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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Bologna

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Bologna each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (Capodanno) (national holiday)

January 6: Epiphany (Feast of Befana) (national holiday)

For all Italians, the 6th of January is the day when the benevolent white witch Befana, who predates Santa Claus in Italy, arrives on her broomstick with presents and candy for all children who have been good during the year and coal to those who have been bad.

Mardi Gras: Carnival (national)

Spread over several weeks during the month of February, the carnival of Bologna is in full swing on the day of Mardi Gras. The general public is invited to join the procession of costumed characters, making for an explosion of colour in the heart of the city.

Easter Sunday: Feast of Our Lady of Saint Luke (local)

Easter Sunday is the most important religious festival of the year in Bologna. The sacred image of the Madonna, kept in the sanctuary of St. Luke, is transported to the Basilica of San Petronio to be blessed. The return trip of the image to the sanctuary is the occasion for a solemn procession attended by throngs of locals.

April 25: Liberation Day (Festa della Liberazione) (national holiday)

Each year, this holiday commemorates the end of World War II in Italy. It is marked by parades, marching bands, speeches, and fireworks.

May 1: Labour Day (Festa del lavoro) (national holiday)

On Labour Day, which is a holiday in Italy, many artistic associations organise events in the historic centre of the city, featuring shows, workshops, street theatre, and a host of other events.

June 2: Republic Day (Festa della Repubblica Italiana) (national holiday)

This national holiday commemorates the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946. It is marked by parades, speeches, and concerts.

August 15: Assumption Day (Assunzione della Beata Vergine Maria) (national holiday)

This holiday is dedicated to the worship of the Virgin Mary. Masses and processions are held in her honour in churches and streets of the historic centre.

November 1: All Saints Day (Ognissanti) (national holiday)

A public holiday, All Saints Day is celebrated throughout Italy with various religious events, especially in the Churches of Bologna.

November 4: National Unity Day (Giorno dell'Unità Nazionale) (national holiday)

On this day of official commemorations, Italy celebrates both its unification by the Kings of the House of Savoy and the end of the First World War. This national Armed Forces Day is marked by many military parades.

December 8: Immaculate Conception (national)

This is a public holiday in honour of the Virgin Mary. In Bologna, as in most Italian cities, processions are organised and candles placed in windows.

December 25: Christmas (Natale) (national holiday)

Do not miss the Christmas market in Piazza Maggiore when all of Bologna is festively illuminated.

December 26: Saint Stephen's Day (Santo Stephano) (national holiday)

This day has been a holiday in Italy since 1947 and celebrates the birth of St Stephen, the first martyr of Christianity. Traditionally, it is a day dedicated to the family, with a large festive meal.

December 31: Il Vecchione (local)

For the night of New Year's Eve, Bologna offers many activities: gourmet dinners, dances, lively markets, and fireworks. According to a medieval tradition, the inhabitants of Bologna annually burn a gigantic puppet symbolising the 12 months of the year. The celebration takes place at midnight in Piazza Maggiore. In recent years, the creation of the puppet is entrusted to a renowned artist.

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Bologna

The city of Bologna has a continental climate. The months from November to March are relatively cold, even snowy from December to February. July and August are characterized by intense heat. To fully enjoy the charms of the city, the months of April, May, June, September and October are ideal.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -1 5 32 Not the best period to go
February 1 9 37 Not the best period to go
March 5 13 56 Not the best period to go
April 8 18 61 Good period to go Good period to go
May 13 17 73 Good period to go Good period to go
June 17 28 61 Good period to go Good period to go
July 19 31 32 Good period to go Good period to go
August 19 30 44 Good period to go Good period to go
September 16 26 71 Good period to go Good period to go
October 11 20 72 Good period to go Good period to go
November 7 15 66 Not the best period to go
December 1 7 46 Not the best period to go
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Bologna Guglielmo Marconi International Airport

The Guglielmo Marconi International Airport is located about six km (3.7 miles) northwest of downtown Bologna.

  • 2 terminals:
    • Terminal A
    • Terminal B (Air France)

Getting from the airport to Bologna and back:
  • By car
    • Access: downtown Bologna can be reached in ten minutes on the Via Zanardi.
    • Parkings: P1 and P2 short-term parking garages. Rates: EUR 3.70 for the first hour, EUR 14 for 24 hours. The P3 car park is partially covered. Rates: EUR 11 per day for four days, then EUR 9 per extra day from 5th to 10th days, then EUR 7 per extra day.
    • Several car rental companies have counters in the arrivals hall.
  • By bus
    • The Aerobus runs every 11 minutes between 5:00 a.m. and 11:35 p.m. every day. The station is located in front of the Arrivals Hall. The Aerobus serves the central train station of Bologna and the city centre in about 20 minutes. Tickets must be purchased on board the bus or online and cost EUR 6 (https://aerobus.bo.it/en).
  • By taxi
    • Taxis may be found just outside the arrivals hall. It takes about 15 minutes and costs EUR 14 to reach the city centre.
  • Services: Boutiques, restaurants, bars, ATMs, post office, first aid centre and free Internet access (Wi-Fi) available at the airport.
  • Telephone: +39 (0)51 647 9615

Website: https://www.bologna-airport.it/en/

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GETTING AROUND Bologna

Do not think about driving in the centre of Bologna. To better enjoy the charms of the city, nothing beats walking! For those who still do not feel like it, a dense network of buses offers a reliable and inexpensive alternative.

