The city of Bologna, the capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, may as well be considered as a secondary tourist destination in Italy if compared to Rome, Florence and Venice. Yet, Bologna is a truly magical city emanating a unique atmosphere with its plentiful arcades, charming squares, quaint churches and indeed because there are not masses of tourists all around.
A cultural center since medieval times – the oldest existing University in the Western World was established here in 1088 – Bologna is also famous in Italy for its excellent culinary tradition: Bolognese sauce (ragù) and Bologna sausage, or Boloney (mortadella), are just two world-famous examples of its legacy. In the streets of Bologna you will find ubiquitous food shops displaying aromatic cheeses, mortadella, prized Parma hams and dozens of handmade types of pasta. Other stores sell local products of Emilia-Romagna such as grappa and Modena’s prestigious balsamic vinegar.
Bologna’s city centre is quintessentially medieval, a delightful mix of red brick, tiled roofs and balconies spreading out from the great central square of Piazza Maggiore. Just walking through these streets makes it for a wonderful experience. Of the 20 medieval towers that survive today, the Two Towers, Torre degli Asinelli and the Torre Garisenda (both leaning just like the one in Pisa) are Bologna’s most famous.
But when you are done with your walk to digest your rich Bolognese treat, we suggest you visit one of Bologna’s great museums, the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (Bologna’s National Gallery). The works here trace the region’s art history from the XIII to the XIX century. You can admire paintings of Raffaello, Carracci, Reni and other personalities connected to Bologna.
Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna
Via Belli Arti 56
Tel: 05142 09411.