Wondering when the best time is to visit Bologna? Well, any time is great! But each season offers something different and it really depends on what you like. Bologna in summer isn’t for everyone but if you like the heat then visiting in June, July or August will be perfect for you.
Early June is slightly less warm but in July and August, you can expect average temperatures of 35-36°C and 100% humidity. There’s plenty of things to do in summer in Bologna and there’s always gelato to keep you cool and the miles of famous porticoes where you can escape the midday heat.
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Summer in Bologna is perfect for doing things outdoors, like taking a dip with locals at Piscina Sterlino, an Olympic-size swimming pool or exploring the hills that surround Bologna. One of the best things to do in summer in Bologna is to enjoy movies under the stars at Sotto le Stelle del Cinema (Under the Stars of the Cinema).
The summer festival usually starts towards the end of June and runs through July. The beautiful Piazza Maggiore gets transformed into an open-air cinema with rows of chairs arranged along the crescentone and the screen at the one end. Screenings on Europe’s largest outdoor movie screen are free to all visitors and locals and it really makes for a magical summer night.
It starts getting very warm and humid in July but you can escape the heat and explore one of the world’s largest theme parks that’s centered around food. Bologna is home to FICO Eataly World which is an air-conditioned, indoor agri-park where you can learn all about the relationship between food and the earth.
It’s a great thing to do with the whole family and there’s also plenty of food to sample. Speaking of food, you’ll want to eat light during the summer months. Avoid steamy bowls of tortellini en brodo on a hot summer day, instead, go for dishes such as melon with prosciutto di Parma or pasta fredda (cold pasta) with cherry tomatoes.
If you’re looking for some respite on a hot summer day in Bologna during August, and that delicious gelato isn’t enough, head underground on a guided tour of the Crypts of Bologna. Or Bask in the shade of a tree or find a nice spot beside a fountain in one of the parks such as Giardini Margherita.
You could also visit some of the palaces in Bologna and escape the heat while you uncover hidden gems inside the Palazzo Pepoli (Museum of the History of Bologna), the Palazzo Fava (a museum with 17th-century frescoes) or Palazzo Poggi (the headquarters of the University of Bologna).
Just remember on the 15th of August is Ferragosto, a public holiday that celebrates the Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Most museums and cultural institutions remain open but many family-owned restaurants and shops are closed.
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