By car

Cars are not welcome in the city centre of Bologna, which is classified as a limited traffic zone.

By bus and trolleybus

The town of Bologna is served by 40 bus and trolleybus lines. The centre in particular is crossed by four lines (A, C, T1 and 12) that stop at the main tourist attractions.

Tickets can be purchased on the bus. A single fare costs EUR 1.50 and a day pass EUR 6. For further information, please visit https://www.tper.it.

By Taxi

You can easily pick a taxi anywhere around town, and most especially outside the central station and the Piazza Maggiore. Basic fare is EUR 1.27 per kilometre. Additional charge of EUR 0.50 per luggage.

By Bike

Bologna is equipped with an excellent network of bike lanes. The “bike beltway” (8.4 km of lanes alongside major boulevards) even allows to bypass the city centre. Bike rentals cost EUR 15 on average. You may also use Mobike, a self-service bike rental app that you can download on the App Store or Google Play. Service costs EUR 1 per 30 minutes (EUR 0.70 if you leave the bike at a Mobike drop-off). For further information, please visit

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Bologna, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organise your stay.

Tourist information desk (Ufficio di informazione e accoglienza turistica)

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Further information available online for visitors to Italy

The official website of Italy's national tourist board (Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo, ENIT) provides a wealth of information on Bologna:

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Medical information

In order to travel in the best conditions and for your health and safety, we invite you to check all information regarding preventive measures and best practices to be respected, available on the official website of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs:https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files/

Your comfort, well-being and health are at the heart of Air France's concerns, and we want to help you prepare for your trip in the best way possible. Find out more about the measures taken to ensure safe travelling on our website: https://www.airfrance.fr/FR/en/common/page_flottante/information/coronavirus.htm#notre-engagement-sanitaire.

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation. Bologna counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Bologna. For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Bologna.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Italy

For a stay of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay in order to enter Italy.

As a general rule, all other travellers are subject to visa requirements, although citizens of some countries may enter Italy for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa.

For further information, visit the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: https://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/en

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Useful contacts

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Bologna, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are some Italian phrases that might be useful during your stay in Bologna:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Buongiorno Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: <em>Buongiorno</em>

Good evening: Buonasera Good evening: <em>Buonasera</em>

Goodbye: Arrivederci Goodbye: <em>Arrivederci</em>

Yes: Si Yes: <em>Si</em>

No: No No: <em>No</em>

No, thank you: No, grazie No, thank you: <em>No, grazie</em>

Thank you very much: Grazie mille Thank you very much: <em>Grazie mille</em>

Please: Per favore Please: <em>Per favore</em>

I don't understand: Non capisco I don't understand: <em>Non capisco</em>

Could you repeat?: Può ripetere ? Could you repeat?: <em>Può ripetere ?</em>

What time is it?: Che ora è ? / Che ora sono ? What time is it?: <em>Che ora è ? / Che ora sono ?</em>

Sorry: Mi scusi (formal)
Excuse me: Scusatemi (plural) Sorry: <em>Mi scusi (formal)</em><br />
Excuse me: <em>Scusatemi (plural)</em>

Airport: Aeroporto Airport: <em>Aeroporto</em>

Train station: Stazione Train station: <em>Stazione</em>

Taxi: Taxi Taxi: <em>Taxi</em>

Hotel: Hotel / Albergho Hotel: <em>Hotel / Albergho</em>

Hospital: Ospedale Hospital: <em>Ospedale</em>

Bank: Banca Bank: <em>Banca</em>

Telephone: Telefono Telephone: <em>Telefono</em>

I'm (…): Sono (…). I'm (…): <em>Sono (…).</em>

I'm looking for (…): Sto cercando (…). I'm looking for (…): <em>Sto cercando (…).</em>

How much is (…)?: Quanto costa ? How much is (…)?: <em>Quanto costa ?</em>

Do you have (…)?: Ha (…) ? Do you have (…)?: <em>Ha (…) ?</em>

Where can I find (…)?: Dove si trova (…) ? / Dove posso trovare (…) ? Where can I find (…)?: <em>Dove si trova (…) ? / Dove posso trovare (…) ?</em>

Where can I buy (…)?: Dove si compra (…) ? / Dove posso comprare (…) ? Where can I buy (…)?: <em>Dove si compra (…) ? / Dove posso comprare (…) ?</em>

I'd like (…): Vorrei (…). I'd like (…): <em>Vorrei (…).</em>

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Good to know

+39
+ phone number
0 : 00
of time difference with
Hamburg
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS
Usually open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES
Usually open in the morning from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping

In Bologna like everywhere in Italy, a service charge (servizio) is usually included in the bill at restaurants. If the service is exceptional, you can certainly leave a few extra euros. Some restaurants also apply a cover charge (pane e coperto, literally "bread and cutlery"), which is not considered as a gratuity. You should therefore make sure beforehand that tip and cover charge are included in the bill!

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