• On a main road, next to a park and near top attractions
  • Charming, modern hotel with historic facade
  • Tasteful rooms with minibars, air-conditioning, and kettles
  • Some units have balconies and original architectural features
  • Universal adapters are provided in rooms
  • Michelin-starred Italian restaurant in a former theater
  • Terrace bistro frequented by locals
  • Popular on-site pizzeria and bottega for pasta
  • Private dining in an old ice house
  • 3,700 square feet of meeting and event space
  • Free, albeit spotty, Wi-Fi
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  • Some rooms are a tiny 161 square feet
  • Complaints of noise reaching rooms
  • Room decor is underwhelming
  • Some toiletries are pay-for-use
  • No spa or fitness center
  • Breakfast costs extra
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Bottom Line

As its name suggests, the entrance of this upscale hotel is tucked beneath one of the famous “portici” or succession of arches that extend to Bologna’s main square a 10-minute walk away. Inside are 91 minimalist-style rooms in varying sizes -- some quite spartan, while others are graced with frescoes or patterned wallpaper. All have modern comforts such as air-conditioning, minibars, flat-screen TVs, and universal adapters, plus some have balconies. The bigger draws here, however, are the common areas that maximize the property’s lovely late-19th-century bones. Notable among them are a Michelin-starred restaurant that occupies a converted theater and a trendy terrace bistro with views of the adjacent park. I Portici also promises a pizzeria, bottega serving pasta, and ample meeting and event space. Travelers disappoint in the lack of spa and fitness facilities should consider the Hotel il Guercino instead.

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  • Internet
  • Pets Allowed

Oyster Hotel Review

I Portici Hotel


Heritage hotel with renowned dining but underwhelming rooms

Facing Via dell'Indipendenza on one side and Parco della Montagnola on another, I Portici Hotel has a great location about a 10-minute walk from the town center. Occupying a five-story palazzo built in Liberty style (Italy’s answer to Art Nouveau), the hotel's elegant stone-columned facade stands in sharp contrast to the boxy all-white lobby, which is essentially a monochromatic study in contemporary design. Most of the common areas, however, marry historic attributes and a 21st-century aesthetic. The main restaurant, for instance, pairs modern art with original frescoes; and in the airy Salone delle Feste meeting room, clear chairs are arranged beneath a ceiling that’s supported by classic columns and trimmed with heavy ornamental moldings. Unfortunately, rooms are less impressive, aside from some with frescoes, and a spa and gym are notably lacking. A Michelin-starred Italian restaurant and terrace bistro see guests and non-guests alike, giving the hotel a swish, buzzing vibe. Overall, this is a good pick for couples on vacation.

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Next to a big park, within strolling distance of Piazza Maggiore

The hotel sits at the north end of lively Via dell'Indipendenza, a main thoroughfare lined with gorgeous commercial arcades that lead directly to the city’s site-filled central square. Guests are within a 15-minute walk of most major tourist attractions, and the green Parco della Montagnola is just behind the hotel. It's a nine-minute walk to Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro and 14-minute walk to Basilica di San Petronio. Business travelers are within easy driving distance of the University District, conference centers, and office towers of the Fiere District. Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport is a 15-minute drive away. Both paid parking and Tesla-charging stations are available on-site. 

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Well-equipped, minimalist-style rooms in a range of sizes

Although they don’t hit the high bar set by many of the common areas, rooms are a tasteful mix of old and new styles. Modern Rooms have a muted, minimalist vibe that can feel bland and underwhelming, though they're enlivened by original art from the hotel collection. Art Nouveau Rooms, conversely, retain the contemporary furnishings but have painted walls or patterned wallpaper to reflect the building’s history, plus restored architectural elements, like parquet or Palladian-style floors and fresco-adorned ceilings. On the downside, while some units are quite spacious, the smallest clock in at a tiny 161 square feet. Additionally, travelers have complained of noise both in rooms facing the street and park.

Standard amenities consist of air-conditioning, tea- and coffee-making facilities, minibars, safes, desks, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and universal adapters. Simple bathrooms have bidets, small shower stalls, and a curious mix of free and chargeable toiletries. Some rooms also boast furnished terraces or balconies. Top-floor suites add higher-end finishes, extra living or work areas, and more impressive bathrooms. 

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Tempting dining options, including a Michelin-starred restaurant

Bologna is a world-class foodie destination, and I Portici’s in-house options do not disappoint. Chief among them is the eponymous Michelin-starred Italiant restaurant, which is housed in a creatively converted theater (a grand piano now takes center stage) and is helmed by Chef Emanuele Petrosino. It offers both tasting and a la carte menus. Alternatives include La Terrazza Bistrot, a less formal yet still elegant eatery with park-side seating both inside and out; Pizzeria Portici; and Bottega Portici, where hand-made pasta dishes top the lunch menu. In-room and private dining are also available. Breakfast is not included in standard rates.

Ex Ghiacciaia, a former 16th-century ice house, provides an especially memorable venue for social or business functions. In keeping with the business-friendly atmosphere, there are multiple well-equipped meeting rooms, the largest of which can accommodate up to 250 people). Other amenities include laundry and concierge services, bike rentals, and free, if at times spotty, Wi-Fi. It’s worth noting, however, that there are no spa or fitness center here.

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Best Rates


  • Airport Transportation

  • Business Center

  • Concierge

  • Internet

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.