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.
Warm up with a walk along the world's longest portico, or covered pavement, which stretches from Porta Saragozza up to the iconic hilltop church of San Luca. There are great views over the football stadium and the city one way and rolling hills the other.
Artefiera, Bologna's annual international fair of modern and contemporary art, invades the city this month with events both at the exhibition centre and throughout town (23-26 January, artefiera.bolognafiere.it). For more contemporary art visit MAMbo, a vast gallery housing works created since WWII. mambo-bologna.org
After descending from a trek to the hilltop San Luca sanctuary, stop at Billi, a long-established cake shop. Their speciality is the traditional fruitcake called panspeziale or certosino, a dense and tasty treat made with dried fruit, spices, honey and dark chocolate (1 Via Pietro de Coubertin).
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