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Bologna

Off the beaten track

Our most recommended Bologna Off the beaten track

Bologna with a Local: Customized Private Meet-Up

1. Bologna with a Local: Customized Private Meet-Up

Experience the best of Bologna on a private tour that can be customized to your interests and preferences, including the booking of tickets or attractions according to your requests. Simply make your booking and your hosts will contact you within 24 hours to ask questions about your interests and what you would like to see and do. They will match you with the right profile, assign a like-minded local to become your guide and put together a bespoke itinerary. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Benefit from a tour tailored just for you. The itinerary will be outlined but flexible. Meet at a place convenient for you, and feel free to change direction during the day, or follow suggestion from your guide if they think you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, with your permission. Get off the beaten track and see things not normally covered in guidebooks or on the internet but loved by the locals. The entire tour will revolve around your wishes so that you can discover a side to Bologna that you will truly adore!

From Bologna: Balsamic Vinegar, Pavarotti and Ferrari Tour

2. From Bologna: Balsamic Vinegar, Pavarotti and Ferrari Tour

Experience the best of Modena on this day tour which showcases 3 of the region's best products. Start your tour with a visit to the home of the great maestro Luciano Pavarotti. Enjoy a tour of his house, which has now been converted into a museum. Visit the rooms where he lived and discover more about his life and times. Next, head to the Ferrari Museum in Maranello. Live the Prancing Horse dream firsthand as you wander around the various exhibitions dedicated to the iconic racing car. Get travel back in time as you explore the racecar's exhilarating history. Finally, discover the history and ancient tradition of the famous "black gold" of Modena with a guided tour of a balsamic vinegar factory. After your tour, enjoy some tastings paired with delicious local delicacies. On the way back to Bologna, stop for lunch at a countryside farmhouse.

Bologna: Explore w/ a Local at Christmas

3. Bologna: Explore w/ a Local at Christmas

Discover the traditions and gourmet treats that make the festive season in Bologna so special as you explore Christmas markets and beautifully decorated medieval porticos. Wander through historic streets draped in twinkling lights and traditional red and green garlands, soaking up the festive atmosphere and visiting the best loved Christmas spots in the city. Indulge in festive treats and traditional Christmas favorites like pandoro, see the famous nativity scenes, browse the Santa Lucia Christmas Market for handmade gifts and decorations and stroll through the Mercato di Mezzo buy gourmet foodie gifts and sample some of the traditional Christmas delicacies. With a local, eat, drink and be merry Bolognese style. Join a like-minded local to explore Bologna while the medieval and Renaissance porticos are draped in twinkling lights and the markets are adorned with traditional Christmas garlands, and soak up the festive atmosphere together. Do like the locals do and gather to see the nativity scenes at Cattedrale di San Pietro and Palazzo d’Accursio, an annual local tradition. Wander through the streets and admire the decorations, maybe picking up affordable, handmade gifts and crafts from street side stalls that spring up in December. Visit the Mercato di Mezzo and Santa Lucia Christmas Market to buy gifts and try the festive culinary treats that are a well-loved Christmas tradition in Bologna. Learn about other Christmas traditions from your local as you explore the city and markets, maybe stopping to enjoy a glass of wine or hot chocolate. Curious travelers will be connected to locals who are interesting and sociable people, who know the city well and who love to share their favorite places. They are not tour guides by profession. What we try to recreate is the feeling of having a friend in every city you visit; someone who can show you the places you’ll fall in love with and help you to connect with the most authentic soul of a place. Book this meet up and the team will contact you within 24-hours and ask you questions about your preferences and interests, so they can match you with the right profile and assign a like-minded local Bolognese. Keeping in mind your personal answers, your local host will put together a bespoke itinerary just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. Your host will arrange the most convenient meeting place for you. If you feel like changing direction during the meet up, or if your local host believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, he/ she will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary.

LGBT Bologna: Book a local like-minded friend

4. LGBT Bologna: Book a local like-minded friend

Book this tour and your hosts will contact you within 24 hours and ask you questions about your preferences and interests, so they can match you with the right profile and assign a like-minded local Bolognese. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Keeping in mind your personal answers they will put together a bespoke itinerary, just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. They will arrange a meeting with your guide in the most convenient place for you. If during the tour you feel like changing direction, or your guide believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Bologna that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the Internet, because they are lesser known to the crowd but beloved by locals! The day revolves around your wishes so enjoy your private tour and let your Local show you the Bologna you will love.

Private Bologna Tour: Piazza Maggiore to Due Torri

5. Private Bologna Tour: Piazza Maggiore to Due Torri

Book this private 2 or 3 hour tour and the operator will contact you to learn about your interests and preferences. You’ll be matched with a like-minded local, who will become your guide. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Keeping in mind your personal answers, a customized itinerary will be designed just for you. If during the tour you feel like changing direction, or your guide believes you might enjoy something in particular, changes to the itinerary are certainly possible. Discover amazing spots in Bologna that would be difficult to find without the help of a knowledgeable local. The day will revolve around your wishes so enjoy your private tour and let your local guide show you a Bologna you will love.

