If you are studying or working in Bologna, you probably already discovered that it's the perfect base to explore the rest of Emilia Romagna. If you've been there long enough, you might also know that there are other destinations - all under one-hour train ride - just beyond the region's borders. Here's a list of my favourites. From cities to mountains and beaches, for foodies and nature and motors lovers.

Looking for some great day trips from Bologna? Add these to your wishlist

In Emilia Romagna


If you like cheese, then head to the home of the original Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Here, you can take a cheese factory tour and admire all the steps that take to make this delicious cheese. Oh! And what about Parma ham? A tour to its factories is another must-do while in Parma. If food isn't your thing, then explore Parma which is a beautiful city filled with great churches and historical sights.

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 50-55 minutes


If you are looking to spenda day at the beach, look no further than Rimini.
In summer, Rimini’s wide, beautiful coast is a great place to swim and sip on a spritz or a beer on the shore. If you are visiting Rimini in winter, you should head to the Motorcycles Museum instead. It features over 250 bikes from 55 different brands. From the end of the 1800s to today.

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 50-55 minutes


Ever heard of the balsamic vinegar? Modena is the world-centre of its production. Any Italian will tell you that true, traditional balsamic vinegar can only come from Emilia Romagna. To be precise from Modena. If cars are your thing, then head to the Enzo Ferrari Museum. Here you can explore the story and admire various classic Ferraris.

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 25-35 minutes

In Tuscany


Obviously, a day spe​nt​ in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is never going to be enough. But if you happen to have a spare day, it could be the beginning of a long love story. Plan your first visit ahead and pick your stops carefully (book museums ahead to skip the queues). Otherwise, if you are thinking about a weekend in Florence, make sure to head to  Piazzale Michelangelo offers great views over the city, maybe visit the Duomo or the Mercato Centrale. There is plenty to see, so I am sure you will go back over and over again.

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 35 minutes (on the fast train)

In Veneto


One of the main university cities in Italy, Padua is a little gem often overlooked because it sits right in the middle of the Venice-Verona-Bologna triangle. Home to the Scrovegni Chapel, Europe's largest square and the world's most ancient anatomic theatre, Padua is a must visit. (Also because it's my hometown!)

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 59 minutes (on the fast train)


Shakespeare set the tragic love story of Romeo & Juliet here. There must be reasons: gorgeous city centre, beautiful views over the Adige River and of course, a love vibe all around.

  • Distance from Bologna by train: 1 hour

If you are thinking about heading to Venice instead, make sure to check this useful article to plan your visit. If you have more than an hour, then why not going to Milan for the perfect aperitivo?

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