About Chris O
Lives in London
Since Aug. 2007
Hi. I’m Chris, an American freelance creative living in London. I keep busy working as a blogger, photojournalist, community manager, consultant, curator and more. The opportunities and challenges keep getting bigger, better and more meaningful for me every year! I’m having so much fun. Favorite destinations are many and my list of must-see places to visit seems to get longer the more I travel! I’m a huge fan of Lisbon, Istanbul and Queenstown – to name but a few preferred repeat locations. I also love heading back to the States every chance I find and cannot get enough of the Deep South – Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee and the Carolinas – and Hawaii holds a particularly special place in my heart as well. And even though I’ve been based in London for years, it and the whole of Britain still yield myriad wonders for me.
Historic Sites, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Gift & Speciality Shops
Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Theatres
Gift & Speciality Shops
Flea & Street Markets
Other Food & Drink
This expansive piazza in the heart of the city attracts any and all in Bologna—sun worshipers, students engrossed in their studies, history buffs, architecture enthusiasts admiring the surrounding buildings, and anyone else attempting to cross Bologna on foot. Piazza Maggiore is an excellent location for families to regroup or simply spread some quality time together.
Situated within the ancient medieval market quarter, bakery and pastificio Paolo Atti & Figli is the ideal setting for sampling several Bolognese specialties, including tortellini, zuppa imperiale and torta di riso—all freshly made onsite. This a great place for foodies, as well as for children to discover how different pastas and baked goods are made.
Drogheria Gilberto might just be the prettiest little cafe/sweet store/wine shop and bar that you’re ever likely to step into. Be warned though: There are lots of elegantly wrapped sweets inside, and chocolates are cunningly displayed at child’s-eye view.
Whether you’re fluent in Italian or not, a visit to Bologna’s 'multimedia and general information' library is a treat for the whole family. Housed within the historic Accursio Palace, overlooking Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the city, Biblioteca Salaborsa offers visitors of all ages a wealth of media, activities and events to enjoy amid its lavish interiors. Plus, there is a particular focus on engaging activities for children.
Bologna's landmark 'Due Torri' offers an enjoyable, historic and family-friendly climb, plus a commanding view over the city and countryside.
Located inside the Archiginnasio of Bologna (the University of Bologna's main building and one of the city’s most important architectural marvels), Teatro Anatomico was a 17th-century operating theater—open to the public for lessons in anatomy using actual corpses! The room has been restored impeccably to its original conditions, and today visitors can see where these gruesome studies once took place.
Although it's not the only Eataly in the world, Bologna's is the first. Stocking a range of items beyond what many foreigners and traditionalists might think typical Italians are supposed to eat, this modern and multi-storey shop right off the Piazza Maggiore offers the chance to explore the contemporary tastes of the average Bolognese local, young and old.
One of Bologna's two biggest covered food markets, Mercato delle Erbe is home to around 40 specialist food shops and 70-plus fruit and veg stands. You're bound to find something here to satisfy every taste and age bracket.
Just off the Piazza Maggiore is Mercato di Mezzo, an open-air food market dating back to the Middle Ages. Although some may find the prepared dishes a little pricey here, there's no arguing that the fresh fish, fruit, seasonal produce and local specialties are all beautifully presented with authentic Italian flair.
Located on the especially attractive Piazza Cavour, close to some of the city’s best upmarket shopping, Cremeria Funivia is an excellent yet inexpensive spot to indulge the whole family—with gelato! Top flavors? You’ll find Italian classics such as stracciatella, cassata, and marron glace here, alongside fantastic house specialties like mascarpone with melted chocolate, pine nut cream with toasted pine nuts, and the superb nocciola (hazelnut).
La Sorbetteria Castiglione is another famed gelato shop that’s on the list of close contenders for the best ice cream in the whole of Italy. For a real eye opener to just how wonderful La Sorbetteria’s treats can be, try the pistachio ice cream!