Venice, with its concentration on tourism, has many charming hotels. Bologna seems to have many non-descript hotels which appear to be comfortable, but not particularly memorable.
Bologna is the home of the oldest University in Europe, which seems to have a good computer science department. Bologna has hosted a number of international conferences. While virtually every hotel and pensione I found in Venice had a web page, this was not true of hotels in Bologna. The hotels are referenced by the various booking services like Venere, which provide the hotel address but no other contact information (the booking service wants you to go through them rather than directly to the hotel apparently).
Compared to Venice and the cities of Tuscany (e.g., Siena and Florence), Bologna is not really a tourist city. Bologna does have a spectacular gothic cathedral and some remarkable early christian chapels, but it does not have the vast art treasures of Venice or Florence.
Porta San Mamolo
Vicolo del Falcone, 6/8
Tel +39 051 58 30 56
Hotel Porta San Mamolo is located in 400 meters from the Piazza Maggiore (e.g., about a ten minute walk). It is a small hotel, with only 24 rooms and 8 suites. It has a beautiful garden. The rooms are also more attractive than some of the "chain hotel" style rooms of hotels like Accademia, Bologna. The hotel has a free WiFi Internet access point, although WiFi (and cell phone) reception is weak in some rooms.
I stayed two nights at the Hotel Porta San Mamolo and can recommend the hotel highly. The rooms are large and elegant, with a large bathroom. What really makes a hotel stay wonderful, however, is the staff. The staff at the Hotel Porta San Mamolo is wonderful: very friendly and very helpful. The front desk is staffed 24-hours a day, which was very helpful getting a taxi, since I had a 6:30 AM flight out of Bologna.
The only thing that I missed at Hotel Porta San Mamolo were neighborhood panini or pizza places to get a snack when I did not feel like a full meal. However, the resturant recommendations of the hotel staff were excellent. Like true Bolognese, they had an excellent sense for fine cuisine.
€85 to 181 for a single (they don't mention when one might incur the higher of these two rates).
Maps courtesy of http://it.mappe.yahoo.net
Via Boldrini 4
Bologna 40121, Italy
The Millennhotel is located near the train station. The Millennhotel got excellent reviews on www.tripadvisor.com.
Viale Pietramellara 59
40121 Bologna, Italy
Tel : (+39)051/248248
Hotel Sofitel is an international hotel chain. Their hotel in Bologna is located near the train station. Rates vary from about 115 Euros a night to 235 Euros a night for a single.
Il Canale Hotel
Via Bertiera 2
Bologna 40126, Italy
The Il Canale Hotel is located about a ten minute walk from the Piazza Maggiore. The Il Canale Hotel had largely good reviews on www.tripadvisor.com.
Via D'Azeglio, 9
40123 Bologna - Italy
T. +39.051.226 322
€95 per night, for a single
Hotel Roma looks attractively decorated from the photos on the hotel web page. This 86 room hotel is located near the Piazza Maggiore. Hotel Roma got largely good reviews on www.tripadvisor.com(some reviewers described Hotel Roma as having a good location and being a "not bad" hotel). Top floor rooms seem to be better.
Vicolo Cattani 7
This little 18 room hotel is located near the Piazza Maggiore. It got good ratings on www.tripadvisor.com.
Via Orso 6 (This is 6 Bear Street, obviously a good address)
40121 Bologna Tel: 039.51.229393
€70 to €130 for a single, €130 to €240 for a double
The reviews for the Metropolitan Hotel were largely favorable on wwww.tripadvisor.com. However, one person on www.tripadvisor.com wrote:
The single rooms at the Hotel Metropolitan were extremely small and far too hot. I moved twice, once from the single room to a twin (also very small) which had the sewage pipe encased in the bathroom wall - this was a very unpleasant smell which the hotel manager would not go and see for himself and just put it down to a cleaning issue, and then to a double room which was more roomy and very comfortable.The Metropolitan is a very clean hotel, which is beautifully decorated with a very good location. I would recommend it but make sure you book a double room even if you need a single!
Via Lionello Spada 27
Telefono +39 (0)51 355436
This hotel looks very nice. Pleasant and modern, with nicely decorated rooms. The rooms have WiFi internet connections. The "superior" rooms have ethernet (cat-5) cable drops. This hotel is located about 800 meters north of the bus station. This does not put the hotel within easy walking distance of the Piazza Maggiore. However, apparently there is bus service into the old part of Bologna at a near by stop, every five minutes.
€76 for a single
Via delle Belle Arti n.6
A basic motel style hotel. The Hotel Accademia does have the advantage of being close to the Piazza Maggiore.
€60 to 95 for a single, with a bath
Via F.lli Rosselli 14
Telephone - 0039-051-750830 (this seems to be a reservation service number)
Another of Bologna's rather non-descript hotels. Located inside the old city walls (which is now a ring road), about 800 meters from the Piazza Maggiore. The rooms have WiFi internet.
€77 on most nights, €85 on holidays
Al Cappello Rosso Hotel
Via de'Fusari 9
Bologna 40123, Italy
ph. +39 051.261891
€130 to €292 for a double, single use.
The Al Cappello Rosso Hotel got very good reviews on tripadvisor.com. As noted in the address above, the hotel is located in the center of old Bologna.
The Castello Galeazza is outsize of Bologna, in the country side. This is not your standard agroturismo. Part of the castle was built in the 14th century by Galeazzo Pepoli. It has the classic Ghibelline merlons on the walls (apparently Pepoli was part of the Papal political faction). Guests prepare meals together and bathrooms are shared. There are reading retreats, where people have the opportunity to discuss their current reading. The castle apparently has an expanding library. There are only four guest rooms, although the castle is open year round. The price is very reasonable, around 40 euros per night, plus a 10 euro fee to join the "Reading Retreats in Rural Italy". Apparently the castle is run by an expatriot American, Clark Anthony Lawrence, but it is owned by Arnaldo Falzoni Gallerani, who lives in Bologna.
It sounds like an interesting, if somewhat eccentric, place to stay. I love the idea of cooking, books and good conversation, so if my adventures in Italy work out, the Castle Galeazza sounds like an interesting adventure.
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