Explore the medieval city centre around Piazza Maggiore square on your first visit to Bologna, and drop into the vast, never completed San Petronio Basilica. Climb the tilting Asinelli Tower, one of Bologna's two medieval defensive towers known as Le Due Torri. You'll have a great time hunting out the old quarter's famous gourmet markets, shops and restaurants. On return visits to Bologna, follow marble-inlaid, covered walkways to the vibrant University Quarter. See paintings by Raphael and Titian at the Pinacoteca Nazionale art gallery there and stay up late in the quarter's vibrant bars.
Most streets lead to Bologna's central square Piazza Maggiore and its well-preserved network of medieval lanes. Fine palaces with frescoed ceilings and quiet courtyards house a host of renowned museums in the old centre, such as the Medieval Museum in the Palazzo Ghisilardi-Fava. Bologna's streets are lined with more than 24 miles of elegantly arched wide walkways, or porticoes. These ensure the Bolognese, who ritually take a leisurely passeggiata stroll on Sunday afternoons, are protected from the wind and rain.
Explore Bologna's medieval centre and San Petronio Basilica, which stands guard over its pedestrianised heart. Make your way to the Fountain of Neptune to admire its sculpted cherubs and sirens, and pay a visit to the art museums at the nearby Comunale Palace. Climb almost 500 stairs to the top of the medieval defensive Asinelli Tower for unrivalled views over the red-roofed city. Then explore the food markets and shops in this marvellous food-loving city. All the while, you can plan which award-winning traditional trattoria restaurants you'll visit in the streets running off the main square, Piazza Maggiore.
Tour Bologna's many famous churches and see the angel carved by Michelangelo when he was 19 years old at San Domenico Basilica. You'll also discover the 11th-century Santo Stefano Basilica and the French Gothic church of San Francesco. Follow the miles of covered arches leading up to the hilltop Madonna di San Luca Basilica overlooking Bologna. Then find refreshment in the bars and cafes of Bologna's lively University Quarter.
Bologna G Marconi Airport is Italys third most important international airport and handles about 20 million passengers each year. Located just six kilometres from Bologna, taxis take passengers into the city centre in 15 minutes. An Aerobus shuttle service operates between the airport to the main railway station and takes around 20 minutes.