Lesser known than the likes of Rome and Venice, Bologna is a great Italian gem in the region of Emilia-Romagna. Its nicknames of La Dotta, La Grassa and La Rossa which translates in to ‘the learned one’, the ‘fat one’ and the ‘red one’ gives an insight into the wonders that the city has in store for its visitors.
Bologna has an extensive historic core bursting with squares, narrow streets and markets waiting to be explored, many of which are connected by porticoes, Bologna’s iconic arcades adding even more character to this charming city. Another of its appeals is the array of notable churches, so discover the incredible painting inside the Cattedrale Matropolitana di San Pietro or visit the Basilica di Santo Stefano, also known as the Seven Churches which is another favourite with tourists.
Be sure to head to the cultural centre and heart of the city, the splendid Piazza Maggiore which is one of Italy’s largest and oldest squares, it is bursting with history and fantastic architecture and is especially beautiful as the sunsets and the square becomes lit at night. Along with the Basilica of San Petronio, the City Hall and the highly impressive Neptune Fountain built in 16th century to symbolise the power of the Pope nearby, there are lots of restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy these great views from. Being a vibrant student city, Bologna also guarantees to be a fun night out with a great selection of bars, nightclubs and live concerts to suit every taste.
With Florence lying just one hour south of the city, it is a perfect day trip from the city or even as a great alternative city break. The city is known for its beauty, world class art offering and fabulous squares including the Piazzale Michangelo which gives amazing panoramic views over the city. The food and wine in Florence will again not disappoint, giving a fabulous taste of the superb flavours of Tuscany.