Bologna La Dotta (Bologna the Learned) is one of the most academic cities in Italy, home to one of the oldest universities (founded in 1088). If you want to spend your free time learning about a particular topic, you can turn to the city’s dozens of libraries, research institutes and museums.
The Bologna city library, Biblioteca Sala Borsa, carries magazines, newspapers and books from all over the world. With its public spaces, unique architecture (underground Roman ruins are visible beneath the transparent floor), cafès, book shop and a wonderful children’s library, the Sala Borsa is a valuable resource and important must-see. The Biblioteca Italiana delle Donne has more than 30,000 volumes, including a large English-language section of books and periodicals related to women. The Robert H. Evans Library of the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Bologna Center has a good selection of foreign and Italian newspapers for browsing (note that the library is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions).