Labor Day is celebrated on May 1, and in all cities there are many events and initiatives; Bologna is no different.
Are you an off-campus student and staying in town for May 1? Quiet Bologna is also at its best on this occasion, with events, markets and museums open and free.
- 1 May 1 in Bologna: ideas and suggestions for the day
May 1 in Bologna: ideas and suggestions for the day
May 1 Concert
Among the many events and celebrations held in Bologna, the most unmissable for students (but also former students) is definitely the concert in Piazza Maggiore. Numerous groups and singers took turns on stage in the 2016 edition, including Sara Loreni, Osteria del Mandolino, Li Bassi, Mulini a Vento, Dimartino, Dardust, the Ladri di Carrozzelle and Bandabardò, who also often appear at major university festivals.
This year, however, no news has yet been received about the 2017 edition, so please read on for some viable alternatives.
Special initiatives in Bologna on May Day
If you are a fan of street art or simply want to spend a truly unusual May Day, participate in the special project Guerrilla Girls scheduled during CHEAP, Street Poster Art Festival now in its 5th edition. Participation is open, meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. in St. Joseph Square to collectively carry out poster sticking together with The Guerrilla Girls, artists and activists who wear gorilla masks and use outrageous facts, irony and visuals to denounce cultural and gender bias.
May Day at Giardini Margherita
Craft beer, good food and some relaxation in the green. If you are enticed by this trifecta the option for you is May Day at Margaret Gardens.
The Giardini Margherita, Bologna’s main public park and a longtime gathering place for college students and others, will be the protagonists on May 1 of the final day of the Garden Beer event. This is a beer festival, held outdoors, where many craft beers are promoted. The beer tasting is then joined by various stands dedicated to street food, to enjoy typical street dishes from Bologna and throughout the region.
Museums open May 1
Uncertain weather and no barbecue in sight? You can consider the museum tour option.
Not a lot of museums are open in Bologna on Labor Day, but here are some interesting alternatives: with hours from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., it will be possible to visit MAMbo, Museo Morandi and Museo per la Memoria di Ustica.
Also open are Palazzo Pepoli, Palazzo Fava and Palazzo Albergati where the exhibition on Joan Mirò “Miro. Dream and Color.”
There is a fee for admission to these museums, but bring your university ID with you: in most of these museums, university students are entitled tofree admission or reductions.
More Free Open Museums
With free admission and open on May 1, the Santo Stefano Museum (c/o Santo Stefano Church, Via S. Stefano, 24) and some of the museums of the University of Bologna such as the MEUS – European Museum of Students (open from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m.) and the Specola Museum (open with guided tours, mandatory and by reservation for up to 15 people at a time, from 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.)
May 1 markets
Are you a fan of yard sales, whatever they are? Here are two alternatives: the Decomela Art, a craft market on St. Joseph Street (9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.) and the Sant’Agata in Bloom flower and ornamental plant show market where there will also be stalls with crescentine, piadine and cured meats.
Supermarkets open in Bologna on May Day
If you have decided to party at home by gathering other students who have stayed in town, make sure you have the necessary supplies: Conad, Esselunga and Coop will observe traditional closure for the Feast Day; Pam, on the other hand, guarantees that only the larger outlets will be open. A comprehensive service is offered by Carrefour, with supermarkets on Castiglione Street and Don Luigi Sturzo Street open 24 hours a day. In any case, you’d better do your grocery shopping in the days before, so that you don’t risk fasting!
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