Best in Bologna: Aemilia Hotel

Bologna porticos

As we searched Ryanair and Skyscanner for cheap flights from Madrid, we stumbled upon a direct connection to Bologna. Luckily, instead of turning it down for one of its more popular cousins (think historic Florence or romantic Venice), we (luckily) had already been told of Bologna’s distinct charm and incredible gastronomy. We didn’t think twice before booking our tickets, and as soon as we were confirmed we started planning our weekend getaway.

Our first concern was where to stay in Bologna. We had heard that the city wasn’t too touristy, but there were still numerous hotels, hostels, B&B’s and apartments to choose from. Since we were only staying a few days, we opted for a hotel. And since Bologna is so small, we thought it would be fun to try two different hotels. After lots of research and reading too many reviews, we decided on our first hotel in Bologna: The Aemilia Hotel.

Why we think it’s “Best in Bologna”

Great Location

We arrived by taxi without any problems, and the trip cost under 20€, with our suitcases. We were eager to start exploring already, and made our way into the center in about 5 minutes. Our first stop was one of the gelato places on my list, and it was literally a 7 minute walk (at most) from the Aemilia Hotel. Anything that close to gelato has to be good!

Aemilia Hotel Bologna Rooms

Our big, comfy bed.

Friendly Staff

It isn’t everyday that the staff at a large hotel (the Aemilia has 126 rooms and a conference center) goes out of their way to be nice to their guests. The staff at the Aemilia Hotel, however, could not have been nicer. We were greeted with warm smiles, and they tolerated our broken Italian, before we chose to switch to English (which they spoke perfectly). They also patiently explained a map of the area, and made us dinner reservations at their in house restaurant, Ristorante Gurmé.

Aemilia Hotel Bologna View

The view from our window.

Delicious Restaurant

We dined that evening at the hotel, as we’d heard great things about their Ristorante Gurmé. Over the course of two hours, we savored dishes like carpaccio, tortelloni, risotto, and steak. We also loved the local wine, a San Giovese.

Ristorante Gurme Bologna carpaccio

Carpaccio, arugula and parmesan cheese.

Ristorante Gurme hotel aemilia bologna

Rare steak with arugula and parmesan.

Fantastic Perks

Not that it should be considered a perk nowadays, but free wifi is sometimes hard to come by at 4-star hotels. Not at the Aemilia Hotel! They have free wifi that works well, allowing anyone who works while away (or just wants to watch some youtube videos) to do so in peace. The Aemilia also has something very unique, an incredible rooftop with a great view. You can enjoy it will food and drinks as well, and even take a dip in the rooftop jacuzzi.

Aemilia Hotel Bologna Terrace

Rooftop terrace at Aemilia Bologna.

Overall, the Aemilia Hotel provided all that we needed and more. The breakfast buffet was also great– and included freshly made cappuccino for those who didn’t want the “American style” coffee (who could drink that stuff with Italian cappuccino at hand!?). We would recommend the Aemilia Hotel Bologna to anyone visiting the city who wants something comfortable, friendly, and well-located. It is also right outside of the historic center, so it does offer parking to anyone with a car.

Find out about our other Best in Bologna hotel here, and read about our adventures in cooking true Bolognese cuisine here!


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