Bologna: Private and Personalised Walking Tour

6. Bologna: Private and Personalised Walking Tour

This experience is essential to anyone who is serious about exploring the best of Bologna. With your savvy local host you can rediscover the original charm and lively character of this extremely vibrant city. You could start the day with a short and strong espresso in one of the bars under the “portici," just how the locals like it. Walk up one of the main streets and past one of the most important theatres to end up at the Montagnola Market. Explore the narrow streets of the Jewish ghetto, where you can admire the tiny windows typical of the houses in this part of the city and come out right under the two towers, which are the icons of Bologna. Stop for a quick pizza by the slice in one of the places which normally get busy with the students from the university, which is the oldest university in the world. Take the afternoon to breathe in the culture and discover the Santo Stefano area, where contemporary and ancient art meet. There are many hidden gems which the locals love and are difficult to find on a map. If the weather allows, treat yourself to a refreshing gelato. Pop in to some of the nicest independent antique shops to see unique items and discover curiosities, then join one of the many local favorite bars for aperitivo and sip a nice glass of Prosecco while you get recommendations for restaurants and maybe note down a couple of traditional recipes. Book this meet-up with a Bolognese and you will be contacted within 24-hours with questions about your preferences and interests. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Replicate the experience of spending time in a city with a friend who lives there as the best travel moments come from going beneath the surface of a destination and discovering it through local lens.  Based on the things that you would like to see and do, a personalized and bespoke itinerary will be built just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. During the exploration, if you feel like changing direction, or if your local host believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. You will be able to arrange a meeting point and time with your host in the most convenient place for you.  Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Bologna that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the internet as they are lesser-known to the crowd but loved by locals. Let your private local host show you the Bologna you will love.

Bologna: 2-Hour Book a Like-Minded Local Host

7. Bologna: 2-Hour Book a Like-Minded Local Host

Book this meet-up and your hosts will contact you within 24-hours and ask you questions about your preferences and interests, so that you can be matched with the right profile and assigned a like-minded, mindful local Bolognese. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Bologna is overflowing with hidden organic and healthy shops, surrounded by green hills and full of yoga-loving locals who keep this mindful, green Bologna alive. Follow one of the local Bolognese guides around and discover the beauty of Bologna. You could discover Bologna's hidden organic shops, walk through it's beautiful Giardini Margherita, or climb one of its stunning hills to gaze at the city from above.  Once you book, keeping in mind your personal answers, a green-friendly bespoke itinerary will be put together just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. A meeting will be arranged with your guide in the most convenient place for you. During the itinerary, if you feel like changing direction, or your guide believes that you'd enjoy a different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Bologna that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the Internet, because they are lesser known to the crowd but beloved by locals. The day revolves around your wishes so enjoy your private itinerary and let your local show you the Bologna you will love. This meet-up can also be combined with your own private Pilates session. Please request further information from your hosts upon booking.

From Rome: Guided Day Trip to Bologna

8. From Rome: Guided Day Trip to Bologna

Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world, and is known for its lavish porticoed walkways and squares, its fascinating medieval center and its bustling night life. The city is also one of Italy's food capitals: great pasta such as tagliatelle, lasagne, tortellini as well as delicacies such as Parmesan Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar and some of the finest cured meats in Italy hail from Bologna and the surrounding Emilia Romagna region. All this makes Bologna a perfect destination off the beaten path for the savvy traveller. With your guide, wander under the ancient porticoes and discover architectural masterpieces from a long forgotten past, all while tasting amazing local delicacies from time to time. It could be one of the major highlights of your Italian trip! You will leave Rome in the early morning when your driver will pick up you at your accommodation and you will be back there in the same evening! An expert local guide will stay with you to show all the secrets of this beautiful little treasure in the middle of Italy.

Frequently asked questions about Bologna Off the beaten track

What are other things to do than Off the beaten track that are worth visiting in Bologna?

The other unmissable things to do in Bologna are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Bologna

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What people are saying about Bologna

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 144 reviews

Lorenza met my every request and need. I wanted a tour focused on medieval life, culture and history. No church and no art. She kept my full attention for the entire 6 hours!

Our guide Lorenza tolde us a lot about mindset and spirit of the city and the citizens. We saw all relevant places and got so many interesting input and information...

We really enjoyed the tour with Lorenza Simoni. She told us a lot of interesting facts about Bologna.

People are friendly, really nice driver on everything. Really to try absolutely

Get great insider tips and locations shown by our local city guide!!!