Bologna for Dummies
January 12, 2017 5:05 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to Bologna, Italy, for work in a few months. I don't speak or read any Italian, I will be traveling by myself, and I don't have a lot of time to do research before I need to make arrangements. Help?

1. Where should I stay? I would like to have a very easy commute to the BolognaFiere convention center. My first attempt at finding a room turned up a bunch of pages in Italian with most rooms not available during the week I am looking. I know I need to book quickly but have almost no time to research this. I'm open to pretty much anything but if I do Airbnb would prefer a private apartment rather than have hosts to talk to (I'm an introvert and I'm going to be exhausted by the work I'm doing while I'm there).

2. How should I get around? Particularly between the airport and wherever I'm staying. Uber, train, taxi? I'm a woman and concerned about safety in a country where I don't speak the language (though I've heard English is common enough that I probably won't need to worry about that).

3. What about a cell phone? Last time I traveled to Europe, cell phones were not a thing. I have a GSM phone with Ting. What do I need to do or buy to make sure I have access to a phone and ideally also the internet most of the time during the week that I'm there?

4. Any other advice for Bologna itself? I will have maybe half a day on either end of the trip for sightseeing and whatnot. What should I try to plan on?
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty to Travel & Transportation around Bologna, Italy (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It's a college town with a lot of americans and good public transportation so you should be fine. Very food oriented, don't miss gelato. It should be easy to buy a short term chip for your phone. And just walk around the old city.
posted by sammyo at 5:50 AM on January 12, 2017

You might like to post your queries on this Facebook page. Folks are usually glad to help with your kind of enquiry. AFAIK there is no page specifically for Bologna, however.
posted by aqsakal at 6:21 AM on January 12, 2017

I know you didn't ask about food, but I had a wonderful dinner here recently.

Local specialties, nice without being too much. Reservations are a must.
posted by ohio at 6:28 AM on January 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Besides eating all the food, you could walk the 666 porticos if you have a chance. Beautiful views along the way.
posted by monologish at 7:58 AM on January 12, 2017

If for one of your free days you would like to do a food tour, this one is fantastic. The guides and company are wonderful, and they are so enthusiastic about sharing the food and the area.
posted by zara at 2:05 PM on January 12, 2017

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