Bologna

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Destinations / Dejection agreeable / Bologna

Often called the gastronomic centre and the bread basket of Italy, get your tum and your taste buds in training for a holiday in Bologna! This is a city that takes its cuisine seriously and the array of home made pasta, variety of breads, local sausage and salami and mouthwatering cheeses are a gourmand's idea of heaven. Sometimes the entire city is named "La Grassa" (The Fat!), so no prizes for guessing that locals don't overly worry about dieting. Cookery schools are also big business in the city, so Nonna's traditional fare is taught to the willing masses.

Bologna holidays are actually well patronised by other Italians who recognise the importance of the city as an historical treasure, but who equally enjoy its beauty. Capital city of the Emilia-Romagna area of northern Italy, Bologna is rich in culture, knee deep in marvellous monuments and awash with historical buildings, pleasing piazzas and the famous Two Towers. Famous for its "porticos" or covered walkways, the city centre has an extensive network and is perfectly preserved, making it a city that is delightful for walking, exploring and discovering. Stonework of burnt umber hues, terracota, coral and pale orange give a warm glow to the old buildings where museums and galleries abound.

Bologna is a music lover's city too and was named a Creative City of Music for UNESCO (in 2006), so traditions are alive and well. Not only classical (with many orchestral performances) but rock, electronic, jazz , blues and alternative music are played and enjoyed throughout. Home to the oldest University in the western world, the strong student population leaves its mark with buzzing low cost restaurants, pizzerias, bars and, yes, there are at least a couple of Irish pubs! Subjects to in Bologna are young and vibrant, but are also ideal for leisurely wandering where every corner brings a fresh delight in the form of a tiny shop selling rounds of crumbly ewe's milk cheese or view a gorgeous ancient church or decorative Fountain of Neptune.

If you want to get out and about, the fabulous city of Florence is only over an hour's drive away and is an opportunity to see some of the glorious countryside at the same time. Other possible day trips from Bologna are Parma, Modena, Pisa and Ravenna, but Bologna itself should capture your heart without hankering to go further.

Beautiful architecture marks Bologna as a genuinely medieval style city where the simple pleasures of good coffee and people watching is an art form in itself. Great foodie outlets, elegant shoe and chic clothing stores (well, it is Italy!), interesting museums and packed art galleries guarantee Bologna holidays are as popular as the clever Italians have already discovered. And, not a mention of spagetti bolognese anywhere!............

Aer Lingus operates direct flights from Dublin into Bologna from May 28th to July 6th 2115 twice weekly. We have a great selection of hotels in the city centre.

 

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