Most people think the best time to visit Northern Italy is in the spring or autumn when the weather isn’t too hot or too cold but there are many reasons why visiting Bologna in winter is a great option too. Not only are there plenty of things to do in winter in Bologna but there are also distinct advantages to spending a few days in Bologna in winter.
The famous porticoes, one of the city’s most characteristic and iconic architectural features provide much-needed protection from snow and winds on a cold wintery day during the months of December, January, and February.
Things To Do In Bologna In December
December is a wonderful time for the whole family to visit Bologna because the city is bursting with festivities and fun things to do for everyone. Even though the days are shorter there are still lots of things to do in winter in Bologna.
Many Italian cities including Bologna feature Christmas markets during the holiday season and Bologna’s ancient Fiera di Santa Lucia, whose origins date to the end of the 16th century, is one of the best. The many stalls or bancarelle are open until December 26 and offer a variety of Christmas decorations, including Christmas trees, balls, festoons, lights, and of course, crib statuettes.
You’ll also be able to enjoy delicious Christmas treats at the market such as hot and crunchy croccante alle mandorle (made with almonds and sugar), torrone (nougat), or traditional sweets from the nearby Apennines. The weather is also perfect for a hearty bowl of piping hot bowl of tortellini in brodo. On New Year’s Eve be sure to head to Piazza Maggiore where the “Vecchione”, an icon of the changing year, is set on fire in celebration of new things to come.
Things To Do In Bologna In January
Although it doesn’t snow very much in Bologna anymore, January is generally the coldest winter month but you’ll still be able to get out and about and enjoy the city. Make the most of the famous porticoes to stay sheltered from the cold weather as you explore the best things to do in Bologna.
Winter in Bologna time is also one of the best times to celebrate Bolognese food. After the wine harvest and mushroom and truffle festivals end in Autumn, it’s a fabulous time to eat in Emilia Romagna. Enjoy hearty local food in between all of your exploring such as tortellini in brodo, a small handmade pasta served in broth, and Zampone or Cotechino, fresh pork sausages.
Things To Do In Bologna In February
You could spend time exploring some of the 50 museums, or just choose two of the must-see’s, Bologna’s Modern Art Gallery (MAMbo), and the Museum of the History of Bologna. If you love shopping, many shops are getting ready for their spring lines after the Christmas holidays and offer substantial discounts on winter wear.
Another place to visit on a cold winter’s day is FICO Eataly World, it’s the world’s largest theme park dedicated to food, and most of the restaurants, shops, and exhibits are indoors, so you won’t be hampered by the weather.
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