Have you ever imagined Bologna and Modena as the ideal destinations for an experience that involves the entire family?
That’s what we’ve organized for you: an itinerary that features the sites and activities that will most appeal to children—two days to experience together, playing, with cultural experiences, and in perfect relaxation.
We’ll start off from Bologna—from Piazza Maggiore to be exact—where the San Luca Express miniature train, with its signature blue and red wheels, waits for us. And where to from there?
The Miniature Train leaves Bologna’s old town and climbs to the top of one of Bologna’s most famous hills, finally coming to a stop at the iconic Sanctuary of San Luca.
Along the way, surprises of all kinds await, including the longest portico in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Count the arches along the portico. How many before we reach the top?
Once we’re back in Piazza Maggiore, we’ll take one step at a time on our way to the room that houses the mechanism of the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) in Palazzo d’Accursio.
The history of this clock starts right here, in a symphony of ticks, tocks, hands, gears, and pendulums. A collection of strange anecdotes comes along with it.
After taking in the fascinating workings of the Palazzo d’Accursio clock and the antique sundial that overlooks the piazza, we head toward the first of the two terrace viewpoints in the tower.
From there, visitors can admire the enormous hands of the clock up close. Then, climbing further up a narrow spiral staircase, we reach the second, larger terrace of the Torre dell’ Orologio.
From here, the view of the towers of Bologna is priceless.
In the afternoon, we’ll take an enjoyable and engaging tour of the medieval history of Bologna through the augmented reality of the Virtual Time Machine Museum.
This fascinating experience is designed for children from eight years of age and up but is guaranteed to please older friends, adults, and the whole family.
Put your headset on and take flight across the hundreds of medieval towers that once rose into the sky here, stop at an ancient artisan’s workshop, or eavesdrop on conversations among Bologna’s long-ago residents as we discover the customs and traditions of a bygone era.
The second day of our tour starts in the heart of Modena, a voyage of discovery to the Romanesque-style Modena Cathedral, the “Duomo.” Look closely at its façade and you’ll notice strange and monstrous creatures of all kinds sculpted into the doorposts. On the northern flank is a bas-relief that recounts an episode from the life of King Arthur.
At the end of this plunge into history and architecture, enter the Ghirlandina Tower itself. Inside, you’ll discover the mysterious “stolen bucket” of Italian literary legend and climb the tower’s 200 steps to admire a splendid 360° panorama of the city.
Leave the past behind for a while and prepare yourself to visit the world of illustrated and collectible trading cards at the famous Museo della Figurina.
This exceptional museum, which began with Giuseppe Panini’s donation of his private collection, has the power to fascinate both adults and children. In the end, the enduring charm of illustrated trading cards can captivate anyone.
In addition to trading cards, the museum conserves invaluable vintage prints, signets, calendars, and more.
As you pass through the “wonderland tunnel,” you’ll enter the exhibition hall where some 500,000 examples of collectible cards are on display.
Not far from the Museo della Figurina stands a shrine for motor enthusiasts: the Enzo Ferrari Museum.
Inside the futuristic architecture of the 2,500 m2 pavilion, in addition to the many cars on display, visitors can enjoy a show that tells the magical story of Enzo Ferrari’s 90 years of life.
For a fee, take a souvenir photo aboard a racing Ferrari or try out the simulator to experience the thrill of driving a single-seater.
The day comes to a close only a few kilometers from the city at the Terramara di Montale Open-Air Archaeological Park and Museum. The experience is a chance to dive into the past as you tour the authentic reconstruction of a prehistoric village just as it would have appeared 3,500 years ago.
But that’s not all: activities and demonstrations offer opportunities for audience participation in the production and firing of vases, the manufacture of weapons and tools in bronze, weaving with looms, and keeping the village’s fires lit.