Listed are the average monthly temperatures for Bologna, so include a few degrees + or - for the typical monthly
range of temperatures. Bologna's weather is warmer and sunnier than that of London, Paris, Brussels, Milano, Verona and Venezia. Roma and Firenze tend to be a few degrees warmer. Bologna's monthly climate is very similar to New York City.

We enjoy our wonderful seasons being moderate, never extreme. You should see our outdoor markets filled with ripe fruits and vegetables reflect the seasons! It's always exciting - all of those delicious possibilities!

Basilica di San Luca in the Colli Bolognesi

Currency, Banking and Exchange

As part of the EU (European Union), Italy's currency is the euro (€). All major currencies can be exchanged for euros at any Cambio location or with the Cambio bank teller. In Bologna, daily exchange rates are listed every morning at the bank teller's window. Since the exchange rates continually fluctuate, the larger commercial banks list new current rates twice each day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

Banks and ATMs

Many commercial banks in Bologna are now open all day. Times vary, but usually banks are open from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, closed on Saturday and Sunday. Often only one teller for currency exchange is available, so expect to wait 10-30 minutes for service. Try to arrive either early morning or just before luncheon, around 1 p.m., and the wait should be just long enough to admire that remarkable Italian style and pick-up some pointers! ATMs are situated throughout the main thoroughfares of the city and yield good exchange rates.

Outdoor caffé in Piazza Santo Stefano Credit Cards

All major credit cards are readily accepted in Bologna's stores and restaurants, including American Express, Visa and MasterCard.

National and Local Holidays per "La Dolce Vita"

Following are holidays observed according to Italy's national calendar, and predominate religious calendar, the Roman Catholic calendar. (We are proud to note that it is our native Bolognese son, Pope Gregory XIII, who devised the calendar we follow today.)

The holidays listed below are reserved for family gatherings and all sorts of delectable repast (do use your imagination), so all businesses, stores, restaurants, government offices, museums and banks are closed unless otherwise specified below. Train and bus service follow limited holiday service hours, so allow extra time to reach your destination.

Since actually observing only the standard Italian days-off goes against the nature of every spirited Italian (thank goodness we haven't met one who isn't), don't be too surprised to find that someone has closed shop early to celebrate a family event or added a few more holidays to go "al mare", to the Mediterranean or Adriatic shore, to polish that tan to a glistening bronze!

For our clients who would like to celebrate their religious or cultural holiday in Bologna while attending our course, please contact our office a few weeks in advance so we can make the best possible arrangements for you.

  • 1 January

    New Year's Day (Capodanno)

  • 6 January

    Epiphany (Epifania, La Befana)

  • 1-21 January

    Some restaurants close for 10-14 days during these weeks.

  • Good Friday

    Most businesses and stores close for the afternoon and evening, if not all day.

  • Easter and
    Easter Monday


  • 25 April

    Liberation Day (Anniversario della Liberazione)

  • 1 May

    Labor or Worker's Day (Festa del Lavoro)

  • July-August

    Some businesses, and most stores and restaurants are closed for 2-4 weeks, with the majority closed during August. This applies to all of Italy except the seaside, where it is high season.

  • 15 August

    Assumption (Ferragosto) - Many businesses, stores and restaurants close for a few days or the week of the 15th.

  • 4 October

    St. Petronius's Day (Patron Saint of Bologna, Festa di San Petronio)

  • 1 November

    All Saints' Day (Ognissanti)

  • 8 December

    Immaculate Conception (Immacolata Concezione)

  • 24 December

    Christmas Eve (La Vigilia di Natale) - Many businesses close.

  • 25 December

    Christmas Day (Natale)

  • 26 December

    Boxing or St. Steven's Day (Santo Stefano)

  • 25 December-
    6 January

    Some businesses and stores, and a few restaurants close during these weeks for the Festa di Natale.

  • Giorno di Riposo
    or Per Torno

    Always the same day(s) each week, most restaurants close on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday.

Plugging In...

Contrary to popular thought, Italian electrical current is 220 volts, not a jolt of espresso... Real electrical converters are available in the hotels, although it is always wise to carry an extra adapter plug with you. The other kind of converter, fragrant espresso, is available at our caffes located on almost every street corner. For less buzz...try our creamy cappuccino. What a way to start the day!

Time or "Che ora è?"

Bologna is +1 hour Greenwich Mean Time and Great Britain, + 4 hours Argentina and Brazil, +6 hours US Eastern Standard Time, +9 hours US Pacific Standard Time, -1 hour South Africa, -8 hours Japan, -9 hours Australia. Italian Daylight Savings Time is in effect from the last weekend in March to the last weekend in September.

Transportation with Time to Spare (and maybe a recipe)

All transportation in Bologna flows smoothly with one exception, and this has happened to me several times: If you ride in a local taxi with a driver who likes to cook, don't be surprised if the conversation naturally turns to how best to prepare this season's produce or the Sunday family dinner, with helpful tips of course. If a reverent glow transforms his face and he slooowws down from breakneck speed to the actual speed limit, you know you're going to learn about his Mama's favorite dish (listen attentively, take notes, and never question his mother's recipe). If you ask your driver about his Ragu Bolognese, and he is not in a hurry, be prepared for him to actually stop the car, turn around and passionately describe in detail how to make THE proper ragu (this is when you become reverent, take notes and by now you know, never question this level of culinary intimacy). So you might want to allow extra time AND bring your pen and paper along, just in case...we do live for our great food!

By Air

Daily flights to-and-from all major European cities and Bologna make it easy travel with several major airlines. Among the major city connections are New York, London, Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Lyon, Nice, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich, Vienna and Prague. Within Italy, there are several daily flight connections with Milano, Roma, Olbia, Palermo, Napoli, Cagliari and Firenze.

Luggage carts are available in baggage claim at Guglielmo Marconi International Airport. Directly outside baggage claim, taxis are available for the quick, inexpensive drive into the city's center.

By Car

Car rental offices are located in the city's center and at Guglielmo Marconi International Airport. Usually the best rental rates are booked and confirmed in advance from overseas, by your travel agent, rather than waiting until you're in Italy to reserve a car.

During our courses, all transportation for our countryside excursions is provided by our private driver, so you will not need a car. Secure parking garage reservations can be made for you if you would like to keep your car in Bologna during the course, please contact our office. Remember to bring along extra cash for the tolls when driving along the Autostrada.

By Train

There are several daily departures from the Ferrovia, train station, in Bologna's center to other Italian cities including Milano, Firenze, Roma, Venezia, Verona, Genoa, Rimini, Ancona and Torino. For connections from Bologna to major European cities, usually a connection must be made in Milano. Tickets may be purchased in advance from overseas or at travel agencies conveniently located near the hotels in Bologna. Directly outside the front door of the train station, taxis are available for a quick, inexpensive drive to your hotel.


How to avoid the Beagle Brigade. Link to USDA.