A one-hour train from Milan.
Bologna is one of Italy’s most underrated cities, so there’s no better time to give it a go than when you’ve just about had enough of Milan. Though it gets overshadowed by the likes of Venice, Rome and Florence, Bologna is a cultural hotspot (and is sometimes called the foodie capital of the world!). Come for the pasta, stay for the cobbled streets and medieval architecture.
All’Osteria Bottega is one of the last authentic “osterie” standing in Bologna, and we highly recommend you visit and eat everything, starting with the pork-heavy selection of local cold cuts and the tortellini.
Head to Boavista if you want an atmosphere that’s both old-timey and lounge-like: the venue is known for its mojitos, its muddled, fruit-based cocktails and the notable selection of gin.
Walk off whatever you had for lunch by taking a stroll through Piazza Maggiore, where you will see the odd-shaped Basilica of San Petronio (the bottom is made of marble and the top of bricks).
Aemilia Hotel boasts views of the rolling hills outside the city, and its roof garden is even home to a jacuzzi.
If you do just one thing...
Sure, you might feel part of a quintessentially medieval city in Bologna – but a visit to MAMbo will change that. At the contemporary-art museum, jump into an unprecedented array of Italian visual arts dating back to the end of World War II.