Visiting a city for the first time with your children is always a great experience. But what to do in Bologna in rainy weather?
The rain that gently drizzles down on the Unesco porticoes in Bologna, creating an unusual concert of nature, is a fantastic opportunity to experience the city from a new perspective.
The fascinating medieval history of Bologna and its countless towers can be relived through the meticulous and extremely faithful reconstruction of the Virtual Museum Time Machine. Suitable for children aged 8 years and over, all you have to do is put on the visor to jump down from the Asinelli Tower, come across an ancient craftsman's workshop or listen to the dialogues of the ancient inhabitants of Bologna. Children, and adults with them, are sure to be impressed!
Is there anything more relaxing and interactive than reading a story together (perhaps about Bologna), in a colourful environment, sheltered from the rain? Don't miss the Sala Borsa Library, a multimedia space coming with two sections for children divided by age (0-12 years and newborn). Amongst poufs, illustrated books and small screens, relaxing is never too much fun! Mothers will also find a welcoming space for breastfeeding and using the reserved child-friendly toilets.
A stone's throw from the Sala Borsa Library, step by step, you can reach the hall of the clock mechanism of Torre dell'Orologio (formerly Torre Accursi), right in Piazza Maggiore. This is where the enchantment of wheels, bolts and pendulums moving harmoniously comes into being. Why don't you try to count the ticks: how many can you hear?
After observing all sides of the mechanism and taking a look at the historic sundial, open your umbrella and make sure you don't miss the panoramic terrace for a close-up view of the enormous hands of the clock of Palazzo d'Accursio. Here, the view over Bologna is breathtaking.
The San Luca Express, the little red and blue train that goes "choo-choo", also leaves from Piazza Maggiore. Where is it going? It travels through the historic centre and up to the Sanctuary of San Luca, passing by the longest Unesco portico in the world. How many arches can you count up to the top?
The journey then moves on to FICO, the ultimate visitor's park, where you can see how fruit and vegetables are grown, learn about farm animals and discover the inner workings of our planet on themed rides.
Be sure not to miss out on a trip to Luna Farm, the farmer's amusement park inside FICO, with many attractions including a Ferris wheel, a roller coaster and a suspended monorail: loads of fun!
If you feel like treating yourself to an afternoon of artistic stimulation with shows and stories, the perfect destination for the little ones is the Testoni Theatre. Only a few steps away from the historic centre, just check out what's on and book seats for the whole family!