When it comes to cities, Italy has a lot to boast about. Capital, Rome and romantic Venice usually spring to mind first – and rightly so with architecture to marvel at, ancient history and waterways perfect for any romanticist, but these are cities that sell themselves. So, instead, we’re taking you to two cities that deserve a bit of attention – Bologna and Florence.
If you’re a foodie, then you’ll not be disappointed with a break in Bologna. Arguably the culinary capital of Italy, be prepared to pace yourself – there are so many foods to try in and we wouldn’t want you to miss out! Think traditional, authentic Italian recipes and step it up a notch…that’s what you’ll find here. From the perfect Ragu Bolognaise and Lasagne to lesser-known dishes such as Tigelle and Tortellacci – it’s all cooked with love and the finest ingredients. And we haven’t even gotten started on the desserts; be sure to try Zuppa Inglese – a beautifully sweet treat, similar to trifle.
In between breakfast, lunch and dinner there’s plenty to see and do too; take a stroll to the Basilica of San Petronio, said to be the tenth largest church in the world – and it’s got some pretty incredible architecture at that. Don’t miss Piazza Maggiore either; it’s the perfect place to wander around by foot and appreciate the Renaissance architecture. Top tip: wear comfy shoes, as it’s likely you’ll be on your feet for hours!
Plus, if you just can’t get enough of Italy, Bologna’s a great place to start or end your trip. Well-connected and located between the north and south of the country, it’s somewhat considered the ‘gateway’ to Italy, opening up other cities, beach breaks or a trip to the lakes.
With an ancient history and a lot of Tuscan wine waiting, Florence offers the perfect combination of sight-seeing and time to relax and soak up your surrounds.
No visit would be complete without a stroll across the Ponte Vecchio. In fact, this ancient bridge could well be the most recognisable bridge in the whole of Italy. Filled with little shops and stalls, the market’s a bustling place that will give you a real flavour for the life here. Expect big crowds though – trust us when we say it’s popular! Make sure you take a wander along the River Arno before or after too; you’ll get some great photo opportunities of Ponte Vecchio there.
If you’re feeling strong, we also recommend climbing Giotto’s Campanile. With around 450 steps, (and sadly no lift!), make sure you’re feeling fit before you start heading up. It’s well worth it for the views of the city though, and you’ll have earned that glass of wine or gelato for afterwards.
If you don’t quite fancy the climb, take a wander around and inside it – with hundreds of years of history, it’s a must-see. Plus, you’re killing two birds with one stone here. Next to Giotto’s Campanile is Florence Cathedral and bustling Piazza della Signoria to explore, sit back and enjoy the atmosphere.
We could talk about Florence all day – there’s just so much to see and do! From winding, cobbled streets, impressive bars and cafes to an array of piazzas and an interesting history, it’s a city that can be visited many, many times as one visit just isn’t enough!
What’s great about Italy, is it’s well connected, meaning it’s super easy to combine multiple cities or a beach and city break on a trip here – so if you can’t choose, no problem, just visit them all! Plus, as experts in travel – we’re here to give you all of the advice you need and book your transport for you. All we need is your travel dates and we’ll do all of the hard work.
If you’ve been inspired to take a trip to Italy, get in touch with us today and we’ll be on hand to tell you more about one of our favourite holiday destinations.