Parma or Ferrara as a Day Trip from Bologna

Within 3 weeks, I will spend three and a half days in Bologna. My idea is to spend one day and a half exploring Bologna and make a day-trip to Ravenna. My doubt is what to do in the remaining day: a day-trip to Parma, a day-trip to Ferrara or stay an extra day in Bologna to explore it better? Thanks, Tony

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
2826 posts

"a day-trip to Parma, a day-trip to Ferrara or stay an extra day in Bologna to explore it better?" All of these are good choices. But you don't have to decide now. Since these trips are on regional trains, there are no advance reservations necessary or possible. You can just see what you feel like doing once you get there. Personally, I loved Ferrara and Parma (Ferrara a bit more, but both are nice). Ravenna is a great day trip. I didn't like Bologna. But those are just my opinions.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2457 posts

I love Bologna but I think you can enjoy it in a day and a half, especially if you'll come back in the evenings. Ravenna is wonderful, I never can pass it up. Of Parma and Ferrara, I prefer Ferrara.

Posted by Antonio
Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil
3 posts

Harold and Zoe, thanks for your anwers, they were helpful.

Posted by Alyson
Chicago, IL, USA
410 posts

I haven't been to Parma, but Ferrara was wonderful. I highly recommend the frescos at Palazzo Schifanoia.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3314 posts

Do all of them. In Bologna you just need half a day and an evening. Once you've seen Piazza Maggiore, San Petronio and the 2 towers, you are done. I'll also tell you something I learned from my cousins from Bologna. If you go in Piazza del Nettuno, next to Piazza Maggiore, look for the black Pietra della Vergogna (stone of shame). From that precise point look at the statue of Neptune, you will discover something interesting. It appears that Giambologna, the sculptor, wanted to make the Neptune's genitals bigger. The church however prohibited him from doing so, but Giambologna didn't give up, so the mischievous sculptor designed the statue in such a way to create an optical illusion. If you look at the statue from that precise point, you'll see what I mean.