My exchange to the University of Bologna is one I am extremely grateful for and one that has allowed me to have the best experiences of my life.
After spending 6 months in Bologna I would like to think I am somewhat of an expert of all things “Bologna”, so I compiled a list of my top 7 tips for anyone visiting/ studying in Bologna.
1. Explore and get lost in the streets of Bologna. There are so many beautiful streets, buildings and statues all over Bologna and it is so easy to spend hours walking around the city. There are also many hidden secrets of Bologna such as the Neptune fountain, the four corners and the three arrows that you need to explore!
2. Climb the Due Torri! Due Torri, the Two Towers are a symbol of Bologna located in the centre of the city. You can climb up the Asinelli tower which is a massive 498 stairs high. This tower is actually the largest leaning tower in Italy, it even leans more than the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa! The views from the Asinelli Tower are incredible. You can see the entire city from above and is definitely worth the climb up.
3. EAT your heart out! Italians are known for their food and Bologna is the food capital of Italy.
I would recommend trying is the Tagliatelle al Ragu from Osteria dell’Orso:
Another restaurant I would recommend is La Prosciutteria. They have really delicious Piadinas which is a traditional Italian flatbread that has fillings such as mozzarella and prosciutto or you can order a tasting platter.
4. Visit the oldest University in the Western World! The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and is one of the most prestigious Universities in Italy today. The university buildings hold so much history and are beautiful to look at.
5. Grab a drink and sit on the steps of San Petronio Basilica in Piazza Maggiore. In summer they even screen movies in the Centre
6. Take a language class! The Italian language is so beautiful and there are free language classes you can take while you are on exchange so you should definitely make the most of it!
7. Take part in ESN events such as football tournaments, Salsa Nights or Tandem language Nights. I made some of my closest friends at events like this and it was a great way to meet people.
My favourite part of my whole exchange was getting to experience Bologna as a local, not a tourist. I was lucky to make lifelong friends with people of all backgrounds, experience an extremely different education system, immerse myself in Italian culture and have the opportunity to travel all over Europe.
If anyone is on the fence about studying overseas, I would definitely encourage you to do it! It could be some of the best memories of your life!
“Travelling to a country is great. But to live in another country… that is truly amazing”- Brittany Watson.