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Bologna is an energetic and cosmopolitan Italian college city, with amazing history, art, cuisine, music, and culture. Sample it all at your own pace with car rental from Nova Car Hire.

About Nova Car Hire

When searching for car hire, you want to spend as little time and money as possible, and we’ve discovered a way to do just that. Nova Car Hire offers low-cost car rental in more than 26,000 locations worldwide, and all you have to do to grab one of our great rates is give us your dates and location and allow us to take care of the hard work. We leverage our relationships with hundreds of the most reputable car-hire suppliers across the globe to negotiate low rates on your behalf, which we deliver to you in an instant. Book immediately online, or speak to one of our friendly and efficient staff - whichever method you choose, the process is quick, convenient, and superb value. No form-filling, no waiting, no problem.


About Bologna

Bologna is the capital of Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna Region. A vibrant and cosmopolitan Italian college city, it is famous for its fascinating history, art, cuisine, music, and culture. Italy’s seventh-biggest city, it has a population of about 1 million.

Bologna on a Budget

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Bologna on a Budget

Hi! My name is Joanna and I'm the Head of Car Hire at Nova. I love travelling, dogs, classical music, reading, and making sure all our customers have the best car rental experience!


Bologna may be known as 'La Grassa' (the Fat One), but you won't need a fat wallet to stay here. This friendly and elegant city is the home of fresh pasta and acclaimed mortadella and is close to the finest producers of Parmigiano cheese, balsamic vinegar, and Parma ham, so it would be a shame to miss out on any of its delights just because you think you can't afford them.

Budget Beds

One of the best options for those with car rental is the Quality Hotel Michelino Bologna Fiera. Situated at Via Michelino, it offers great rates and really comfortable, modern rooms. B&B Arcoveggio is another excellent budget option, offering superb hospitality from friendly staff who offer great recommendations on what to see and where to eat in Bologna. You could also try the Fiera Hotel for great rates, spacious rooms, and excellent service.

Light Lunches

If you have any interest in food, you'll love the old market that crisscrosses the streets and alleys behind Piazza Maggiore. La Baita Formaggi at Via Pescherie Vecchie is the most famous cheese shop here, and it also serves lunch. Sample the unique black Parmigiano and succulent fresh ricotta and indulge in a proper meal of affettati (cold cuts), frittata di verdura, smoked ham, and tasty salami. Or you could head to Cesare Marretti's funky bistro on Via Senzanome. Marretti is one of Italy's hottest young chefs in Italy, specialising in light, creative cuisine that centres on fresh, seasonal produce. Despite his reputation, he offers a cheap three-course set menu at lunch. This is the ideal place to revive with a zing salad or grilled fish after too much heavy pasta!

Cheap Sights

Bologna has a wealth of museums and attractions, but the admission fees can pile up alarmingly if you're not sensible. If you're going to explore Bologna, you really should get a Bologna Welcome Card from the local tourist office. The card covers entry to the city's museums and facilities; features a tourist map with itineraries and places of interest; and provides free WiFi in the city, two tickets for the BLQ shuttle bus or one 24-hour pass for public transport, and discounts and special offers for clubs, shops, restaurants, health clubs, and leisure activities.

Dine Out for Less

Bologna is one of Italy's most important university cities, and with more than 80,000 students living here, it offers a great range of dining options for the cash-strapped. Buy a drink and you can even get away with paying nothing for dinner, as bars compete with each other to offer extra tasty options in their complimentary buffet for the evening aperitivo. Caffe Zamboni, under the twin leaning towers in the town centre, offers an enormous range of dishes. Order an Aperol Spritz, and although vegetarians will drool over the grilled aubergines and zucchini, most people make straight for the massive chunks of mortadella. If you'd prefer something a little more elegant, try Biagi, an osteria on Via Savenella that is ideal for a budget-friendly romantic gourmet dinner. The menu features classic casalinga dishes, as well as surprises such as galantina di cappone (stuffed chicken) and warm panzanella salad of beans and plump tomatoes. Biagi also offers a superb selection of local wines, including a remarkably good red lambrusco.
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