologna I stayed at B&B Break 28 - This is actually a family home on the 12th floor not far from the main tourist area, and only a short walk to the train staion.

One of the rrestuarants they recommended was called Merlo' at Via De' Gombruti. the food was beautiful. (This is making me so hungry!~). I also eat at Ristorante Pisseria Neon they are on Via Volturno (in fact eat here twice). Buy this time I was craving eggs so I stopped for lunch one day at Cafe Pasticceria - Gamberini this is on Via Ugo Bassi - sooo good.

Get your Gelato at the shop beside the IT site in Piazza Maggiore. They are very good.

I had a great two weeks between these two cities and still feel like I only saw a small fraction of what was there. Not to mention there were so many more places to eat that at times it was hard to choose.

Enjoy your trip

Ciao mitch

Johannesburg, South...
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10. Re: A week in Italy with Bologna as base

Thanks everyone for responses. Much appreciated.

I am on a very tight business schedule - the Best Western looks good for me.

Thanks for all suggestions to fatten me up as well - just started a diet!