Study in Bologna, Italy
Study in Bologna, ItalyModern, historic, and ever-expanding, Bologna is at the epicenter of much of northern Italy's culture, cuisine, commerce, and politics. Along with nearby Modena, Bologna forms the urban heart of the Emilia-Romagna region, and the 2 cities are constantly growing outward, taking up more and more of the open countryside. While Bologna is famous among Italians, who know it as a beacon of historic architecture, fine dining, and passionate political activism, tourists are seldom seen here–the average foreigner skips right over Bologna en route to Florence, Pisa, Venice, the Alps, and the various other high-profile tourist destinations in northern Italy. As a result, it retains an air of unadulterated authenticity, and it is one of the few major cities in Italy where tourist traps and gaudy souvenir shops are almost entirely absent.
Bologna, diverse and multilayered, has 2 things to recommend it above all other major Italian metropolises: food and education. Italy in general is renowned as a gastronomic paradise, and Bologna is widely considered the food capital of the entire country. Epicureans of all varieties can find themselves overwhelmed by the sumptuous feasts that Bologna could put forward, and the combination of hereditary culinary tradition, fresh local ingredients, and the singular creativity of the city's many chefs is enough to delight even the most jaded cynic. All this world-class food is only one expression of Bologna's deep-seated commitment to leisure, pleasure, and luxury. Residents are famous for the quality of life that they enjoy, and the city of Bologna was recently granted the title of Italy's number 1 most livable city.
Despite this hedonistic reputation, however, Bologna is also a place of genuine substance. It has produced some of Italy's most notable painters, musicians, and scientists, and has been an active center of intellectual production for almost 1000 years. Much of the city's scholarly and creative output over the years has been associated with its single most venerable institution: the University of Bologna. Founded in 1088 A.D., the University of Bologna is the oldest university in Europe, and was the model on which every medieval university on the continent was based. Over the 9 centuries of its operation, it has been the academic heart of Italy, and has hosted no less eminent figures than Dante Alighieri, Nicolaus Copernicus, Albrecht Dürer, and Umberto Eco. Alumni and professors of this ancient center of learning constitute a veritable A-list of European scientists, artists and philosophers. Today, the university is a massive agglomeration of specialized schools, colleges, and institutes, collectively serving roughly 100,000 graduate, undergraduate, and nondegree students.