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As one of the largest trade-fair centres in Europe, Bologna offers a wide range of conference facilities ranging from the massive splendour of the Nuovo Polo Congressuale, able to host 6,500 guests, down to the timeless sophistication of the Palazzo Re Enzo and the Palazzo Gnudi, family run since 1500. Bologna offers a wide selection of modern hotel chains like the Sheraton, catering for every budget in between.
Bologna's nickname is La Grassa, or the Fat One, indicating its wonderful richness of food rather than the shape of its inhabitants. Considering Bolognese famous cured pork, tortellini, cheeses, chocolates, delicious homemade ice cream and the famous ragu, Bologna's nickname comes as no surprise. Portici is the only Michelin starred restaurant in the city and offers exquisite traditional Bolognese food with a modern twist.
Shopping opportunities rival those of Milan or Rome, and are all in close proximity to the main Bologna hotels. Visit the four main shopping streets, Via Dell'Indipendenza, Via Ugo Bassi, Via Rizzoli and Via D'Azeglio, to see what Italian designers have to offer. Foodies should head for the Mercato di Mezzo, which hosts Bologna's best gourmet shops. Their quality and selection is unmatched, but with often a pricetag to match
Renaissance architecture, medieval city walls, Basilica di San Petronio or the fifth largest church in the world, 24 miles of ancient porticoes, the oldest University in Europe, a museum of Formula 1 racing, and amazing art galleries provide a huge range of attractions for all visitors to Bologna.
Bologna is home to a major football team and a major basketball team. While a founder member of the Serie A championship, the Bologna football team has not won the league title for 50 years. Bologna regularly hosts Juventus, AC Milan, and Roma matches. The other love of Bolognese sport fans is basketball and Virtus is one of the city's major teams and one of the biggest in Europe.