Bologna's city centre is compact, and the narrow cobblestone streets are great fun to wander through, so walking is a great way to see the sights. Bicycles and motorbikes are also a common sight. Visitors worried about getting lost in the labyrinthine passageways can take advantage of the excellent bus system, which runs from 6:30am until late. A City Pass is a cost-effective way of taking multiple journeys, allowing for 10 journeys of 70 minutes each. Taxis and rental cars are also available but much of the city centre is off-limits to cars, negating much of the convenience.
GMT +1 (GMT +2 between the last Sunday in March and the Saturday before the last Sunday in October).
Electrical current in Italy is 230 volts, 50Hz. A variety of plugs are in use, including the European-style two-pin plug.
The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios.
The international access code for Italy is +39. There can be high surcharges on calls made from hotels and it is generally cheaper to use a calling card. Public telephone boxes take phone cards for local and international calls, which can be bought from newsagents. The local mobile phone operators use GSM networks and have roaming agreements with most international operators. Internet cafes are available in the main towns and resorts.
Emergencies: 113 (Police); 118 (Ambulance)
|New Years Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Epiphany||6 Jan||6 Jan|
|Easter Monday||6 Apr||28 Mar|
|Liberation Day||25 Apr||25 Apr|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|Anniversary of the Republic||2 Jun||2 Jun|
|Assumption of the Virgin||15 Aug||15 Aug|
|All Saints’ Day||1 Nov||1 Nov|
|Day of Immaculate Conception||8 Dec||8 Dec|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|Santo Stefano||26 Dec||26 Dec|
Bologna's climate is humid subtropical, with large swings in temperature from summer to winter. Summers are hot and muggy with temperatures higher than those found along the coast. In the hottest months, July and August, temperatures range between 88°F (31°C) and 63°F (17°C). Visitors should note that in August many locals take their holiday and a number of restaurants and businesses close down for at least part of the month. In the coldest month, January, the temperatures range between 50°F (10°C) and 34°F (1°C). Rainfall prevails in the winter, with cool to cold temperatures and occasional snow. November is the wettest month but visitors should anticipate rain in October, December, March and April as well. The best time to visit Bologna is in springtime (April and May) or autumn (September) when the weather is warm and the crowds are small.
There is a special airport bus which takes you into the centre of Bologna. It leaves every 15 minutes during the day from outside the arrivals hall. The first bus is at 5:30am and the last one is at 1:15am. The bus is called Aerobus or BLQ and is easily identified as it is grey and light blue in colour as opposed to the orange urban buses. The fare from airport to the centre is €6 per person and you can pay the driver directly on the bus or from ticketing machines in the airport. The BLQ's furthest point in its route takes one to Bologna Central Railway Station, four miles (6km) from the airport. It is a major transport hub, with connections to places all over Italy. The journey from the airport to the railway station takes about 25-30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
There are plenty of car hire agencies at the airport, including Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Budget, Sixt and Thrifty.
There are fixed-fare taxis outside the terminal; however, they are in high demand during peak times, so it may be a good idea to book in advance. The fare is about €15 and a bit more for extra luggage.
There is only one terminal building. Departures is on the upper level, while the lower level is for arrivals.
Airport facilities include bank and currency exchange services, ATMS, left luggage facilities, a business lounge, travel agents, an information desk, and many shops and restaurants.
For short-term parking, the Express Car Park is adjacent to the terminal building, and charges about €3.50 per hour, or €30 per day. Medium to long-term parking rates are €10 for up to 24 hours.
Free wifi is available via your mobile phone.