DON’T FORGET TO PACK Wool socks for winter—it gets cold! You’re not in California anymore!
BEST LEFT AT HOME Umbrella—there are 38 kilometers of “porticos” in the Bologna city center, covering almost every sidewalk and street.
So no need to worry about getting wet.
WHERE TO LIVE Pratello Neighborhood, Via Orfeo, Via San Vitale, Strada Maggiore. Avoid Piazza Verdi (right where many university buildings are) unless you like to be kept up by noise and people out all night!
BEST EATS NEAR CAMPUS Pizzeria Due Torri: the only place in the city with bagels and brunch food. If you want to really be Italian, stop at any bar on the way to class and grab a focaccia or panini to go!
FAVORITE ITALIAN ACTIVITY Aperitivo! The time before dinner starting around 5 until 9, grab a drink with friends, reflect on your day, relax and just enjoy! Many places also do buffet or help-yourself dishes when you buy a drink.
Great places in Bologna for aperitivo: Senza Nome, Lab 16, Altro Spazio.
WHERE TO STUDY University libraries.
MUST-TRY LOCAL DISH Tagliatelle al Ragù, not what you immediately think of as “bolognese sauce.”
The thick ragù consists of onions, carrots, celery base with ground meat, beef, veal and sometimes pork with a little tomato—not tomato sauce! The noodles are egg and about 1 cm thick. Smells and tastes like heaven!
BEST PHOTO OP Top of the Torre degli Asinelli (towers of Bologna). For the best hike: San Luca.
BIGGEST FAIL Riding the bus without a ticket.
BUY THIS Fresh fruit and veggies from Mercato delle Erbe.
NOT THAT Umbrella.
MOST INTERESTING CLASS Anthropology of Migration in Italy.
BEST PART OF THE PROGRAM Becoming friends with Italian interns working at the UCEAP Study Center who are always there for you and want to help you have the best, immersive experience ever.
UNFORGETTABLE WEEKEND TRIPS Snowboarding in the Dolomites and hiking in the mountains surrounding Lake Garda.
BEST LOCAL EVENT Liberation Day, April 25th. A national holiday commemorating the end of the Italian civil war and the end of Nazi occupation. Every Wednesday evening, the social center “Labàs” has live music, local food and drinks outdoors.
BONUS PRO TIP Flip-flops and short-shorts are for the beach, not for going to lecture. Eat as much fresh cheese, meats, dishes and gelato as you possibly can because you truly cannot find a comparison in the States. It is worth every bite!