There’s nowhere quite like Bologna, with its famed university, medieval and Renaissance sights and plethora of luxury, boutique hotels.
Calling a city historic in Italy is hardly singling it out as unique, but Bologna is not any ordinary Italian city. Roman, medieval, Renaissance and Baroque remnants are testament to the city’s enduring importance, and the University of Bologna is thought to be among the oldest in the world. Palaces, theatres and churches all showcase the changing architectural styles through the centuries, while the dozens of stone towers are remnants from medieval times, when there were up to one hundred of these unusual structures dominating the skyline. Here’s where to stay to experience this classy city in style.
Art Hotel Orologio
Overlooked by Bologna’s 14th-century town hall, the Palazzo d’Accursio, is the classy Art Hotel Orologio. Each room has its own tasteful colour scheme, provided by high quality wallpaper interspersed by carved wooden stucco. The marble in the bathrooms is coloured to match the rooms. Furnishings include plush antique furniture and a minibar. You can rent bicycles for free from this hotel as well, the perfect way to explore this traffic-free section of central Bologna. From €228 per night.
Each room at the eclectic Casa Bertagni has its own quintessentially Italian design motif. Each one is named after a virtue, including the Hope Room with proscenium arch-style curtains over the bed, and the Faith Room, upholstered in blue and white. This boutique guest house is ideally located for those wishing to explore the University of Bologna or the Pinacoteca Nazionale (a Renaissance art museum), which are both minutes away. From €130 per night.
Best Western San Donato
The view from the San Donato hotel’s rooftop terrace is among the best of any hotel in Bologna. A block from the revered Two Towers, you can turn any which way and you’ll see the ornate Baroque and medieval structures that make Bologna’s historic core such an exciting place to explore. The rooms, as you’d expect with any Best Western franchise property, are clean and comfortable. From €139 per night.
Art Hotel Commercianti
A stay at Art Hotel Commercianti is a stay in a piece of local history. The building dates back to medieval times, around the 12th century. It became a hotel more recently and has been run by three generations of the Orsi Family. Any stay at this magnificent hotel feels like a jaunt back in time, with the Gothic Basilica di San Petronio right outside and traditional touches laced throughout the hotel’s rooms, such as original half-timbered beams. From €203 per night.
Aemilia Hotel Bologna
If you’re visiting Bologna by car and don’t want to pay the high fees for city centre parking, Aemilia Hotel Bologna has private parking for guests and is still only a short, 1.5-km (1 mile) walk to Piazza Maggiore. There are many other benefits to a stay here, too, including the rooftop hot tub, luxury rooms with all the latest modifications, such as TVs with Chromecast, and access to the hotel’s fitness centre. From €159 per night.