About the city of Bologna:
Perhaps best known as the home of Saint Catherine of Bologna, the city also contains the Shrine of Saint Dominic (founder of the Dominican Order) as well as that of Blessed Immelda Lambertini.
Bologna is one of Italy’s most interesting cities. It is a vibrant university town, as well as architecturally beautiful. There are almost 25 miles (40 km) of sidewalks, covered by porticos that make it a walker’s paradise, even if it is raining. You can enjoy the city regardless of the weather. If you happen to be here during Ascension week, the Byzantine statue of the Madonna and Child are carried along the porticos to the cathedral.
The University is one of the oldest in Europe, dating from the 11th Century with such famous students as Dante, Boccaccio and others. Today the university still draws students from around the world, and there is also a branch of Johns Hopkins University from the U.S. located here as well.
On organized tours it is sometimes by-passed in favor of such cities as Florence and Milan, which makes it less touristy and more interesting for those who do visit here. It is considered by some to be the home of the best cuisine in Italy and we cannot disagree. If at all possible we encourage you to include Bologna in your trip to Italy.
Perhaps if you are on an organized tour stopping in Milan, and have a free afternoon, you could include it in a half-day excursion by train (see below).
Catholic Shrines & places of interest in Bologna:
Traveling to Bologna:
There is frequent train service to Bologna from Rome (2 1/2 hours), Milan (1 hour) and Ancona (2 hours). Bologna also has an international airport served by several European airlines.