Guide to the Bologna Train Station
Bologna Centrale is the main train station in the Emilia-Romagna capital city of Bologna. The station was first built in 1876, replacing a station constructed in 1859.
It’s Italy’s fifth-busiest station with regard to passenger traffic, with 160,000 people each day passing through. The station itself is located on the northern outskirts of central Bologna not far from the city’s ring road. The front of the station opens onto Piazza delle Medaglie d’Oro.
Bologna’s location in central Italy means it has long been an important train transportation hub, and Bologna Centrale was one of the original stations when the high-speed Alta Velocità (AV) train network was built in 2008. There are 27 platforms at the station, including the newer part of the station built specifically for the AV trains. Italo trains also serve Bologna.
There are some 800 trains passing through Bologna Centrale each day traveling to or from major cities all over the country. In addition, there are connections to neighboring countries, with service to and from Austria, Germany, France, and even the United Kingdom.
Most of the services at Bologna Centrale are located on the ground floor, including the Freccia Club (for anyone traveling with a Gold or Platinum CARTAFRECCIA card or an Executive or AV Salottino ticket), Sala Blu (the office of assistance for travelers with disabilities), a pharmacy, the left luggage office, an internet point, and a facility from which to rent bicycles. There are bars/cafes, fast-food restaurants, and sundries shops on the ground floor, too. Restrooms are on the central underpass.
Several bus lines stop in the piazza just outside the station, including a few that will get you to the main points in the city center within a few minutes.
Part of the station was destroyed by a terrorist bomb in 1980, in which 85 people died. That part of the structure was rebuilt, but some reminders of the attack remain in tribute to the victims. You can still see a large crack in one wall caused by the blast, and the station’s clock is frozen at the time of the bomb.