Towers, parks and museums where to play and learn without getting bored, not to mention to the city’s most “secret” locations...
5 Feb 2021
Bologna is a unique city exciting to young and old alike. A perfect place to visit with the whole family, the town awaits your discovery. Curious and irresistible places abound in its squares and alleyways, along with a multitude of family-friendly museums that make Bologna a perfect weekend getaway destination with kids. Here’s our list of must-see places for any family trip to Bologna.
A walk to discover the city’s most stunning views
Walking through the city’s streets is something the whole family will love. The first stop has to be the city’s two iconic towers, the Garisenda and Asinelli, the latter of which is the tallest leaning medieval tower in the world. Climb its nearly 500 steps and you are rewarded with a simply stunning view from the top. If you’d like to show your children an unusual view of the old town centre, we suggest venturing into tiny Via Piella, where if you open a small window built into the wall you get to see one of the many canals that flow between the houses, criss-crossing the city. Last but not least, Palazzo del Podestà in Piazza Maggiore offers kids a fun surprise: the special sound transmission effect under the high-arched vault makes it possible to whisper to one another from its four opposite corners.
The SMA system and its family museums
SMA stands for the Sistema Museale d’Ateneo dell’Università di Bologna. Bologna’s University Museum System offers a plethora of fascinating collections for the whole family, including the youngest visitors. The Collezione di Zoologia, for instance, in Via Selmi 3, is one of Italy’s top zoology collections, featuring animals from collections acquired in the 19th and 20th centuries, hunting trophies mainly from Africa, and two large dioramas of Italian environments: the Abruzzo National Park, and the Gran Paradiso National Park. Don’t miss the Giovanni Capellini Museum’s Geology Collection in Via Zamboni 63, which houses a twenty-six metre long, four metre tall model of a Jurassic dinosaur, a Diplodocus. The kids are sure to be thrilled!
Run across the meadows at Giardini Margherita
The Giardini Margherita, in Viale Giovanni Cozzadini, is Bologna’s most popular city park. At 26 hectares in total, it is also the city’s largest. First opened in 1879, the park retains much of its original layout, which was inspired by English romantic parks. When it was being built, an Etruscan burial ground was unearthed, revealing the valuable travertine tomb that today is on display at the edge of the central lawn. The park is a place for the whole family to relax, for children to run free, have fun and vent all their energy and enthusiasm.
Learning and having fun at the Bibilioteca Salaborsa
The Salaborsa Library is a fascinating multimedia library of general information housed in Palazzo d’Accursio, the historic City Hall overlooking Piazza Maggiore, long Bologna’s centre and beating heart. On the ground floor, the main hall features excavations from the distant past, offering a sedimented view of the various civilizations that have thrived on this spot. The harmony and light in the building enables adults and children alike to relive centuries of history, from the earliest hut settlements of the Villanovian civilization in the 7th century BC to the Etruscan town of Felsina, and Roman Bononia founded in 189 BC. The library has special areas set aside for kids and young people. The materials and multimedia computer stations on offer are designed to surprise kids, prompting them to discover new things while having fun.
Where to stay in Bologna
To cater to your needs, the Gruppo UNA offers a variety of Bologna solutions. If you’re looking for a central place to stay, UNAHOTELS Bologna Centro is the one for you, an elegant base where you can enjoy an atmosphere full of charm and history. If, on the other hand, you want to explore the Emilia-Romagna region in elegance and style, UNAHOTELS Bologna Fiera is the place for you, located between the lively city centre and major transportation links.