Pellegrino Artusi, the father of the national cuisine of Italy supposedly said “When you hear speak of Bologna, Italy, cuisine make a bow, for it deserves it.” The food of Bologna is known throughout the world—from tagliatelle, to ragù, to mortadella. And, in order to fully explore the cuisine of Bologna, it helps to find a comfortable, and unique place to stay in Bologna.
One thing to note when choosing a place to stay in Bologna. Most of the hotels are within the old city walls. But, most of the city center is a restricted driving zone. There are no real signs that tell you this. You just sort of need to know. Even if the hotel offers parking nearby, this can be a problem. When staying at a city center hotel, you are exempt from these driving restrictions, but the cameras that monitor the cars in the city don’t seem to know that. We’ve been caught at least once with a ticket mailed to us months later because we were driving to our hotel.
Where to Stay in Bologna: Central
Almost every food traveler in Emilia Romagna ends up in Bologna at some point. And, most likely, that traveler is staying in the center of the city. There is no shortage of hotels within the city center, but these are our recommendations of where to stay in Bologna.
Amongst a sea of typical European-style hotels, Casa Bertagni stands apart from the rest. The accommodations are within a luxury guest house with a focus on art and architecture. Enjoy rooms with themes such as Justice, The Force, and Temperance while enjoying artwork and the beautiful inner courtyard. Each room is uniquely themed and decorated. Even the breakfast room is exquisite, with the owner’s favorite artwork on the walls. Casa Bertagni can also arrange unique culinary experiences within Bologna.
Rooms start at €130 a night. Parking is available for a charge. And, they will provide directions on how to reach Casa Bertagni without getting caught on the Bologna driving restrictions. Piazza Maggiore and the center of town is only a 10-15 minute walk away. This is our number one recommendation for where to stay in Bologna, but with only a handful of rooms, book early! (Check out Tripadvisor reviews here | Book here)
Hotel I Portici is one of the top luxury hotels in the city, and has an enviable position on the center road leading into town, Via Independenzia. Breakfast at i Portici is set inside their stunning restaurant, in a restored theater, underneath a fresco painted ceiling. Rooms include funky attic suites. If you are Eric’s size, watch your head. He banged his several times during our stay! Non-attic suites don’t have this danger.
Mere steps from Piazza Maggiore sits Hotel Roma, a more classical and traditional option. Décor follows a French Provencal style, and the hotel façade embraces beautiful classical architecture. The rooms, in the end, are much more classical Italian hotel than the other recommended places to stay in Bologna. But, you can’t beat the location.
Where to Stay in Bologna: Bologna Hills
Heading south from Bologna are the smaller towns and villages that make up the Bologna Hills. As famous as Bologna is, the real treasures of the area lie in the Colli Bolognesi, or Bologna Hills: home to the city of truffles and wine regions that produce spectacular wines.
The Bologna Hills can be visited in a single day trip from Bologna, but an overnight stay can also offer the perfect break from the city. Even if you are visiting Bologna to explore FICO Eataly World, a stay outside of the city could be perfect. Then, it’s possible to just drive to Eataly World.
Locanda Amerigo in Savigno
Locanda Amerigo is operated by Chef-Patron Alberto Bettini at Michelin Star Amerigo dal 1934 and are located around the corner from the restaurant. Enjoy the funky restoration of historic buildings, but book early. There are only a few rooms available. Both the restaurant and the hotel are set in Savigno, the city of truffles. So, that must appeal to any food traveler.
Corte d’Aibo in Monteveglio
Renovated with nature in mind, this hotel boasts a bio lake, a freshwater pool in front. Located in the Pignoletto area, Corte d’Aibo is closed over the winter months. But during the rest of the year, it is worth a stay. If you’re unable to make reservations to stay at Corte d’Aibo, stop in for lunch at its restaurant, and try their Pignoletto, one of my favorite Italian sparkling wines.
Casa Vallona in Monte San Pietro
Casa Vallona is a rural B&B in an old renovated farmhouse, with a focus on the countryside feeling. You’ll immediately fall in love with the home cooked food and the stunning scenery. Their restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients, but only serves on the weekends. Reserve ahead.
Admiral Park Hotel in Monte San Pietro
A surprising option in the Bologna Hills. Centrally located, from the outside the Admiral Park looks like a typical business hotel. But, rooms are surprisingly comfortable, roomy, and modern. They have all of the conveniences that many Italian hotels lack. Rooms start at €95 a night. (Check out Tripadvisor reviews here | Book here)
Heading to Bologna?
Where to Stay in Bologna: Get more Bologna hotel recommendations here.
What to do in Bologna: Book a culinary experience with Yummy Italy!
Learn more: Get the only guide you would ever need for Bologna, the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna: How to taste the history and tradition of Italy, from Amazon. Or, get a copy of Pellegrino Artusi’s The Art of Eating Well to learn to cook traditional Italian cuisine at home.