6 Hidden Gemz in Bologna (by Hostelgeeks)

6 Hidden Gemz in Bologna (by Hostelgeeks)

Ola and welcome to our open Hidden Gemz Guide to showcase what you can expect from all our unique travel guides that we lovingly call "Hidden Gemz".

What are the Hidden gemz?

A few, real, unique travel tips by a local Friend - simple! We are talking about hidden waterfalls in Bali, a speak-easy bar in New York City, an iconic library in Paris, and so many more places no tourists ever visit.

For many destinations, we share between 5 and 11 unique tips that you won't find easily or maybe even never.

Ever wished you had a local friend to share insights and tips on the real side of your destination, the one beyond the tourist hotspots?

This is what the Hidden Gemz are! In times of information-overload and bland AI-generated travel tips, we went the other way They are not available for purchase. You will need to track your hostel reservation to get access.

How to get access to Hidden Gemz?

  1. Sign up on Hostelz.com
  2. track your hostel reservation from Booking.com and Hostelworld with us
  3. get access to our exclusive hidden gemz guide.

It is free. It is unique.

One Free Guide for you: Hidden Gemz to Bologna

We want to show you what you can expect from these guides. We won't share with you a few, lousy tips we have found on the internet. No. Our hidden gemz are submitted by travel influencers like Hostelgeeks, our team itself, and our rich user-base of more than 250.000 users.

Check out our Hidden Gemz to Bologna

You've Just Unlocked the Best-Kept Secrets of Bologna.

Ever wished you had a local friend to share insights and tips on the real Bologna, the one beyond the tourist hotspots? Well, consider this your lucky day! Our friends at Hostelgeeks, those seasoned explorers with an uncanny knack for unearthing hidden gems, have generously share their Bologna secrets for all of us to enjoy.

Think secret canals, Renaissance palaces where science gets a little weird (in the best way possible), and secret panoramic spots that'll make you ditch the crowds for good.

Welcome to Bologna beyond the brochures – your adventure starts here.

Our Map for You

We're big fans of maps too! Below, you'll find all our recommendations plotted for easy reference. You can also access it on your phone for on-the-go exploration.

1. Palazzo Poggi Museum

Palazzo Poggi is where science goes to party – a Renaissance palace packed with bizarre anatomical models, freaky scientific contraptions, and a healthy dose of intellectual intrigue.

Step inside this 16th-century architectural marvel and prepare to have your mind blown.

Feast your eyes on a collection that's anything but ordinary: Encounter life-sized wax figures with disturbingly accurate anatomical details, marvel at weird globes that chart a world far less explored than our own, and try to wrap your head around scientific instruments that look like they were plucked straight from a mad scientist's laboratory.

Don't be squeamish: Some of the anatomical models are not for the faint of heart.

Look up: The ceilings are just as fascinating as the exhibits.

Location: Google Maps | More Information | Instagram

2. Orto Botanico


Tucked away from Bologna's piazzas and porticoes is a green sanctuary that few tourists stumble upon.

History in Bloom: This isn't your average garden center. We're talking centuries of botanical history, with some of these trees older than your great-great-grandparents.

Greenhouse: Craving a tropical getaway without the airfare? Step into the garden's steamy greenhouses, where orchids flaunt their hues and carnivorous plants (don't worry, they only eat bugs) lie in wait.

Herbal Remedies and Hidden Nooks: Ever wondered what plants can cure a headache or soothe a cough? The medicinal herb garden spills the tea (pun intended). And for those seeking solitude, benches and secret pathways invite you to pause and ponder life's mysteries.

Hostelgeeks Tip: Check the garden's website for special events and guided tours. You might just learn how to make your own herbal remedies or identify a rare flower.

Location: Google Maps | More Information | Instagram

3. The Best Panoramic View of Bologna


While the view from San Luca might be the talk of the town, people that live in Bologna prefer to make their way to San Michele in Bosco for a panorama that truly takes their breath away.

