Ready to leave Bologna for home or off to another adventure elsewhere with slightly bigger bellies? Or if you're just being super prepared… this is our guide to returning your Italy car hire to Bologna Airport.
Bologna Airport is a short 20 minute drive from the centre of Bologna. Access to the airport is via the A14. Other motorways that are within easy reach are the A1 (from Rome and Florence in the south and Milan in the north) and A13 (from Padua/Venice). On either of those motorways, you'll need to exit onto the A14 close to Bologna.
A14 to Bologna Airport
Going from Bologna, follow the signs to aeroporto - you should be driving on the right hand side lane for easy exit to the airport.
Turn here for parking area
Keep following the sign to the aeroporto. After taking the second exit at the roundabout, you should see this sign below telling you to keep going for the parking area and passengers terminal.
If you've collected a Bologna Airport car hire or read our post on collecting your car hire from Bologna Airport, you'll already be familiar with how it's all set up. The majority of Bologna Airport car hires including: Advantage, Maggiore, Auto Europa (Sicily by Car, Dollar and Thrifty), Hertz, Avis, Sixt and Autovia are parked in the P2 car park whereas Goldcar car hire and Locauto car hire are parked in the P3 car park
P3 car park for Goldcar and Locauto car hire
turn right for Goldcar and Locauto
If you have a car hire from either Goldcar of Locauto, look out for the P sign with their logos on it (it's the bottom sign on the left - you'll notice the illuminous yellow colour of Goldcar).
Goldcar and Locauto car park
The turnoff for this car park is first. Once you're on this road, you'll see the car park is on your left. It's basically the first left straight after the car park - not the point with the big No Entry signs either side… that'll be the exit! It's just beside it to the right.
The car hire offices are in the main terminal. However, if you're flying with Ryanair and either need to check in luggage or do not have an EU passport so need to have your visa checked, you will need to first go to the east terminal. Which, handy for you, is just a few minutes walk away from the P3 and Goldcar and Locauto car park.
Follow me - you may need the east terminal!
Bologna Airport has done their best to make it easy for passengers to get from the main terminal to the east terminal - signage is yellow and branded with 'Follow Me'. The walk between both terminals is about 10 minutes. They do also offer a passenger train called the BLQ Express (a bit like those you get at theme parks that can take you from ride to ride) to take you from one to the other.
Terminal Est (or east terminal)
From this car park though, you won't need it to get to the east terminal. If you're facing away from the car park (and facing the Cargo terminal), you'll need to walk to your right and then left to the east terminal.
Once you're done checking in, just wait outside for a pick up by the bright yellow train to take you to the main terminal so you can actually catch your flight. You could also walk by following the signs and if the walk was attractive at all, it might be worth it but it isn't. And the train's a little bit of fun. The train stops outside the departures level of the airport. You'll need to go down one level for the car hire desks to return the keys.
Path to main terminal
If you don't need to go the east terminal, you can either walk up there as above and take the train to the main terminal or walk the 8 or so minutes to it. To walk to it, you should have turned left from the car park - so you have the car park on your left and a fence to your right like in the picture here.
Bologna Airport - la rossa!
Keep following the path. The airport seems to have little car parking areas all over. You'll eventually get to the main terminal - you can't miss it, it's red (rather like the city itself hence the nickname 'la rossa'). You'll also find yourself on the arrivals level of the terminal, which is where the car hire offices are. so you just need to take steps or the lift up to departures. Read our post on departing from Bologna Airport for more detail on eating, shopping and arm… departures!
P2 car park for Advantage, Maggiore, Auto Europa (Sicily by Car, Dollar and Thrifty), Hertz, Avis, Sixt and Autovia car hire
Round the roundabout
Drive past the sign telling you to go right for Goldcar and Locauto, you'll soon see the above sign. Follow it to the last exit for the P3 and Autonoleggi (car rental) car park.
Car hire car park's here!
As you drive around the roundabout, you'll see the car park up ahead as well as a big sign telling you that's the turn off you need. You'll also notice that Avis and Europcar have car hires parked on street level just in front of the car park. They operate offices here too so you can check with them about where you need to park your car. The majority of the car hires here are parked on the -1 level so you just need to follow the signs and take the ramp down to the level below.
Once you're done, head to the lift to get back to street level. There are screens just outside the left so you can check your flight and see which check-in desk you need.
To the main terminal & car hire offices
Once you've done that or if you don't need to, follow the signs to the air terminal (which is the main terminal) and car hire offices to return the keys. It's pretty much straight ahead and across the road to the main terminal.
Flying with Ryanair? You might need to go to the east terminal first!
Flying with Ryanair?
In case you didn't read our bit for Goldcar and Locauto car hire above, if you're flying with Ryanair and either need to check in luggage or do not have an EU passport, you will need to go to the east terminal before heading up to departures.
Follow me all over again
If you do, don't worry, take a few steps back and you'll see the yellow 'Follow me' signs on how to get there - your options are to either walk the 10 minutes following the signs or head upstairs and out of the building where you'll find the stop for the train. If you're taking the train (it'll be more pleasant!) you'll see the car hire offices on your left as soon as you enter the building so you may as well drop the keys off before heading upstairs or to the lift to go up one level.
chugging away to the east terminal
Once you've done what you need to do at the east terminal, just wait outside again for the train back. It'll take you to the departures level of the airport.
Don't need the east terminal?
Bologna Airport car hire
Obviously, if you don't need the east terminal, just head on into the main terminal and up to departures (after returning the car keys). Got some time to spare? See our post on departing from Bologna Airport to find out what options you've got for eating and shopping.