Rick doesn't cover these areas of Italy. Does anyone have a recommendation of a moderate hotel, B&B that they have used in these places. Plan 4 days in Bologna and maybe 2 in Ravenna. Using trains. We're leaving in 3 weeks so it should be low season. Thanks in advance.
Be aware that, because it is a Trade Fair centre, hotels prices in Bologna can double, treble or even more on the days when events are on. Accom can also be in short supply. The link is to the official calendar of events. If you can be flexible with your dates you may be lucky. http://www.bolognafiere.it/en/calendario/cronologico_corrente Try the Paradise hotel, it is small, incredibly friendly and halfway between the railway station and Piazza Maggiore. They also have serviced studio rooms/small apartments co-located, you take breakfast in the hotel. http://www.hotelparadisebologna.com/
I stayed at Hotel Drapperie in Bologna and was very pleased. It is in the historic center with lovely shops/markets around, and an elevator. Evening desk attendant when I went in 2010 was hit/miss with advice (depending on whether you wanted sushi in Bologna) (think he was a student). Day manager was great. Room was clean & larger than many similar hotels in Italy, beds were good, bath was great. http://www.albergodrapperie.com/chisiamo_en.html Reviews at Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g187801-d577114-Reviews-Albergo_delle_Drapperie-Bologna_Province_of_Bologna_Emilia_Romagna.html Here are several links and articles about Bologna and excursions (would love feedback if you do any of them I am heading there in April): http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/europe/italy/bologna/overview.html http://www.reidsitaly.com/destinations/emilia-romagna/bologna/bologna_cooking_schools.html http://www.italiandays.it/
. Can't wait to hear how your trip was!!
Great hotel in Ravenna is the Hotel Centrale Byron, in the middle of town. Excellent staff, good breakfast, about 60 or 70 euro single. The Hotel Bizanzio is under same ownership, slightly more expensive. In Bologna I like the Metropolitan.
The 2011 Italy book included Ravenna - can't speak to the new edition. We used Rick's suggestion of Casa Masoli B&B and really enjoyed staying there.
We stayed at the b&b Galla Placidia in Ravenna, www.gallplacidia.it. It's a very short walk from the complex of sights which includes the church of S. Vitale. The owner is very friendly and serves a nice breakfast. We stayed there about 5 years ago, so I don't remember the price, but I know it was quite reasonable.
Second for Casa Masoli. We really enjoyed our stay in this converted mansion. It is family run and each of the rooms are beautifully decorated. It was a short walk to San Vitale Basilica and Mausaleum of Galla Placidia as well as many other sights. You can check out their website as well as their reviews on tripadvisor.com.
We stayed at Hotel Genius in Bologna - convenient and near a bus stop to train station. Very nice - we upgraded our triple reservation to a beautiful big suite. NOT very expensive and we loved the little wine bar at corner Vino Veritas.
I'm not sure what your idea of "moderate" hotel is. In Bologna, I stayed at the Hotel dei Commercianti. It was more expensive than my usual price point, but I felt it was a very good value for money. It included one of the most lavish breakfast spreads I've seen anywhere. http://www.art-hotel-commercianti.it/index_en.html
Thanks to all of you that responded on hotels in Bologna and Ravenna. Didn't ever hear from Casa Masoli in Ravenna, but have booked the Hotel Central Byron for 4 night. That one looks great too. Booked the Hotel Paradise in Bologna for 4 nights. Both are good value with good reviews. Planning day trips to Parma and Ferrara. I'm excited about this Emilia-Romagna area. Any other ideas would also be welcome.