Bologna Inside

third edition
edition 2021


Getting Your Bearings

The Commune (municipality) of Bologna’s central Ufficio Relazioni per il Pubblico (Office of Public Relations), commonly referred to as the URP, is located in Bologna’s main piazza (plaza), Piazza Maggiore. Make this your first stop for answers to questions about administrative procedures. If the staff can’t answer your questions, they will refer you to someone who can.

Even after you’ve settled in, make it a habit to visit their website regularly to get information about what’s happening around the city. Many concerts, lectures, guided tours, sports activities, theater, dance and literary events are publicized through the URP. Some services of URP have been temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and you can now only physically go into the office by appointment. However, check back regularly as these rules are likely to change with time.

URP Comune di Bologna
Piazza Maggiore, 6
Tel. 051.203040

Monday-Friday 8.15-18.15
Saturday 8.15-13.00

The Province of Bologna and the Region of Emilia-Romagna have informative websites, which include new Guides for those settling in the city of Bologna and the region of Emilia-Romagna.

If you are first familiarizing yourself with the city online and are looking for information in English, you can find most details about city services, transportation, cultural highlights on the Bologna tourist office site at The Bologna Tourist Office is another helpful stop upon arriving in the city. Branches are located in Piazza Maggiore, under the portici across from San Petronio, at the train station and at the airport. Here you can find information on restaurants, hotels and other lodging, as well as information on current entertainment, museum listings and other local events of interest.

The Bologna Crane

Never let attention wane
Lest you forget to do the crane.
When sidewalk should abruptly end,
Stiffen trunk and forward bend.
The arcades arching overhead
Shield sun and rain, it may be said,
But line your toes and lock your knees
And crane for passing danger, please.
Oh, incidentally, might I add,
Another misadventure to be had.
The architecture’s very fine,
But you must mind the canine mines.
Diligently eyes affix
Uneven walks of stone and bricks,
Not merely to avoid a stumbling;
There lie unpleasantries much more humbling.
Admire towers, columns, and frescos,
But take care not to be maldestro.
And here nobody makes a fuss
Of umbrellas snagged by a passing bus,
Or motor vehicles brushing your leg;
It’s useless to the authorities beg.
Just dive for a niche when a car you spy,
And ogle the architecture by the bye.
(Indians contend with charging cows;
in Italy to mechanized humans we bow.)

Angela Lorenz © 1998