Cheap flights to Bologna
Bologna is Italy’s secret gem. It might not be as visited as the likes of Rome, Venice or Florence, but this medieval city is every bit as enticing, and with a reputation for having the best food in Italy, is well worth a visit.
A Roman street plan complete with perfectly preserved red brick medieval buildings and more than 35 kilometres of arcades make this city one of the most atmospheric in Europe. And when you’re not gawping at the Old Town you’ll be straining your neck to get a glimpse of the 13th century tower blocks that still stand.
Sign up for a course at Vecchia Scuola Bolognese to learn some of the secrets behind the famous local cuisine in a light-hearted but professional context. You also get to enjoy a tasty lunch you'll have made yourself (11 Via Galliera, 051 649 1576, lavecchiascuola.com).
Byzantine Impressions: Thessaloniki through the photographs and drawings of the British School at Athens (1888-1910) is a fascinating exhibition on at the Medieval Museum until 28 September (4 Via Manzoni).
Hire a bicycle and follow the easy cycle path to Parco della Chiusa in Casalecchio. The park is ideal for picnics and summertime strolls with plenty of trees providing shade when it gets too hot. Across the river is Lido di Casalecchio, popular with sunbathers all summer long.