Back to Italy? 1 month in Bologna with a few trips planned

So speaking of nostalgia tourism, my wife and I miss Italy where we honeymooned in 2001. That time we stayed in Rome for 1 month and Assisi for 1 month (and then spent a week visiting Naples and Capri).

When we go back, we were thinking about taking a one month class in Bologna (it’s nice to learn something and make friends) and then taking trips to nearby places like Florence, Milan, and Verona. Since we’d be flying in to Rome, we’d probably spend a few days there at the beginning or the end of our trip. We could also try to work in a trip to Assisi and Perugia since we spent a lot of time in those places on our honeymoon. I do have some unfinished business on Capri, but that might wait for inclusion in another travel plan.

We’d also like to go back to Venice. We never did a Gondola ride last time we were there (I was poor and cheap) but this time I might spring for a gondola unless the price in Euros shocks me more than the price in lira did back in 2001…

When we originally went to Italy for our honeymoon, we had been aiming to leave for at least Vienna and Prague. Perhaps we’ll figure out a way to work them into this trip. Sometimes airlines let you fly into once city and out from another with no extra fees. I wouldn’t mind flying in to Rome and leaving from Prague or Vienna.

As for Bologna, I hear it’s quite nice with excellent food and a small historic city center perfect for exploring on foot. Its location also makes it a nice base since it does have easy access to Florence, Milan, Verona, and Venice if we make it there.

Perugia is another possible base, and we did spend some time there on our honeymoon. However it’s not as far north as Bologna making any trip to Milan or Venice quite a bit longer.

Anyway, here’s a list of stuff I aim to include in my future travel plan.

Rome:

The Vatican and Sistine Chapel — I must be the only idiot who spent a month in Rome and never saw the Vatican. I think I saw the outside one night, but I never actually got in. Then there’s this insider tip.

Pizza Re: 7 years later, my wife still talks about her favorite pizza.

Via dei Serpenti: We lived on that street by the Coliseum for a month and wonder how it has changed.

Fontana di Trevi: What can I say?

The Spanish Steps: Back in 2001 hanging out on the steps at night was pretty cool. I wonder if I’ll still feel the same way now that I’m about 25% older.

Ferrara restaurant in Piazza Trilussa in Trastevere: I heard that this place is kind of expensive, but it’s a good modernized version of Italian food worth checking out.

Coffee: Sant’Eustachio by the Pantheon or Cafffe Camerino in Largo Argentina: I almost never drink coffee but sometimes I just feel like a cappucino in Italy.

Pizzeria Baffetto: Some claim this is the best pizza in Rome. I’d like to see if my wife likes it better than Pizza Re.

Florence:

Uffizi: How I went to Florence but didn’t enter this famous museum is a mystery.

Cibreo (not the trattoria or theater, but the main restaurant): Said to be one of the best in Italy. Highly, highly, highly recommended. A little pricey, but the food is really special.

Milan:

La Scala: I want people to think I’m cultured — what could fool them more than honestly saying I saw an opera in La Scala?

Milano’s Duomo: If you’ve ever seen a picture of this thing…

Verona:

Plaza delle Erbe: This is supposee to be the best place to begin exploring Verona as it’s considered kind of the center and has some of the more famous buildings around it.

Casa di Giulietta: I could skip this one but maybe I want to brag about how cultured I am by saying I’ve been to Juliet’s house.

Honestly after making these lists Verona doesn’t excite me as much as it used to. I seem to remember really wanting to go there in 2001, possibly because I was newly married and had recently been president of the Hofstra University Shakespeare Club (which amazingly didn’t continue after I left the university) and it just seemed more romantic back then. Perhaps I’ll be replacing Verona with a weekend flight to Prague or something. I suppose in that case we’d be leaving from Milan. Milan is also a possible base, but I’m sure a month there is more expensive than a month in Bolgna. I suppose it’s worth finding out how much more.

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  1. Maria says:

    Your comments made me laugh. The first time I was in Italy I was on tour so I saw the major sites. The second and third times I really just shopped, drank coffee and never took the opportunity to explore the sites and take more pictures. But like your wife there are some things, however small, that leave a lasting impression and you never forget them.

    In Italy you feel relaxed and just want to stroll and take everything in at a slower pace just like the Italians. There’s nothing wrong with that!

  2. antoni says:

    this gentleman must be the only weirdo tourist

    in italy. a month in rome but never saw the vatican.florence no uffizi,my goodness!!!!;

    at least he had pizza

  3. maria says:

    I am going to Bolonga in Dec! I was fascinated to read your thoughts! Thank you for some great Italy ideas!

  4. Patricia says:

    Bologna is ideally located for trips from the city like the ones you’ve cited, but don’t forget some of the more local destinations like Ravenna, Ferrara and Parma. The Zanhotel Europa, on a dead end street close to the train station, is ideally located for using the train to get around and visiting the Bologna city center. Verona is much more than Juliet’s house and the Piazza delle Erbe. The city has an excellent web site for tourists and look into buying the Verona Card which provides free admission to many of the attractions and public transportation.

  5. john kingry says:

    WHEN YOU RETURN TO VENICE BY ALL MEANS DO THE GONDOLA. WE HAD A BAD EXPERIENCE DUE TO A CROWDED “BOAT” AND WERE NOT ABLE TO SIT TOGETHER.MAKE SURE YOU GET SEATED PROPERLY. PLEASE NOTE THE FILTHY CONDITION OF THE WATERWAYS! THIS IS THE PART YOU DON’T SEE IN THE COMMERCIALS. I WAS ASTONISHED THAT NOTHING WAS BEING DONE TO CLEAN UP THE CANALS. MAYBE TOO MUCH TOURISM!! WATCH OUT FOR THE PRICES–THEY CAN BE NEGOIATED. ENJOY!

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