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When people are asked what they think of when they are asked about entertainment in Italy, people reply with, “Opera, of course” and Bologna is one of the best places for opera. The Teatro Communale is the home of opera and classical music in the city of Bologna. Their opera season is said to be second only to La Scala in Milan. The season runs from the end of November until June if you wish to watch the performances.

On the other hand you may prefer to watch plays of Shakespeare or maybe some experimental theatre. Then you will be pleased to know that Bologna has 14 theatres for you to choose from. If your taste runs to the classics, the Teatro Duse with its classical offering may appeal to you more. The Arena del Sole has a diverse program, mixing the avant-garde with the traditional pieces. If you have children with you, inquire at the Teatro Testoni if you’d like them to watch the local productions. For comedy, the Teatro Dehon is the best known.

Bologna is a very young city but not in terms of age. It is vibrant and full of young people. Imagine that the university has 100,000 students 80,000 of which live in the city. The merchants of the city have risen to the occasion and created many venues to keep the city awake until four in the morning, some don’t even close their doors.

For those who love jazz music the Cantina Bentivoglio is the place to go to. It is considered an institution in Bologna and is bound to be crowded. It is best to call ahead and make reservations.

Another place to go is Chet Baker’s Jazz Club. They have artists like Tommy Flanagan and James Moody perform on their stage. This is a place for truly great jazz entertainment.

Maybe you’d rather have hip hop music or listen to the techno beat. If that is the case, you may prefer to go over to Matis to party. Kinki is another great place to go dancing with their line up of great local and international DJ’s keeping the party mood up. Of course, if you’re looking for just the place to be seen, then head over to Soda Pops, the designer club on Via San Vitale.

While Bologna doesn’t have any casinos you can still get a good game. Take a visit to Bar de’Marchi, located at the Piazza San Francesco. There are veteran players who you can challenge to a game and have a few drinks while you’re at it.

There are an endless number of places you can go to in order to have drinks. Bologna has wonderful local taverns full of history, the best of which is the Osteria del Sole. The Osteria da Mario and Osteria della Fondazza are among the oldest and simplest taverns. If you want to osteria crawl, visit the Osteria Piazza Grande, Osteria dei Poeti, Osteria del Brancaleone, Osteria S. Caterina and Osteria dello Scorpione.

You can also take advantage of happy hour at the Clauricane Irish Pub if you want to have more drinks while you sit and chat. The Lord Lister’s English pub at the opposite end of the square is another great place to go. Both places are favorites with the students and are normally packed so might prefer to take off for the Contavalli (an Italian style pub) instead or go over to the Master’s Pub and Downtown café where you can also have live music and a cabaret to keep things lively.

You can’t get bored Bologna. You need only to ask to find entertainment that suits your taste. The variety is endless and the fun goes on all night.


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