edition 2021




Congratulations! The most pressing bureaucratic hurdles are behind you and now you are ready to go about the business of daily living. You are in luck – Bologna is known for its high quality of life and efficient city services.

Though the day-to-day routine ticks along fairly smoothly, expect to fare la fila regularly, prepare yourself for the occasional sciopero and don’t be surprised if you blow a fuse by using more than one major appliance at a time. The number of stops you’ll have to make to get your essential services up and running may seem daunting, but before you know it, you’ll be calling home, paying bills and checking your e-mail.

Once you find your way around town, you’ll soon be multi-tasking Italian style, talking on your cellulare as you wait in line at the posta and reading the paper at the bar with your morning cappuccio. Observe Italians closely to learn the tricks of the trade such as squeezing your car into a scooter-sized spot and saying “Permesso!” as you elbow your way on and off the bus. When in doubt, ask. Your Italian neighbors know the ropes when it comes to dealing with city services and are usually eager to share tips and shortcuts.

fare la fila
= to wait in line

lo sciopero = strike

il cellulare = cell phone

la posta = post office

il cappuccio = slang for cappuccino

permesso = with permission, excuse me

Essential services

Getting Around

Bologna is a medium-sized city, but getting around in the congested centro storico (historic city center) can be a challenge. Inside the old city walls,

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Essential services

Communication & Media

HOME TELEPHONE Now that the state telephone company TIM no longer enjoys a monopoly, the choice of telephone, cellulare and internet services can be overwhelming.

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Photo by Diz Play on Unsplash
Essential services


WATER, GAS & ELECTRICITY Utilities have been liberalized in Italy (mercato libero), which really means that you get bombarded by unwanted phone calls to make

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Photo by Tim Evans on Unsplash
Essential services


La banca (bank) is actually an Italian invention – the world’s first check was issued in Tuscany where the Medici family was already running an

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