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Eco-friendly travel guide to Bologna advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Bologna, Italy.

  • Air quality: 4 / 5
  • Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
  • Exploring by bicycle: 4.5 / 5
  • Public transportation: 5 / 5
  • Parks: 5 / 5
  • Outdoor activities: 4 / 5
  • Locals' English level: 3 / 5
  • Safety: 4 / 5
  • Accommodation: US$35 - $460
  • Budget per day: US$40 - $300

Responsible Travel

Bologna is the capital city of Emilia Romagna region which is located in the northern areas of Italy. The city is also the largest city of the site and the 7th most populated city of the country. With an essential cultural and historical background, it is quite popular amongst the locals and welcomes over 2 million tourists every year. While visiting the city, you need to be cautious about your actions to be able to become a responsible tourist. You can do so by; - Learn about the local laws and practices regarding waste disposal and recycling and follow them. - Prefer using the services and products of local businesses to support them and get proper exposure to the Italian culture. - Avoid the use of disposable items and prefer the use of recyclable items such as water bottles, cloth bags, handkerchiefs, etc. - Always travel via public transports like public buses, trains, and bicycles rather than private rental cars that are the main contributors of air and noise pollution. �

Air Quality and Pollution

As compared to other Italian cities, the pollution levels of Bologna are quite good and maintained. The use of electronic vehicles and eco-friendly practices has helped the town in maintaining good air quality and reducing pollution. Here are some statistics based as of September 2020 by the World Health Organization; - PM10 – 25 - PM2.5 – 17 - PM10 Pollution Level – Low to Moderate - Pollution Index – 54.88 - Pollution Exp Scale – 98.74 �

Respect the Culture

While visiting Bologna, you need to show your respect not only to the locals, but also the environment. You can do so by travelling eco-friendly and preferring local businesses. It will help you in getting in-depth insights into the culture, history, and traditions. You will also be able to reduce your impact on the environment and help in creating a clean environment.�

Top 10 Places to Visit

- Leaning Towers of Bologna The legendary leaning towers of Bologna; Asinelli and Garisenda are the main attractions of the city. These towers are named after the two significant Italian families. You can climb to the top of these towers and admire the panoramic views of the whole city. - St. Stephen Basilica It is the oldest church in Bologna and has one of the most admirable architecture in Bologna. It is located in Piazza di Porta Ravenana and is open for public access from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. - Archiginnasio It is located in Piazza Galvani and is one of the most unusual and unique places to visit in Bologna. It is the place where the University of Bologna resided and now showcases the many well-preserved rooms that are open to public access from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. - San Luca Sanctuary It is located on a forested hill in Via di San Luca and offers fantastic views of the surrounding areas. It is a must-visit place and can provide you with a quiet and peaceful environment that you seek. - Saint Petronius Church It is located in Piazza Galvani and is one of the most famous churches in Bologna. The church showcases great Italian Architecture that attracts people from all over the world. You can also seek blessings and visit the museum located at the back of the church. - Saint Dominic Church It is another beautiful church of Bologna with a unique feature, that is, its red façade. Along with being a church, it also showcases some of the best artworks by renowned Italian artists like Michelangelo and Nicola Pisano. - Santo Stefano Church It is a complex made of eight buildings that were built during the 10th and 13th centuries by the Benedictine order of the town. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Bologna that will leave you awe-struck by its beauty. - Portici 666 Portici or Portici is a beautiful place that consists of red covered terracotta arcades. It is the best place for picturesque shots and a great place to enjoy some peaceful time while strolling. - Galleria Cavour It is the best place for those who love to shop. It is the most popular shopping mall in Bologna that represents the best Italian fashion. There are many classy shops located in the mall such as Armani, Gucci, Prada, Fendi and many other pricey clothing and accessories stores. - Neptune Fountain It is one of the finest fountains in Italy that is located in Piazza del Nettuno. It is designed by Giambologna, who is a great Italian architect of the 16th century. It is one of the must-visit places, and your trip to Bologna will be incomplete without visiting this fountain. �


Bologna is famous for the many well-preserved churches, towers, and lengthy entrances that are quite popular amongst tourists. Apart from these places, the city offers many more places that will leave you awe-struck by their beauty. There are many city parks, beaches, national parks, landmarks, and museums that are the best places to visit for some peaceful time.�

City Parks

- Giardini Margherita - Montagnola Park - Don Bosco Park - Parco Melloni - Garden of Nuts �

National Parks

- Parco di San Michele in Bosco - Villa Ghigi - Villa Spada - San Pellegrino Park - Parco Della Chiusa �


- Rimini - Riccione - Misano �


- Piazza Maggiore - Porta San Vitale - La Piccola Venezia - Palazzo de Notai - Torre dell’Arengo - Torre Alberici - Tower of Oseletti �


- Archaeological Museum - National Gallery - Museum of History - Palazzo Fava - Palazzo Comunale - MamBO �


While visiting an Italian city, your trip will be incomplete if you don't indulge in the food served at local restaurants, cafes and street shops.�

Traditional Local Restaurants

- Donatello - All’Osteria Bottega - Gessetto Restaurant - Drogheria della Rosa - Ristorante Da Cesari - Broccaindosso �

Vegetarian and Vegan

- Botanica Lab Cucina - Un’altra Idea - Estravagario - Cento3cento Veg - Basilico Food �

Street Food

- Ciccioli A non-vegetarian street food dish that is dried pressed and spiced pork fat served in a yellow paper cone in almost every square and market in Bologna. - Piadina It is easy-made bread that is filled with Parma ham, rucola, and scquacquerone cheese. A few shops also offer a variety that has sausage, grilled pepperoni, and onions as fillings. - Caldarroste Often eaten in October, it means roasted chestnuts that are sold by small roasting kiosks vendors. They are served in a paper bag and are a real temptation. - Fried fish cone Even though Bologna is far from the seaside, there is some freshwater seafood that is fried and sold in paper cones. - Crema Fritta It is a dish made with small cubes made of custard cream and has a light lemon scent. It is a popular carnival food and is served in a paper cone. - Bread Mortadella It is a simple street food dish that is a combination of soft rosetta bread and slices of artisanal mortadella. - Crescentina It is a street food dish that is popular in all parts of the Emilia Romagna region. It is thin fried dough folded and filled with cured meat or cheese. A few shops also serve parma slices of sweet prosciutto as fillings. �


Bologna city offers many traditional Italian wines and drinks that are must-drink ones on your trip to the town. These wines and liquors are easily found in local bars and restaurants. - Traditional Balsamic Vinegar - Lambrusco - Pignoletto �


Unlike other Italian cities where the pollution levels are relatively high, and the tap water isn't quite drinkable, Bologna's tap water is of good quality as the pollution levels are low. You can easily find many free to access tap water sources in the city centre areas, and it is entirely safe to drink it. �

Organic Cafés

- Clorofilla - Fram Cafè Bistrot Bio Veg - La Pistinega - Berbere - Zazie - Alchemilla �


- Zapap urban Brewery - BreDog Bar Bologna - Birrificio Petroniano - Claterna Birrificio Artigianale Argicolo - Baladin Bologna �


The city of Bologna offers many great things to do that range from the historical landmarks to the mouthwatering local food. By indulging in these activities, you will be able to enhance your Bologna experience. - Take a walk in Bologna's endless Porticoes. - Discover and broaden your taste-buds by eating Bologna's local food. - Observe the locals and admire the Italian architecture of Piazza Maggiore. - Explore the Quadrilatero - Savor Italian Gelato �

Yoga and Retreats

- YOGABO – Istituto Iyengar Yoga - Vinyasa Yoga Bologna - Parinama Yoga Metodo Bruno Baleotti - Ananda Marga Bologna Yoga e Meditazione - Om Yoga Center �


Bologna offers all types of accommodation options to the tourists that visit the city. The wide range of options will enable you to select accommodation based on your budget and nee�

Green Hotels

- Savhotel - NH Bologna De La Gare - II Canale Hotel - Hotel Maggiore - Ramada Encore by Wyndham Bologna - Hotel Corona d’Oro 1890 �

Hostels and Guest Houses

- We_Bologna - Dopa Hostel - Bologna Center Town - Bologna Bed & Breakfast - Biblio Rooms – Guesthouse Bologna - Cestello 17 Guesthouse �


For those who are in Bologna for a longer time, you should prefer opting for apartments rather than hotels and other temporary accommodation options. It is because they are not friendly to your budget and also have limited amenities which will make your stay in Bologna uncomfortable and inconvenient.�


Couch-surfing is a relatively new topic but has quite a popularity in Italy. Couch-surfing is a concept where a tourist or a traveller can search for hosts living inside the city and are willing to let you live at their place with them for a particular time with a small charge.�


Camping is quite popular amongst backpackers that visit Italy. There are many agencies and companies in Bologna that offer an excellent camping tour and trips near the hilly areas and other outdoor areas. The following are the most recommended ones in Bologna; - Campsite Citta di Bologna - Campsite Piccolo Paradiso - Caravan Park Relax - Caravan Park International - Caravan Park Estense �

How to Get There

As one of the largest European cities, Bologna has an efficient transportation system that can help you reach all parts of the city as well as to areas outside the city. Bologna transportation also supports national and international travels. �


The best way to reach the city is by Guglielmo Marconi International Airport, that is the leading international airport in the city. It is one of the busiest airports in Italy that offers flights to many international destinations via different airlines such as Emirates, Eurowings, EasyJet, Brussels Airlines, etc.�


Transporto Passeggeri Emilia-Romagna handles the operation of local buses and trolleybuses in the Region. Whereas, the Stazione Autolinee bus station in Bologna is the one that offers convenient and comfortable transport to different areas of the city and other regions outside the city. �


The central train station in Bologna is the Bologna Centrale which is also the biggest station in the city. It a key railway hub of the country's network and offers efficient travel to the different part of the city and outside areas.�


Hitchhiking is quite popular amongst backpackers and solo travellers as the local Italian people are very warm-hearted and friendly ones that never deny to helping a foreign tourist. It is ideal for those with a low budget and can't afford to use personal or public transports.�


