Corona D’Oro exemplifies the Medieval spin on classic Italian style that characterizes Bologna, while providing hospitality that inspires relaxation.
Wandering the fascinating streets of Bologna’s peculiar and offbeat personality was a detour we’ll never regret. I am still completley surprised more people aren’t including Bologna on their Italian bucket list! So on our way from Venice to Florence, we hit the breaks in Bologna for a short while after hearing it was an amazing little city. Bologna has even been rumored to rival Rome and Florence with its architecture, food, and unordinary culture…and I tend to agree.
Located between Venice and Florence, Bologna is home to one of the oldest universities in the world but feels surprisingly untouched by tourists. The city isn’t crowded by the usual bustle of organized tours, and overzealous tourists. Instead there might be a college student or two taking laid back travelers on a walking food tour, or groups of friends having 3 hour lunches well into aperitivo. For us, Bologna has everything we love about Italy (food and wine), and the casual atmospheres we love! Perfect for those who want to piece of Italy, minus that crowds.
We made our way to our hotel, Corona D’Oro, through crowds of students and young professionals, mingling contentedly while enjoying aperitivo amongst the towers dotting the entire city. Corona D’Oro is located in the center of town, beside the famous “Two Towers,” and is a walking distance from restaurants and cafes galore. We ended up enjoying our stay in Bologna so much that we changed our plans and stayed an extra week!
Classic Italian Elegance
The building that is now Corona D’Oro Hotel dates back to the 14th century, where it was originally a palace belonging to the Azzo Guidi family. Frescoed paneled ceilings and oil canvas painting are stills sprinkled throughout the property, remnants of the royal home it once was. The medieval feel of Corona D’Oro has been preserved with class, but it combines with modern comfort and service seamlessly. The design is classic Italian, with a bit of French elegance, all inviting us to take our coats off and stay a while.
When we entered the hotel, a smiling front desk team greeted us and offered thoughtful recommendations to help us get acquainted with the city. Before we even made it to our room, our stay felt special, as though we were staying in someone’s home instead of a hotel—and a beautiful home, at that. Natural light flooded the space and detailed sculptures were hidden throughout the design. Most of the common area is decorated in shades of beige and white, but flashes of color are placed tactfully, like the gorgeous multicolored ceramics and the glass chandeliers lined with teal. The antique gloss of the hotel is consuming, and truly enriched the experience.
Each night, the hotel serves nightly aperitivo, our favorite Italian tradition, which is basically the ritual of a pre-dinner drink and sometimes accompanying snacks. At Corona D’Oro, guests receive full access to an elegant mini-buffet of light snacks when they buy a drink. We munched happily on finger sandwiches, olives, crackers, and cheese.
Breakfast at the hotel is an American-style buffet with your choice of fruit, granola, toast, charcuterie, and cheeses. We highly recommend the cheese and meats, plus a little melon to complement your prosciutto!
Corona D’Oro offers all of the comforts and amenities you could think of during your stay in Bologna. The hotel has great WiFi, room service offering traditional Bolognese dishes, free bicycle rentals for optimum exploring, and a hospitable staff that makes everything feel extra enjoyable.
Simple Comfort, Amazing Views
Corona D’Oro has only 40 rooms, so space can be limited during peak seasons. It’s a good idea to book your room early. During our stay, we were in a “Double Room,” which was a bit small, but comfortable for a few nights. We had a small balcony with a little seating area and if we looked up, we saw the twin towers overhead.
The décor in our room was classy, with bright colors and sharp white paneling that made for a crisp look. The bathroom carried on the simple style of the room, which had every comfort and amenity we could have asked for. Perhaps the simple style of the hotel room was purposed to enhance the views of medieval Bologna, which unfolded outside the window. Looking back, I can help but smile and the simplicity of it all…the best things are often the most simple ;)
Exploring Busy Bologna
Just around the corner from Corona D’Oro are the Two Twin Towers, the landmark structures of Bologna. If you’re feeling curious, you can actually climb up to the top of one of the towers, but be warned, the stairs are steep, narrow, and there aren’t many railings. Two minutes walking distance from the hotel, you’ll find yourself in the center of Via Clavature, a picturesque street in the heart of Bologna, lined with aperitivo spots, cafes, restaurants, and shops.
Bologna is possibly the best city in Italy to indulge in aperitivo—it’s a tradition you’ll want to take home with you. We also enjoyed searching the city for the most delicious pasta Bolognese! Other notable pastimes include Piazza Maggiore and Via dell’Indipendenza, a shopping street full of designer boutiques and popular stores like Zara and H&M.
What started as a detour in Bologna, ended up being a memorable destination that we would return to happily. Corona D’Oro is the perfect home base after adventuring through the many different facets of this medieval-style Italian city.
For more information about Corona D'Oro, visit their website: