Away from the tourist traps of Rome and Milan, Bologna offers more than enough to rival any city break. Nicknamed “La Rossa” due to its red roofs and architecture, the 2000 European Capital of Culture is home to Europe’s oldest university. Excellent food and local wine have earned it a reputation as the culinary capital of Italy, so why not enjoy a weekend in Bologna?
Things to do
After a short flight to Bologna, explore the miles of covered porticos, and visit the unfinished San Petronio church and Santo Stefano. The Piazza Maggiore is the centre of activity, surrounded by palaces, the shopping hotspots of Via Farini and Via Indipendenza and daily street markets. The city has some impressive museums and the Neptune fountain should not be missed. Climb the Torre degli Asinelli tower, one of the city’s two famous landmarks in Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, or walk to the sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of San Luca for stunning views. At night and there are many bars and jazz clubs to entertain you. If you don’t want to walk everywhere then car hire in Bologna is easily arranged.
Where to stay
After all that culture you’ll need a rest and the Alloro Suite Hotel has a nearby wellness and fitness centre and comfortable rooms. Of all the hotels in Bologna, the Hotel Internazionale is perhaps the most striking, set in a historic building on Via Indipendenza. Alternatively try the Hotel Castello set in stunning scenery outside the city, where guests can enjoy sports facilities and river walks.