City breaks to Bologna, the home of spaghetti Bolognese, are a foodie’s dream.

Two-sided city

Bologna is the perfect display of old and new. On the one hand, it’s an elegant Medieval city, and on the other, it’s an edgy student-laced university hub, home to what’s said to be the oldest university in the western world. The foodie culture here packs a punch, too – from its markets selling fresh fruit and veg to its restaurants, which serve authentic examples of traditional Italian dishes like pasta Bolognese and tortellini in brodo. And, if you plan your trip in autumn, you’ll be there during truffle season – the prime time to visit Bologna’s restaurants.

See the leaning tower of Bologna

Back in the day, wealthy families would build towers as a symbol of their status, and Asinelli Tower is a great example of this trend. It was once the highest building in Europe, standing at almost 100 metres tall. With 500 steps to contend with to reach the top, it’s quite the climb to get there. But, once you get to the top, the views across the top of the city are worth the climb. You’ll notice that the tower has a slight tilt to it – this is because Bologna was built on marshlands, so many of the buildings are now slightly wonky.

At a Glance

  • Feast your way around the foodie neighbourhood of Centro Storico
  • Bargain hunt at La Piazzola
  • Take in the view from the top of Asinelli Tower