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Why rent a car in Bologna?
Bologna is a great place to explore by car. Capital of Emilia-Romagna region and located in the heart of north Italy, it is a fascinating destination in its own right, as well as in close proximity to many other interesting destinations.
Top ways to enter Bologna
- Bologna Airport: Seventh busiest in Italy, Bologna’s Airport is popular with high-class airlines and low-cost carriers alike.
- Florence Airport: About an hour-and-a-half’s drive away from Bologna, Florence Airport is served by with low-cost airline Vueling, as well as many other airlines that connect it to destinations around Europe.
- Venice Airport: Less than two hours drive north, Venice’s Marco Polo Airport is another convenient place to fly to if your final destination is Bologna.
- By land: If you’re arriving in Bologna by train, you can pick up a rental car at Bologna Railway Station.
Useful city facts
- City of culture and education, Bologna is home to University of Bologna, the oldest university in the world.
- Bologna has about 390,000 inhabitants, but a tad more than 1 million people live in its wider metropolitan area.
Top destinations and activities
- Bologna Archaeological Museum. All about fascinating ancient history, this museum presents such varied exhibits as Ancient Egyptian mummies and sarcophagi, Iron Age artefacts, Etruscan art, terracotta urns, and Roman vases.
- National Picture Gallery. Exhibiting the best of Venetian and Emilia-Romagna art, this gallery has world-famous works by Giotto, Raffaello, Parmigianino, and many others.
- The Bolognese Cuisine. Calling yourself the food capital is a bit claim in Italy, but Bologna can back it up. There are too many amazing dishes and foods to list even a small part of them, but many Bolognese claim that leaving without trying their cured meat and cheese, lasagna, and stuffed tortellini pasta amounts to a crime.
Traffic and parking tips
- The speed limit in cities is 50 km/h, although in certain areas the speed limit may be reduced to 30 km/h.
- Main highways are limited to 130 km/h, non-major highways to 110 km/h, and local roads to 90 km/h. During the rain the limits are respectively lowered to 110 km/h, 100 km/h, and 80 km/h. The general speed limit is lowered to 50 km/h during heavy fog or other cases of bad visibility.
- The insurance and car documentation needs to be in the car whenever you’re driving.
- If you’re the driver, you need to have your passport or ID card with you at all times.
- The legal alcohol limit is 0.05% for experienced drivers and 0.00% for novice drivers. Being over the allowed limit can result in hefty fines and even imprisonment.
- The emergency number, like elsewhere in the EU, is 112.
There are numerous toll roads in Italy. The exact fee depends on the route of your choice and the type of a vehicle. See the official Italian toll road website for more information. Use the website’s toll road calculator to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for using the toll roads on your planned route.
Ideas for a day-trip
- Venice. One of the most famous cities in the world, Venice is just about 160 km (100 mi) north. You won’t regret stopping at Ferrara and Padua, two other historic cities that are on the way, either.
- San Marino. This tiny country that is entirely surrounded by Italy is rarely visited by international visitors, but you should definitely consider going there to see its picturesque fortresses, impressive mountains, and beautiful vineyards, especially since all of it is just 2 hours drive away.
- Florence. The wealth of culture, art, and history in the renaissance capital will blow away even the most seasoned travelers.
Most popular rental types and cars
The most popular rental cars in Italy are the Fiat Panda, the Ford Fiesta, and the Fiat 500. The most popular rental car types are economy, mini, and compact.
- Milan and Turin. Two of Italy’s largest cities, capitals of Lombardy and Piedmont regions, are worth visiting for their history, splendid architecture, and sheer grandeur.
- Slovenia and Croatia. Right next door to Venice, these two countries offer impressive mountains, beautiful beaches, and historic cities that many say can rival Italy in any way. Note that you’ll have to cross a national border, so check with your car rental provider first to make sure they allow it.
- Umbria and Lazio. Sometimes overlooked because of more famous neighboring areas, these two regions make unique travel destinations that are not overcrowded even in the summer.
How can I save money on my rental car?
There are many things you can do to get a good rental deal in Bologna:
- Compare rates of different rental car providers
- Book your rental car well in advance
- Plan your route before you go
- Know your fuel and mileage requirements
- Visit on the month when the rental prices are the cheapest. According to our data, visiting Bologna is the cheapest in April when renting a car is about 60% cheaper than the yearly average.
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