When searching for accommodation I am always looking for something a little unique; something beyond a stark hotel room or bed-bug infested backstreet hostel. And for a reasonable price, of course.
Bologna has no shortage of beautiful places to stay, but what surprised me the most was the cost. I later learned that the cost of accommodation is so high because Bologna is the conference capital of Italy. But, nonetheless, I found a gorgeous little gem close to the central bus and train station — the Little Donkey Suite.
After liaising to owner Silvia ahead of our arrival over WhatsApp, we found our home for the night down a small street that felt perfectly local. The room was stunning and spotless. The bathroom felt like a 5-star hotel and best of all — there was a Nespresso machine.
The shelves were full of books on Bologna and surrounds, the space lit up with funky, retro light bulbs. The large fridge was perfect for storing our purchases of pecorino, prosciutto and prosecco (the 3-P’s!), and the bed was more than comfortable enough. I just wish we had had longer to enjoy the place.
Silvia was all you could ask for from a host and provided us with a PDF guide to the area — where to eat, what to do, etc. — a very nice touch.
We were arriving and leaving by train, so being able to walk to the train station within 10 minutes was perfect for us. And at the same time, the apartment was only a 20-30 minute walk from the center of Bologna.
We arrived exhausted in the late evening, so walked a few hundred meters up the road to explore food and wine options. However, we were distracted by our discovery of a huuuge Asian supermarket; a cuisine we have been craving since arriving in Europe a year ago. We spent the next 30 minutes drooling over Thai red curry pastes and Vietnamese pho mix.
There were several small bars packed full of trendy young locals sitting outside in the still-warmish weather. All-in-all, the neighbourhood was a great introduction to real-life Bologna.
As I mentioned earlier, Bologna is not a cheap place to stay. Perhaps if you book further ahead you might snag a bargain, but expect to spend at least €100 for something above average. This was how much we paid for Little Donkey Suite.
Although it is a lot for a non-capital city, I still highly recommend visiting if you need a home-away-from-home in the home of Bolognese. You can read more about that in my last post 🙂