Bologna Centrale

Bologna, (Italy)

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About the station

This guide to using Bologna Centrale can help make sense of navigating each part of this large, multi-faceted, station to find your way to and from the trains.
We also talk you through how to transfer to the city centre and show you why Bologna makes a great base for a holiday based around day trips by train.

An Introduction to Bologna Centrale Station:

What isn't immediately obvious when using this station for the first time, is that Bologna Centrale is in effect four stations in one.
This can be a touch confusing, particularly if you're new to taking the train in Italy - hence the weight of text below!

Though the access to/from the trains is actually easier than at other main stations in Italy - once you have worked out in which direction you need to head.

The announcements and the signage at the station are both multi-lingual, but two translations that will help make sense of our notes are: 
Binari = platforms/tracks (plural)
Binario = platform/track (singular)

5 Things Worth Knowing About Bologna Centrale:

1: The four distinct areas of Bologna Centrale station are:
(i) The main station which comprises platforms/binari 4 -11, this is located beside the main booking hall.
(ii) The subterranean high speed AV station - platforms/binari 16 -19.
(iii) The Ovest/West hall - the location of platforms/binari 1 Ovest - 6 Ovest.
And this Ovest concourse also has access to platforms/binari 4 -11 and the AV station.
(iv) The Est station - the location of platforms/binari 1 Est - 4 Est.

2: What can be particularly confusing at Bologna Centrale, is how the platforms/tracks/binari are numbered.
For example, if you see ‘4’ on the departure boards - then this platform/binario is in the main station.

But ‘4 Ovest’ and ‘4 Est’ are different platforms/tracks/binari - which are located in their respective parts of the station.
(There are no platforms/binari numbered 12 – 15).

3: Bologna Centrale is a key station on the Italian railway network.
From the north it's where the main line from Milan and Turin meets the main railway routes heading south from Venice and Verona.
To the south it's where the routes from these cities to Florence and Rome, splits with the railway line which heads down the Adriatic Coast to Bari and Lecce.

4: Always check the electronic departure indicators to confirm the platform/binari number that your train will be departing from.

5: Different train services TEND to use the respective parts of the station.

Trains services which use the 'main' station:

As a general rule* the train services that depart from/arrive at the main station include:

(1) all of the Intercity, ICN and Frecciabianca trains from and to Bologna
(2) the EC train to Muenchen/Munchen/Munich
(3) the RV trains to Ancona, Piacenza and Venezia
(4) the R trains towards Ferrara, Ravenna and Rimini

Train departures from the AV station:

(i) all AV trains to Bolzano, Brescia, Padova Torino, Verona and Venezia
(ii) 99% of the AV trains to Milano and Torino
(iii) 99% of the AV trains to Firenze, Roma, Napoli and Salerno.

Note that a very small number of AV trains DO depart from the main station.

Departures from the Ovest station:
(i) the RV trains to Milano, Brennero and Bolzano
(ii) R trains towards Modena, Verona and Porretta Terme

Departures from the EST station:

The train services that depart from/arrive at the EST station include the R trains to Prato


1st Class Lounge
Bus Station
Car Hire
Information Desk
Left Luggage
Step Free
Taxi Rank
Terminus Station

Useful links

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Departing By Train from Bologna Centrale

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Arriving By Train at Bologna Centrale

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Accessing The City Centre

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Day Trips from Bologna By Train

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Convenient Hotels/Hostels by Bologna Centrale

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City Guides

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Our General Guide to Using Train Stations in Italy

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