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Bologna is a shoppers’ paradise. They have almost everything available for sale. Food, books, clothes, shoes, art, antiques… there is plenty of treasure to be found in the city.

One thing to get used to in Bologna is the operating hours of the stores. Most establishments will open at nine in the morning and will close for lunch at around twelve thirty. They will not normally re-open until around 3:30 in the afternoon and stay open until around half past seven at night. They usually have long lunch in between. It is also common practice for the shops to close on Thursday afternoons, Sunday and Monday mornings. Knowing this will allow you to plan your shopping trip better.

If fashion is what you’re looking for, the best places to go are the streets off Piazza Maggiore. These include Via Rizzoli, Via dell'Indipendenza and Via Farini. The shops of the top Italian designers can be found here, including Bologna’s own Furla. Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo and MaxMara are just a few of the places that you can go to here. You can also go to the Galleria Cavour shopping mall if you prefer.

Food in Bologna is an experience. It is considered the food capital of Italy. If you wish to buy fresh food then the markets of Bologna is your destination. The Mercato Coperto on Via Ugo Bassi and Orefici Market on Via dei Orefici are great places to go because they offer a wide variety of products. If you’re looking for wines, the Enoteca Italiana on via Marsala has the best selction of wines, both local and regional.

Streghe are crackers typical to Bologna. The name literally translates to witches and it comes in a variety of flavours. If you want to taste this unique pastry, visit the Panificio Vacca Angelo on Via Riva Reno. Another great bakery is the Panificio Osti Giuliano on Via Galliera. Here, the specialty is the raviola con la mostarda. That is a Bolognese cookie with a pear and apple jam.

If its books you want, visit the Libreria Feltrinelli. This is Italy’s largest and best bookstore chain. Its main branch is found here in Bologna on the piazza di Porta Ravegnana. Another branch can be found at via dei Mille. Of course you may be looking for a particular kind of book. If the topic you are looking for involves the performing arts, you may prefer to go down the Via Mentana to the Libreria di Cinema Teatro Musica. If you don’t read Italian, a good place to find books in your own language would be the Libreria Feltrinelli Internazionale located on via Zambini. The Itinerari on via San Vitale is a great place for travellers. It is a travel bookshop that is well stocked; and even sells some travel equipment. This can be a lifesaver when you’re in a foreign country.

You can find any number of treasures to bring home as souvenirs of your trip to Bologna. Nothing though will compare with the experience and the memories you will acquire from your visit.


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