For a truly local experience, ask your hotel concierge about an organization of traditional cooks known as Cesarine. For a small fee, you can visit a member's house for a home-cooked meal of regional dishes matched to your personal preferences.
One of Bologna's most attractive features is its porticoes. The city has 25 miles of arcaded walkways. Some have marble floors, others have frescoed ceilings, and some are very plain. All provide shelter from the hot sun, rain and busy traffic.
Piazza Maggiore's expansive space is beautiful except for the incomplete Basilica di San Petronio. The people wanted to build a church bigger than St. Peter's in Rome, but the pope thwarted their plans by putting up buildings right along side it.
Piazza Maggiore, 40124 Bologna, Italy
Film buffs are drawn to the Cineteca di Bologna, a film institute and a community center to which Charlie Chaplin's daughter donated his entire estate including his celluloid, notes and scripts.
Via Riva di Reno, 72, 40122 Bologna, Italy
The Grand Hotel Baglioni is a gem in the heart of old downtown. The hotel, a former 16th-century palace, makes a great first impression with a fireplace, grand staircase and marble floors. Even the smallest rooms are decorated to the hilt.
Via Indipendenza, 8, 40121 Bologna, Italy
Tamburini, one of the city's chicer delis, is famous for its prosciutto di Parma. The pigs are fed leftover Parmesan cheese whey, which gives the cured ham a distinctive flavor. Try the mortadella which tastes like bologna, though it's more subtle.
Via Caprarie, 1, 40124 Bologna, Italy
People from all over the world go to La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese to learn how to make pasta from the masters. You can take classes by the hour or enroll in an entire summer course and pick up some of the language while you're at it.
Via Malvasia 49, 40131 Bologna, Italy
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