I love walking around cities at night-time especially very old medieval districts like Bologna in Emilia-Romagna. Hoping that things would quiet down in the historic center from all the bustle and crowd, I was really surprised that things actually picked up after hours with all these outdoor cafes magically starting to appear in the piazzas and many narrow streets in the Quadrilatero (the ancient food market). I supposed that many of the Bolognese getting off work wanted to enjoy some time after work, do some shopping and the typical paseggiata (evening stroll) that is typical in many Italian cities like Bologna. Even better when you can combine apperitivo (happy hour) with some friends or family to spend some time outdoors in this wonderful environment that is pedestrian friendly.
What to see and do in Bologna at night
While the evenings are still warm in Bologna, it was fun to be outdoors and enjoy the lively areas of around the historic district and try some of the local specialties and amazing cuisine that Bologna known for. It makes sense that everything is open at night-time from the specialty shops and markets, the bars and cafes and including all those delicious gelato stands that seem to be on almost every corner.
What do you think about dropping into on a wine store like the one above which features locally grown wines from the region. While your shopping, you can also pick up some snacks, dessert or chocolates conveniently being sold for those that have a late night craving.
It seems like everyone is out tonight, at least the night when I was walking around the central district. In any case, that’s what I love about this city – it is so alive, energetic with every table filled with joyous sounds of the beautiful Italian language being spoken, almost with abandon along with those hand gestures. Every street in town and all the piazzas are filled with people enjoying their time outside before they have to go home for the night and call it a day.
Later in the evening when the crowds start to dwindle and everyone is trying to catch the last commuter train or bus out-of-town, the arcades or porticoes are all of a sudden quiet and eerily lit up. I seem to be the only one walking around the city this late and have all the streets to myself which creates a differing mood with the images I’m capturing . That’s fine with me, I can explore with no distractions and crowds and that makes for better photo opportunities, especially with few cars on the roads.
Strolling Piazza Maggiore in the evening
Late at night the main piazza Maggiore is empty from the many throngs of people sitting on the steps of the basilica and lounging around the square – all is quiet now. The eerie shot of neon lights below next to the basilica of San Petronio casts a strange glow juxtaposed next to the medieval façade of the church. What a bizarre composition (I’m thinking) while I take the shot.
It’s getting late and I pass through some of the beautiful porticoes in the city lit up with some of the most chic boutiques and designer stores lining the main corridors of the Archiginnasio arcades in the historic district.
On the way back to my hotel, I spot a beautiful light fixture with a detailed metalwork on one of the medieval buildings. I love seeing these little details that just pop out in the night when typically they would be hidden during the day time or look insignificant. I had to stop take a picture and admire all the beautiful artistry of this sign post.
If you enjoyed the post, please check out these other posts of Bologna
Ah, I’m finally close to my hotel and ready to crash for the night. That was a fun adventure, don’t you think? I hope that you enjoyed touring Bologna at night and seeing the highlights around the city. If you enjoyed this post, please check out my other sites on Facebook and Instagram on Bologna and some pictures of my recent travels. Thanks for visiting today and checking out beautiful Bologna, Italy.