What to See: From the terrace of San Michele in Bosco, a former monastery complex, you'll be treated to a jaw-dropping vista. Red rooftops stretch as far as the eye can see, medieval towers pierce the sky, and the hills of Emilia-Romagna provide a stunning backdrop. Keep your eyes peeled for Bologna's lone skyscraper, a modern anomaly amidst the sea of terracotta.

San Michele in Bosco remains a well-kept secret. This means you can savor the views without jostling for position.

More Than Just a View: Explore the surrounding Parco di San Michele in Bosco, a tranquil forest where you can wander along shady paths and listen to birdsong.

Summertime Bonus: If you're visiting during the warmer months, take advantage of the charming outdoor bars on Via Codivilla, just a stone's throw from the park. Sip an Aperol Spritz, mingle with locals, and soak up the laid-back atmosphere.

Hostelgeeks Tips:

  • Combine Your Visit: San Michele in Bosco is located near other attractions like the Giardini Margherita and Villa Spada.
  • Pack a Picnic: The park is perfect for a leisurely lunch with a view.

Location: Google Maps | Instagram

4. Bagni di Mario (Conserva di Valverde)

The Bagni di Mario, also known as the Conserva di Valverde, is a subterranean cistern that once supplied water to the city's fountains and gardens.

What to See: Descend into the depths of the Bagni di Mario and be awestruck by the sheer scale and ingenuity of this 16th-century creation. Massive brick arches support the vaulted ceiling, while sunlight filters through small openings, casting ethereal beams onto the still water below. The cistern's calm atmosphere and echoing acoustics create an almost otherworldly aura.

A Feat of Engineering: The Bagni di Mario is a tribute to the innovation of Renaissance engineers. Designed by Tommaso Laureti, the cistern was a vital part of Bologna's water supply system, collecting rainwater and channeling it to various parts of the city.

Hostelgeeks Tips:

  • Guided Tours: The Bagni di Mario is only accessible through guided tours, so be sure to book in advance.
  • Combine Your Visit: The Bagni di Mario is located near Piazza Maggiore and other major attractions, making it easy to incorporate into your travel itinerary.

Location: Google Maps | More Information | Instagram

5. Tagliavini Collection

Forget dusty museum exhibits – the Tagliavini Collection in Bologna's deconsecrated San Colombano church is a collection of sights and sounds that will make your heart sing. Composed of over 70 antique musical instruments is a time machine for music lovers, a place where the ghosts of Bach, Mozart, and Scarlatti seem to linger in the air.

What to See: Get ready to geek out over harpsichords, clavichords, spinets, and early pianos, each more ornate and beautiful than the last. Marvel at the intricate carvings, the gleaming wood finishes, and the sheer artistry that went into creating these musical masterpieces. Don't miss the star of the show: a 1679 three-manual harpsichord by Giovanni Battista Giusti – it's like the Ferrari of harpsichords!

Hostelgeek Tip: On Saturday afternoons, the collection comes alive with the sounds of free harpsichord concerts performed by talented students. It's a chance to hear these ancient instruments sing as they were meant to be heard, filling the church with the joyous melodies of the Baroque era.

Make a Day of It: The collection is located near other cool spots like the Oratory of San Colombano, with its stunning frescoes.

Location: Google Maps | More Information | Instagram

6. Finestrella di Via Piella


Tucked away on Via Piella, a small window, the Finestrella, offers a glimpse into a lost era where canals crisscrossed the city.

What to See: Peer through the Finestrella and you'll be greeted by a picturesque canal scene: terracotta-colored houses reflected in the gently flowing water, lush greenery clinging to the banks, and the soft lapping of water against the stone walls. While gondolas and singing gondoliers might be absent, the charm of "Little Venice" is undeniable.

Bologna's Watery Past: The Finestrella offers a window (quite literally) into Bologna's rich history. Once a thriving network of canals facilitated trade and transportation throughout the city. Over time, most of these waterways were covered, but this stretch remains, a testament to Bologna's aquatic heritage.

Other views: While Via Piella's window is the most famous, you can catch glimpses of the canal from other "finestrelle" on Via Oberdan and Via Malcontenti.

Location: Google Maps | Instagram

Go and Explore!

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