Bologna is one of those cities that you just can't forget. The entire city is old & beautiful, and everywhere you walk there is something interesting to explore. While Milan is known for it's fashion, and Rome for it's history - Bologna is known for it's food. On the northeastern corner of Italy, it is close to the cities of Parma, Modena, and Venice. These 3 cities are some of my favorite in all of Italy.
Parma is home to Parmesan Cheese and Parma Ham.
Modena is home to the famous Balsamic Vinegar.
Venice, while being a city on the list for many tourists because of it's beautiful canals and handblown glass, is one of the favorite places for Northern Italian locals to go dine on delicious seafood.
Bologna is known for it's delicious cuisine. Tagliatelle, Tortiloni, Tortellini, Bolognese Sauce, Bologna (what we know as bologny) and so many other traditional dishes came from this region of Italy. You could spend months in this city learning about the culture, history, and cuisine of Italy.
As you arrive to Bologna (usually by train from Milan or Venice, which are both just over a 2 hour train journey away), you will find yourself at the Bologna Central Station, which is right in the heart of the city. There are a handful of amazing hotels in the city center, our preferred stay is with some of the best boutique or "art hotels" in the area so that you can really experience the art & architecture during your visit.
Your days in the city should be spent touring the highlights (including the outdoor markets, leaning towers, and oldest university in the world), taking hands-on cooking courses with expert chefs, traveling to the countryside to visit Parma & Modena, and making a day-trip to the nearby city of Venice.
You will be surprised at just how much you can see in a week - it truly is incredible! If you would like to extend your journey a few days, try spending some extra time in Milan at the start of your journey (flights are usually less expensive into Milan & you can experience an entirely new part of the country). Milan is known for its Saffron Risotto and beautiful lakes located just north in the Como region of Italy.
If you are looking for an incredible travel experience, focused on both culture and cuisine - Bologna & Northern Italy is the region for you!