Few contemporary places are such an intriguing visual reminder of Italy’s love for art, such as its swinger clubs. Ok, maybe “art” would be a bit of an overstatement, but it’s still an homage of sorts.
But, after about 20 minutes’ drive through the countryside and an occasional village north of Bologna, this was the impression we had as we were entering the parking premises of Bolero Palace Club & Spa. We were warmly welcomed by the original-size Aphrodite of Milos guarded by two obelisk-like pillars right at the entrance. Rejoice!
The style of the interior is, unsurprisingly, very much in tune with the exterior, only far more elaborate and varied. The lady at the reception was very kind to answer all our questions and even gave us a tour of the club.
If you are coming to a club for the first time, this or any other, be sure to ask for a tour!
Depending on the time of the day, you will either go for the spa or for the disco, which are two of the three largest areas of the club. The third part is the privé – the playrooms, which are available anytime. Make sure to check on their website which part of the club is open when or by calling, as this can vary depending on the day of the week or time of the year.
Keep in mind that on Saturdays the club closes between 20.30 and 22.00. This may sound strange but some clubs practice this as a way to divide the daytime programme with the evening one. For Bolero, Saturday evening disco is the busiest time of the week and they prefer to free the area in order to prepare.
If you want to both relax in the spa in the afternoon and get sweaty on the dancefloor in the evening on a Saturday night, you may want to book a dinner elsewhere for the break in between. If you are up to a late-evening bite, Bolero also offers a buffet at 22h.
As any other club in Italy (and in some other countries), entrance is much cheaper for couples than single men. And since we are talking about Italy here, don’t forget to add the price of club membership on top of the entrance price.
While the price for single men is at the same range with other Italian clubs, for couples, Bolero is relatively inexpensive for couples.
Both are, actually, worth it. Although not particularly big, we really liked the spa. It has a spacious sauna, a Turkish bath and a couple of pools. The large pool even has a cave-like part with wonderful ceiling lights which make the spa experience even more cosy and relaxing.
Disco, on the other hand, is quite an area, maybe even four times as large as the wellness area and it is definitely the centrepiece of the club. It has all the usual amenities – a large bar, sofas, DJ stand, podium and a stage even (although, curiously, no dance poles). It features curious painted artwork on the walls, notably for the style by the same artist and in bright colours, which somehow stands out from the rest of the interior. The paintings’ themes? These you may as well guess.
At the time of our visit – which was a Saturday night – we estimated between 100 and 150 people, mostly couples and mostly to themselves. Even with that number, the disco did seem a little bit on the side of empty. Although, we were told, the Saturday before the club celebrated its birthday with many more people attending.
Let’s check the playrooms out! We went up the stairs and found ourselves at the gates of – a maze. We were hardly surprised, yet, we must compliment the club for both the quality of it and the size. We counted more than 30 rooms in total! Some were in the outer area, open for single men as well, and the remaining in the inner area, reserved for couples only. They were of varying sizes and styles and all in excellent condition.
Bolero Palace has by far the record number of playrooms we’ve seen in a swinger club!
The light and the music were just right for the playful mood to crawl in. As the evening went by, the corridors of the maze got busier with people walking up and down, checking out what was going on. In some rooms and even corners of the corridor, a lot was going on in fact. However, most of the time and for most of the couples (and even single males), the main “game” was just watching.
Well, whatever makes them happy. We had fun walking around, sipping our drinks, chatting with some people, and of course – dancing. We like to seize every opportunity for a little bit more freedom on a dancefloor, which is something we can’t really afford in a regular disco club.
A couple of minus points: although the rooms looked clean and there were plenty of clean and nicely folded sheets around, there were no condoms and no hand sanitizer in the playrooms. Attending to these things is something the club could do for the safety of its visitors.
What more was there? The club also has several BDSM rooms, located right under the dance podium of the disco (why there? your guess is as good as ours), although these were clearly in need of some renovation.
If you go to the club with the intention to play in the dungeon, you may want to check whether they’ve done some “retouching.”
Additionally, there is a massage room and, of course, a locker room and showers. The club also has a parking lot outside, although its capacity is probably limited on a busy day. A tip: consider coming by car as alternatives are a bus or a taxi ride from Bologna.
Bolero Palace has been around for many years and is a well-known place among the local swingers. It has been recently renovated and some of the work done is, frankly, impressive, in comparison with competitor clubs in Italy.
We would return, although finding some friends to go there with will be something we will seriously consider next time.
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30-something couple from Europe happy to share their travel & play experiences