10 most mind blowing experiences around Bologna

Bologna, the capital of Emilia Romagna, is a hidden medieval gem, famous for its excellent gastronomy, its ancient university and the red-toned hue of many buildings in its enchanting historical centre. The city was typically left off the most common tourist itineraries in Italy until a few years ago, helping to preserve its authenticity and securing its place as a vibrant Italian city unblemished by the beaten path of over-tourism.

Few people know that the surroundings of Bologna are a treasure, where visitors can experience the most mind-blowing experiences involving food and wine, nature and activities, spirituality, culture and art and even motors! Let’s see the 10 most exciting experiences around Bologna.

Wine tasting in a special winery

Bologna is surrounded by hills, a territory with an extraordinary landscape, history and cultural heritage, recognized worldwide for the quality of its food and wine. Leave the city center to reach Umberto Cesari winery, a family run wine producer located in a special spot with a magnificent view and discover their history, vineyards and products. You can visit the historical venue of the family, walking along the vineyards and discover the secrets of their production in their spectacular bottle cellar. And of course you’ll have to taste some wine! Pignoletto DOC frizzante, Ca' Grande Romagna DOC Sangiovese Superiore, Laurento Romagna DOC Sangiovese Riserva paired with local delicacies.

Ride a Vintage Vespa

This tour will take you from the medieval, busy historical centre of Bologna to the relaxing countryside just outside the city… all aboard a vintage Vespa! Can’t get more Italian than this: discover the history, art and traditions of the region, riding through enchanting country lanes, stunning landscapes, ancient villas, monuments, and picturesque farmhouses. Riding a vintage Vespa is an experience everyone should have once in the lifetime and it’s a fun and slow paced way to enjoy the italian countryside, stopping in a local agriturismo for a delicious lunch..

Hike along an ancient roman path to reach Florence

The Path of Gods is an extraordinary 5-to-7 days hiking path along an ancient roman itinerary, crossing the mountains between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany and connecting the center of Bologna to the heart of Florence. If you are up for a little adventure you can walk to whole path and enjoy a slower, more sustainable way of getting to know the area. Be prepared for some serious hiking and some serious wonder for the eyes and for the palate! Along the Path you’ll discover some of the best wine and food producers of the area. Plan ahead your itinerary, as the hike is getting popular: the best months of the year to walk it are April-May-June and September-October!

Visit an open-air art gallery in the most beautiful Italian village


The “borgo” (village) of Dozza has been voted the most beautiful village in Italy in 2017 and it really is a gem and an open-air art gallery. Every two years, artists from all around the world gather here for the Biennale del Muro Dipinto (the painted wall biennal festival), and decorate the walls of the village with unique art pieces and frescoes. As a result, Dozza has now more than a hundred paintings dating back to the 60s and 70s and you can take in this considerable artistic heritage simply by walking around the streets and squares without queueing or paying tickets any time of the day, all year round. Don’t forget to visit the Rocca, the village castle: the old cellar is now the seat for an excellence of the area, the Regional Enoteca, displaying and selling all the best wines of Emilia Romagna!

Taste the excellence of Parmigiano Reggiano and discover how it’s made

No doubts that Bologna and its region are one of the best food destination in Europe and probably in the world. Here, some of the excellences of Italian gastronomy are born and produced: Parma Ham, Balsamic Vinegar, Fresh pasta and the king of cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano. Take a tour in one of the many artisanal factories in the countryside of Bologna to discover how it’s produced, from raw milk, the making of the curds, the brine process and the ageing cellars. Production starts early in the morning so you’ll have to hit the road at dawn, but we promise it’s 100% worth it!

Go truffle hunting with a special dog

If you have never seen a dog in action during a truffle hunting in the woods you have missed one of the most exciting experiences you can have! The special Lagotto breed, typical of the region of Emilia Romagna and particularly suitable for truffle hunting activities, will guide you through trees and bushes following their spectacular smell until they find the golden pot: truffle growing underground and ready to be discovered and grated on a plate of delicious fresh pasta! And, needless to say..the dogs are adorable!

Ride an e-bike on a mountain trail

E-bikes are a small miracle for mountain lovers! They can take you to the top of an uphill biking trail without having to be particularly trained or athletically prepared. So leave the greyness and pollution of the city behind you and take part in a fantastic e-bike tour that will take you from the city centre through the Bologna hillsides to San Luca. With the company of an experienced guide, the 4-hour journey will wind through the greenery of Bologna and will make you pedal through wonderful parks. From here, after a refreshing break and a spectacular bird's eye view of the city, you will descend along via di San Luca, flanking the longest portico in the world, or, for the bravest and most experienced, through the Talon Park and the Chiusa of the Reno river.

Visit a Moresque castle in the middle of the Appennines

Rocchetta Mattei

Welcome to a dream! Hidden on the mountains just an hour from Bologna lies this incredible castle, built by Count Cesare Mattei in 1850 as his residence and work studio, in an architectural style that mixes Moresque architecture, medieval fantasy and liberty-art nouveau decorations. This extravagant building has become a symbol of his creator and, after years of abandonment, has been reopened to the public in 2016, becoming of the main and most interesting attractions for art lovers and for fans of architecture in unusual places. Absolutely not-to-be-missed.

Drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari supercar on a circuit

Get ready for a high-class top experience that will shake your world. Bologna is the capital of the so-called Motor Valley, the area between Bologna and Modena where all the most important Italian supercars and motorbikes are created. Lamborghini, Ferrari, Ducati, Maserati, Pagani: it’s all about the roar of the engines.  Here, your supercar dreams come true. Live the thrill of driving a Ferrari or Lamborghini car on real roads or at a private track. A racetrack is one of the most evocative and thrilling ways to discover your own limits. It’s the place where speed and safety are combined, enabling drivers to bring themselves and their cars to the limit away from speed limits and the dangers of everyday traffic. The limit is not so much beating your own lap time, but experiencing the speed to feel like Formula1 drivers for one day.

And what if you could drive a Ferrari through the streets of its hometown? Experience the thrill of driving a Red Supercar, whose top speed is 310km/h, 0 to 100 km/h in 4.1 seconds flat. If that is your idea of heaven this is a unique experience that you will never forget.

Visit a gelato museum

Photo by: Carpigiani Gelato Lab

Just 15 minutes from Bologna there is a heaven for all gelato lovers. The gelato museum displays the history of this yummy artisanal product, from its origin to the industrial production and you’ll finally be able to understand the difference between ice cream and gelato! What’s the best way to get to know something? Try it yourself! Plunge into this creamy world and make your own gelato mixing your favourite taste.

Find Out More: