Everyone might go dancing more often if there were fewer clubs that kept you trapped in a dark, sweaty basement, pressed up against complete strangers, with no discernible fresh air or glimpse of the starry night sky. And nothing is worse than clubbing in the summertime if you make the mistake of visiting a bar without the limited relief of air-conditioning. It’s no wonder that so many clubs and bars seem solely for the young and those seemingly impervious to sweat and dehydration.
Luckily, there is relief in sight for dance aficionados of all ages during Bologna’s most temperate seasons. In the summer months, Bologna opens many of its parks on the northern border of the city as outdoor dancing and drinking venues, including the open-air club Made in Bo in the Parco Nord neighborhood, a short bus ride from the city center. Illuminated by floodlights on a rolling hillside, Made in Bo has multiple bars and three outdoor dance floors, and is among the best of Bologna’s summer clubs. The Parco Nord area also hosts a variety of festivals throughout the warm months, with live music, cabaret performances, and rock concerts, including the alternative Flippaut Rock Festival in June, and FestUnità and MTV Day in September, which hosts a variety of Italian acts. Once a well-known punk festival, the Independent Days Festival line-up for Fall 2010 includes Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Blink-182 and Sum 41 among others. Many of the everyday dance events Made in Bo are free, but others, such as the festivals, can cost as much as 30 Euros or more – check the local tourist office in Piazza Maggiore or others located throughout the city center for more information and program details. For Made in Bo and other nearby clubs, take bus #25 to Via del Fonditore in Parco Nord, and bring cab money for the ride home as the bus only goes one-way.
Other outdoor clubs include Corte Degli Aranci on Via Dozza, set in a beautiful old villa with an accompanying courtyard on the outskirts of town, and Cassero on Via Don Minzoni, one of Bologna’s most popular LGBT spots. Cassero is beautifully situated in one of the city’s medieval gates, and during the warm months, hosts an open-air dance floor on its roof garden.
Photo taken from flickr Creative Commons, by Andrea Sartorati.