The essentials for a trip to Bologna as told by a local – sleep in an old palazzo, eat with jazz music, and follow Bologna’s famous pilgrimage route.
Please note, this is a sponsored post.
Sleep: L8 Boutique
L8 Boutique is the creation of two sisters who, on inheriting their grandmother’s palazzo in Bologna, took the plunge to transform it into a series of gorgeous, eccentric apartments. They are located about 15 minutes walk from the Duomo, and in an area with great restaurants and bars so no public transport is needed and you can abandon your car for the duration of the stay!
Practical notes first. The apartments are spacious and extremely well equipped. Most consist of a bedroom, bathroom, and large kitchen/living area with table and sofa. My kitchen even had a dishwasher and washing machine, along with all other necessary items for cooking and cleaning.
But I’ll be honest, my joy at finding a dishwasher was quickly surpassed by my pure delight in the decoration. The old structure of the palazzo had been retained, with faded rosy traces of frescoes on the wall, a rugged arched niche in the bedroom and heavy wooden beams on the kitchen ceiling. All this was complemented by tasteful modern pieces and half an antique shop – traditional African masks, retro Louis Vuitton suitcases, the head of a Roman statue lying nonchalantly above the doorway. I was also very glad I had a peek at the guest book because someone intriguingly mentioned ‘mood lighting’ – I tried out every switch I could find and was not disappointed! Each apartment is just as attractively eccentric, though completely different.
Many people just need rough and ready when it comes to accommodation, but in my opinion where you sleep contributes to your holistic experience of a place. I loved the idea that I was staying in an old palazzo, I loved feeling like I was staying in someone’s guest bedroom, not in an impersonal hotel suite.
In summary, L8 Boutique is perfect for long stays, cooks and packed lunchers, families and couples, and decor lovers.
See the other rooms and book your apartment here.
Eat: Cantina Bentivoglio
Francesca, one of the sisters, handed me a list of bars and restaurants and said, ‘here’s places where we eat, not for tourists‘ – music to my ears!
Cantina Bentivoglio is famous for its live jazz music (book well in advance for a table in the live music cellar) but the food was great too. Traditional with a bit (not too much) experimentation – make sure you look at the blackboard for the specials.
See: Pilgrimage to San Luca
The longest portico in the world leads all the way up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca that dominates the Monte della Guardia, some 300 metres above the city. We saw elderly ladies in high heels, runners with dogs, kids with guitars – in fact it seemed like the whole spectrum of Bologna’s population was represented.
More details on the Pilgrimage to San Luca coming soon!