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With writers, artists, musicians and famous people of all kinds always coming and going, Bologna is Italy's city of culture, history, entertainment and good cuisine, ready to satisfy your curiosity and passion.
BOLOGNA THE "RED"
Known as the "red" because of the color of the bricks used to build its towers and buildings, Bologna's historic city center is a tour of the city's middle ages, where you can wander under the arcades, some especially elegant and others with amazing paintings, and reach every corner of the urban area.
The heart of the city is the large Piazza Maggiore, known to the locals simply as the "piazza", home to the famous Neptune's Fountain and to some of its most important buildings like the Palazzo Comunale, the Palazzo dei Bianchi, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Basilica of San Petronio, one of the greatest in the world to visit in terms of its beauty and history, containing the famous Cassini meridian, used to show how the earth moves around the sun. One of the symbols of Bologna has got to be the towers, especially the Asinelli Tower. Climb the 498 steps of its internal staircase up to the top and enjoy the view, especially on fine days, when you can see as far as the sea and the Venetian Prealps.
Continue through Piazza della Mercanzia and the Santo Stefano complex, also known as the Seven Churches of Bologna, a set of very beautiful buildings (four of which remain today) from different eras.
The wealth of history and culture of this capital can also be seen on a visit to the National Picture Gallery of Bologna which contains one of the most important Italian museum collections and regional and the artistic heritage of both the city and the region.
Take a break from all that culture to do some shopping in the city's main streets like Via Farini with the luxurious Galleria Cavour, Via Ugo Bassi, Via Indipendenza or Via San Felice. In Piazza VIII Agosto, every Friday and Saturday you can indulge yourselves at the market buying new and vintage clothing as well as household goods.
BOLOGNA THE "LEARNED"
The city that is home to the oldest university in the western world, the Alma Mater Studiorum, could not be called anything other than the "learned". Many outstanding minds have passed through it like Pico della Mirandola, Erasmus of Rotterdam, Giosuè Carducci and Giovanni Pascoli, to mention just a few. Even now it is a world-renowned center of learning, which has made the entire city a place of study and creativity.
The city has also found its place in the world of music: in 2006 Bologna became a UNESCO "Creative City of Music".
BOLOGNA THE "FAT"
Not leaving anything to be desired, this city also excels in cuisine, and is the birthplace of many famous Italian dishes, like tagliatelle, tortelli, lasagna, and ragù bolognese. The star of its recipes is pork, the main ingredient of mortadella, which can be served with friggione, a white onion, olive oil and tomato sauce. For a dessert to finish with, order a certosino, a traditional dessert made with honey, almonds, candied fruit, pine nuts, butter, sultanas, cinnamon and melted chocolate.
Whether you like its red, learned or fat side, Bologna is a city just waiting to be discovered and you can do it on the fly by buying an Alitalia ticket straight away.