The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Little Bologna

Fair District of Bologna - 1
Fair District of Bologna - 1 | © the Italian voice/Flickr
Carlotta Bosi

Right behind Bologna’s train station, in the opposite direction of the city center, rises the lively and multicultural neighborhood of Bolognina, crowded with artists and students, and some in search of a more quiet way of life. Here’s a list of the best things to do in this, the so-called Little Bologna.

La finestrella – Bologna – Italy

1. Relax



Right behind the Centro Lame shopping mall, visitors can find two adjacent parks that merge into one big green area. Parco Lunetta Mariotti and Parco di Villa Angeletti are open to the public from early morning to evening, so that everyone can take a few refreshing moments of relaxation before going ahead with that city tour. The characteristic Parco di villa Angeletti offers a playground for children and a tiny open air theatre: it is the ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon, taking long walks and enjoying the landscapes.

Parco di Villa Angeletti, via della Beverara, Bologna, Italy

2. Shopping



At the edge of Bolognina, right next to a big park, there’s a shopping mall. Centro Lame hosts several shops and restaurants of every kind, where visitors can enjoy a relaxing shopping experience or spend the hot Bolognaise summer days immersed in a refreshing atmosphere, maybe while having a delicious ice-cream with friends.

Centro Lame, via Marco Polo 3, Bologna, Italy

3. Museo per la memoria di Ustica


Museo per la memoria di Ustica

Hosted in a wing of the Galleria di Arte Moderna di Bologna, this little museum is dedicated, as the name suggests, to the memory of the passengers of the Bologna-Palermo flight IH870 who all lost their lives on June 27th 1980 in the Ustica disaster. The Museo per la memoria di Ustica has the remains of the plane on display, around which the artist Christian Boltanski has created an installation. Inside locked coffins are collected the personal effects of the passengers, which are only visible in a photographic exhibition.

Museo per la memoria di Ustica, Via di Saliceto 3/22, Bologna, Italy

Rottami del DC9 | © Davide Palmisano/Flickr

4. Teatro Testoni

Teatro Testoni

Teatro Testoni is often referred to as Testoni Ragazzi because since 1995 this theatre has only performed shows dedicated to the youngest, from children to teenagers. The season usually follows the school calendar year and the main representations are comedies. Teatro Testoni also often organizes and hosts art exhibitions of interest to the young public.

Teatro Testoni, via Giacomo Matteotti 16, Bologna, Italy

5. Piazza dell’Unità


Piazza dell’Unità

Bologna offers a lot of beautiful historic squares and parks to relax and spend time in, and whoever should find themselves in the surroundings of Piazza dell’Unità might want to hang around a little because, despite being a little away from the classic Centro Storico, it has all of the features you’d expect of the classic Italian piazza. Beside the historic buildings all around, Piazza dell’Unità features a small park with a playground for the children.

Piazza dell’Unità, Bologna, Italy

6. Bologna massacre memorial

Memorial, Train Station

Bologna massacre memorial

The Bologna massacre was a terrorist attack that took place on August 2nd 1980, causing 85 deaths and several hundred injuries. A bomb exploded in a waiting room at the main train station, which was crowded. The clock of the waiting room, which survived the explosion, still stands untouched, marking the time of the attack and commemorating the victims.

Bologna Centrale, Piazza delle Medaglie d’Oro, Bologna, Italy

7. Musical instruments shopping

Musical instruments shopping

Color Me is one of the biggest musical instrument shops in Bologna. Lots of guitars and instruments of all kinds are hanging on the walls and customers are certain to find what they are looking for, whether it’s a ukulele or a drum. And it’s not just instruments sold here but a wide variety of accessories and CDs, and even a rent-able rehearsal space to boot!

Color Me, via Giovanni Francesco Barbieri 56, Bologna, Italy

8. Sacro Cuore


Sacro Cuore

The Catholic church of Sacro Cuore is immediately visible from the main station. Erected in 1901, it’s relatively recent, but its structure is quite traditional, with that impressive splayed entrance and a high dome, somewhat redolent of the Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan (which hosts Leonardo’s Last Supper).

Sacro Cuore, via Giacomo Matteotti, Bologna, Italy

9. Locomotiv club

Locomotiv club

Travelers who find themselves in Little Bologna and in need of a night on the town would do well to head over to this lively partying spot. Locomotiv Club hosts concerts and events almost every day, and all at just the price of a movie. Entrance requires a subscription, but you can do that on-line before arriving!

Locomotiv club, Via Sebastiano Serlio 25/2, Bologna, Italy

Asian food

Being a multicultural neighborhood, Little Bologna offers several options for quality ethnic food beside the exquisite traditional Bolognaise cuisine that’s predominant in the historical center. Many of the restaurants in the area are Chinese, Japanese or fusion, like Haiku or Koko – both of which come highly recommended!

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