Day Trips from Bologna
Bologna remains an incredibly underrated Italian city. If you visit, the city will bless you with wonderful World Heritage Sites, magnificent Italian food, and a city that’s somewhat off the tourist trail. If you’ve ever been to Italy, you’ll understand the sheer magnitude of the crowds, and Bologna is an escape from that.
However, the most fabulous thing about Bologna is the remarkable array of day trips. The city has an incredible infrastructure, largely thanks to an efficient train network. You can visit the home of Lamborghini and Ferrari, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, various wineries, world-famous cities, and much more.
Here are some of the best day trips from Bologna:
Parma is a world-renowned destination for Parma ham, the famous ham that you can find worldwide. What’s more, Reggio Emilia—Parma’s nearby neighbor—is home to parmesan cheese. Are you feeling hungry? You best book those train tickets now because you can visit both destinations in a day trip because the train journey is only 1 hour 11 minutes.
Parma was Italy’s capital of culture in 2020 and earned the title of UNESCO Creative City for Gastronomy in 2015. You can walk around the town and explore the medieval Piazza Duomo, the Teatro Farnese, and the famous octagonal baptistery. Parma also has various wineries, including Cantina il Poggio and Cantina del Borgo.
Modena is a wonderful day trip from Bologna. The trip only takes around 32 minutes via train, and the town will bless you with the Enzo Ferrari Museum, the Lamborghini factory, and various incredible restaurants. Check out the nearby local wineries, such as Fattoria Paradiso and Conti Dagostino. Modena’s most popular winery is Acetaia Malagoli Daniele.
Another top tip is taking a trip to the nearby Maranello, where you can take a Ferrari test drive tour. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and only a short taxi ride from Modena. Modena is also famous for being the home of traditional Balsamic vinegar, and you should check out the various vinegar cellars in the town.
Ferrara is only a short 35-minute journey from Bologna, and UNESCO chose the site as a World Heritage Site in 1995 for its fabulous arts and culture. A popular option is Este Castle, a castle from the 14th century. You can wander around the lavish rooms, cycle alongside the moat, and take pictures of the stunning architecture.
What’s more, you should check out the Cathedral of Ferrara. It’s a stunning cathedral dating back to 1135. You’ll find the cathedral in the city center, close to the famous Castello Estense and the Palazzo Comunale.
If you have some extra time on your hands and you don’t mind a long train journey, you should take the day trip to San Marino. The train journey is only 1 hour 30 to 2 hours long. But it’s entirely worth it. You’ll witness incredible scenery from the train.
Once you arrive in San Marino, a mountainous microstate in Northern Italy, you can observe the tiny nation’s incredible cobblestone streets, medieval walls, and gothic architecture. San Marino is the third smallest nation in Europe, behind Vatican City and Monaco. The most wine produced in San Marino is Sangiovese red. You can sample this at Consorzio Vini San Marino, which is the local winery.
Rimini is notorious for being a famous Italian beachside town. The town offers incredible beaches, and it’s the home of legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini. It’s one of Italy’s most popular domestic travel destinations because locals can escape the crazy crowds. You can get here via train in 40 minutes.
You’ll find countless Roman ruins, museums, historical sites, and restaurants peppered through the town. If you’re interested in the work of Federico Fellini, you should visit the Grand Hotel Rimini, which is his favorite hotel.
Milan is the capital of fashion for many people worldwide. And guess what? It’s only a 1 hour 30 train journey from Bologna. The city is also famous for its stunning Duomo Cathedral, which is incredible if you love architecture. What’s more, the city is also home to The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci.
Milan is one of the wealthiest cities in Europe, and you’ll find iconic brands such as Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Missoni, and Prada. Milan was the city that created these brands. Milan is also the economic hub of Italy, and it has restaurants, hotels, and bars to match that.
Venice doesn’t need any introduction. Everyone—regardless of where they’re born—has probably watched a movie filmed here or partially filmed here. The beautiful city is only 1 hour and 46 minutes away from Bologna by train.
Once you’ve arrived, you can check out Saint Mark’s Basilica, the Rialto Bridge, and take a boat trip through the famous canals. Of course, you’re going to find plenty of tourists. But the city still has its charm, delicious food, and an array of iconic buildings. It’s an absolute must-see.
Italy remains one of the world’s most popular destinations for many reasons, including history, food, culture, and architecture. Bologna offers all four in abundance and has various incredible day trips all under two hours that will make your trip one to remember.
Do you fancy checking out a literal Hollywood movie set? Visit Venice. Perhaps you fancy seeing the world’s greatest fashion? Head to Milan. How about visiting the birthplace of the world’s most famous luxury cars? Catch the train to Modena.
Bologna has it all.
Book Tours near Bologna
Classic Walking Tour Bologna
Discover Bologna, the Learned, the Red and the Fat, with this private tour through the streets of the historic center, which will allow you to understand the reason for all these nicknames.