When it comes time to select the locale for your international exchange, there are many things that come into play. Of course, the universities in the area are a huge deciding factor. And it would be nice to have a “home base” that makes it easy to travel from one exciting destination to the next.
But let’s not lie to ourselves. The local nightlife scene is also something that you will more than likely give more than a few minutes of consideration. You need to know that there are places to go to relax, unwind and talk to the locals, giving you more of an insight into the area culture than any other platform.
Bologna may be one of the smaller cities offering opportunities to study abroad in Italy, making it a bit different than Rome, Florence and Pisa. However, Bologna boasts one of the largest numbers of international students throughout the entire country, meaning that it offers a variety of things for these students to do, with nightlife at the top of this list.
So, before you relocate to Bologna, we’d like to help you put together a list of go-to places where you can have a few drinks or mingle with your new classmates.
One of Bologna’s oldest disco clubs is the Kinki Club, and it’s conveniently located in the busy city center. Erasmus parties, organized primarily by the ESN, take place at this location every week. Be sure to have your ESN card so that you can join in on the festivities.
Just a short walk from Kinki Club, you’ll find yet another of Bologna’s well-known disco clubs. ESN also sets up events here in a room in the basement used specifically for these student gatherings.
From 6 to 9 p.m., there’s also a buffet known as an “aperitivo-cena,” meaning that the “apperitivo” and dinner are actually eaten together in one large meal. This is also quite convenient, as that you can have a full stomach before the real drinking and dancing kicks off later in the evening.
Situated right in the most popular student district of Bologna, the Empire English Pub offers just about everything that you might want in a traditional pub, including good bar food, drink specials and a fun atmosphere. The pub also hosts tandem and quiz nights each week, where teams of 4-5 people are challenged in the areas of math, geography and general culture. The winning team receives free beer. How cool is that?
Soda Pops is a smaller disco that is home to the Erasmusland association theme parties, but it is also beloved by the local Italian students, making it a great place to “meet the locals”! Remember that you must join the Erasmusland association to take part in the parties, and then your admission will always be free, which is a big help when you’re on a student budget.
The Cavaticcio is actually a wonderful park in the city of Bologna, but it turns into a fun-filled place to be during the months of May and June, definitely falling into the category of “Nightlife.” You can also eat your fill at the food stands, as well as sip on your favorite beer as international artists put on free concerts. You can expect massive crowds, so try to get there early!
If you’re looking for THE place in Bologna to see live music, then the Covo Club definitely deserves a visit. Welcoming in acts from all over the region and beyond, you can expect several genres of Indie music, as well as more well-known artists on tour.
If you’re hoping to find a quiet corner to have a few drinks and be able to talk over the music, this is going to be right up your alley. This is also an excellent place to go for a date with dinner and drinks, as that they serve a delicious, eclectic menu serving vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, along with other tasty items.
This could be one of the most charming spots to have a drink in the entire city! You surely owe it to yourself to go to Labàs at least once!
Làbas is much more than a place to party or drink with friends. It’s an association of people in Bologna, comprised mostly of students and workers, that decided to occupy an old soldiers' barracks. They put this building to great use, organizing events and activities for the inhabitants of the neighborhood.
You can also expect a free Italian language school offering classes, as well as plays and games for children. Portions of the building are also utilized as a sort of makeshift homeless shelter for immigrants without permits.
Each Wednesday, there is also a market selling wares from local farms, such as cheese, wine, bread and more. There’s typically a concert, and an opportunity to try the locally brewed Làbas beer and homemade pizza.
The LGBT community in Bologna is a major part of the nightlife scene in Bologna. Cassero goes beyond just being a colorful disco with tons of parties (both for gay and straight people), but it’s also an LGBT association that hopes to improve the lives of the local LGBT community, promoting sexual education and fighting for LGBT rights. You’ll need an “Arcigay” card to take part in Cassero’s events.
The Giardini Margherita, a large park popular for its wide-open green spaces, also sports a café called “Chalet.” During the summer, it even turns into a disco, offering musical artists or DJs, plus a unique setting for a night full of dancing.
Now that you can easily see that Bologna is a bustling, vibrant location for your semester or two abroad, it may be time to start looking for student housing in Bologna. When you begin your search, whether you’re hoping to find a dorm room or want to share an apartment with your new classmates, always be sure to use a trusted rental platform for your booking in Bologna or any other city.
Your adventure in Bologna awaits!