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In Italy, Bologna is one of the best places to go for nightlife. With a large student population and a thriving gay community, there is a great variety of places to go when the sun sets. You’ll find it easy to party the night away here.

If you want to go drinking the way the locals do, visit the Osterias. Have fun osteria crawling, see if you can visit them all (there are over a hundred). You may want to visit the Osteria da Poeti which has been operating since the 16th century. It has that great feel of history and at the same time, it has a lively atmosphere created by the jazz and folk music playing almost every night. You can bring your lunch to the Osteria del Sole as long as you purchase a glass of wine. This is rated as the number one osteria in Bologna.

If Jazz is what you love then the best places for you to go would be Cantina Bentivoglio and Chet Baker’s Jazz Club. The Cantina Bentivoglio is almost an institution in Bologna and is always full, so it’s best to make a reservation. Chet Baker’s Jazz Club is more like a New York club, and is known for quality performances as well. They’ve had shows by artists such as Tommy Flanagan and James Moody.

What is Italy without Opera? In Bologna, the best place for opera and classical music is the Teatro Communale. It is said that Bologna’s opera season is second only to that in La Scala in Milan. You can confirm this for yourself if your visit is between the end of November and June, which the run of the season.

There are 30 cinemas in Bologna if you want to watch a film. If you’d rather watch a play, whether it be Shakespeare or an experimental one, you’ll have much to choose from. The Teatro Duse carries more traditional offerings than the Arena del Sole. The Teatro Dehon is a great comedy spot. If you have children, you may want to check out the Teatro Testoni.

The place to be seen in Bologna is the designer club bar, Soda Pops on Via San Vitale. If you like techno music or hip hop, then Matis may be more your to your liking. Kinki is an old favorite, established in the 1950’s, which is no longer just a gay club and has some great DJ’s, both local and international.

The city council encourages the creation of outdoor activities during the summer months. You can enjoy street parties and open-air raves. They subsidise such activities as Made in Bo, Parco Nord and Via Stalingrado — an outdoor dance party that’s free.

Cassero is the favorite hang out of the gay community. In fact it is also the Bologna headquarters of Arcigay and Arcilesbiche, the group that organises activities and entertainment for the lesbian and gay group. It’s a noisy place with floor shows and dancing. It definitely won’t be dull. The setting alone is unique. After all Cassero occupies one of Bologna’s medieval gates

It is easy to have fun in Bologna. There are so many places to go, more than is in this very short list. If you want to feel the pulse of life, you are in the best place.


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