Other than these basic modes, different ways of travelling include boats and rental cars that are very costly and are also very harmful to the environment. While travelling, you should always prefer modes that are cheap and eco-friendly so that you can play your role as a responsible tourist�

Moving Around

Because of the efficient modes of transport, moving around in Bologna is no big deal. You will hardly ever face any problem as the people are amicable and love to help out foreigners. You can opt for exploring by foot or rental bike to explore the city on a first-hand basis, or you can also opt for tour buses to learn about the city and visit the famous places with the help of a local guide�


While exploring a city like Bologna that has fantastic hospitable culture, walking is the best way. Walking will not only help you get a first-hand experience but will also help you in staying fit. Also, it will save you loads of money that could have been used in renting a bike or bus or car services�


Bicycles are the ideal way of travelling for those who find it hard to walk huge distances. Biking is another healthy way that will help you explore the local culture on a first-hand basis, but you will have to pay some charges for renting a bike. Some many agencies and businesses rent out bicycles to tourists. You may need to book a bike in advance in case you are visiting the city in peak season�

Electronic Vehicles

With the widespread need for using sustainable measures, the introduction of electronic vehicles has taken place in Bologna as well. You will find that some many agencies and businesses offer low-cost rental services for these vehicles. It is the best way of travelling as it is eco-friendly and is also relatively cheap. There are many charging stations set up by the government to charge your electric bikes, cars, and motorbikes.�

Public Bus

The public bus system is quite an efficient way of travel that will let you save lots of money from rental car services. The local buses in Bologna run from 6:30 a.m. to 7 or 11 p.m. every day. You can find the bus routes map at the tourist office and can select buses according to the places you are going to visit.�

Tram, Train and Subway

The tram system of Bologna is an important one and started working in 1880 but was discontinued in 1963. The city's government has made plans of remodelling the tramway network, but that will be implemented by 2026. Bologna Metropolitan railway service is the commuter service which started in 1995. It is the only way of travelling to different areas inside and outside the city as there isn't a subway system. �

Sustainable Shopping

Sustainable shopping is way of shopping where you buy products that are eco-friendly and support the local businesses. Here are a few sustainable shopping stores in Bologna; - Banco Artigiano - NaturaSi - La Maison du Savon Bologna - La Regina dell’Orto - Biostorie LaSaponaria �

Food Markets

- Mercato Delle Erbe - Mercato di Mezzo - Mercatino di Piazza Aldovranti - Mercato Ritrovato - Mercato del Novale �

Flea Markets

- Mercatino di Piazza Santo Stefano - Mercatopoli Bologna Porto - Mercato di Mezzo - Mercaro dell’usato di Piazza Grande �

Second Hand Stores

- La Grotta - Event Horizon Shop - Delta – bo Project - Monte Di Pieta - Cagliostro Libri e Fumetti Bologna �


- Quagga - Eticlo - FR Boutique Donna - Imperial Town - La Leonarda �


Bologna has a proper recycling system with the use of which the locals can reduce wastage and re-use products that are recyclable. Some many agencies and businesses are set up, especially for recycling purposes. You can visit these stores and get your waste appropriately recycled and play your role as a responsible tourist�


Since Bologna is a famous tourist city in Italy, there are many strict rules set up to maintain waste management. The local municipality has advised on proper disposal of waste. Separate bags and containers are allotted for different types of waste like plastic packaging should be put in semi-transparent yellow bags, paper waste to be put in the blue bin, mixed waste to be placed in grey bins, etc. Because of such proper rules and laws regarding waste management, the pollution rates are relatively low in Bologna�

Work and Study Abroad

Bologna offers quite good opportunities for people who want to study or work in the city. There are many options for foreigners and can help them shape a promising career. The town offers many excellent educational institutes that provide the best education facilities in the Emilia Romagna region�

Exchange Student

Home of the world's oldest university, Bologna offers many educational opportunities to international students as well. With the help of student exchange programs, you can apply for studying in the universities and colleges of Bologna and while exploring and learning about the local culture and history. Some renowned colleges and universities in Bologna are as follows; - Bologna Business School - Selinus University of Sciences and Literature Ltd. - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale - Universita Telematica Pegaso – Sede di Bologna �

Au Pair

Au pairing is a way of sharing a family's responsibility, such as education, household, and finances. It is quite popular in Europe, but you will find that it is not as popular in Italy. It is because Italians are very friendly and peaceful ones that like to help each other out. You will hardly find a few Au Pairs in Bologna as most of the families can manage by themselves or with the help of their neighbours�


The best way to pay your respect to the locals of the city you are visiting is by helping in volunteering activities. It will help you in learning about the issues the local people face, and you will be able to become a responsible tourist. There are many agencies and NGOs that are involved in such activities and always welcome tourists who are willing to help them. Here are some volunteering agencies and NGOs in Bologna; - EU Aid Volunteers - BolognAltruista - Associazione Punto Di Ascolto Bologna - Medici Senza Frontiere Bologna - Gruppo Al-Anon Bologna Centro By indulging in volunteering activities, you will be able to experience the local culture on a first-hand basis and also learn about the livelihood of the locals. It will help you create some memorable memories by helping out someone in need. �

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