Recently I have been to a small and compact adventure through south-east Europe. I would like to share my experience with you travel addicts to help you organize your own.
My journey started in Bologna but it was only used as a travel hub at this time (Bologna has a larger airport than Venice and budget airlines serve at this airport so it is the mecca of budget travel in Northern Italy). I had been Bologna for two days and enjoyed the time there. But a friendly note; do not take it too long since central city does not provide many features to keep you busy for days.
Things to do in Bologna:
Neptune fountain in the central piazza (Piazza Maggiore), according to the story this monument was quite controversial when it is first built due to its genital organ size and had to be resized after the Vatican’s intervention. This same statue of Neptune inspired the logo of a famous luxury car manufacturer; Maserati. Two brothers took the spearhead of Neptune as their logo when they first started working on cars in their workshop. What’s more, their first factory is in Bologna and now it is converted into a museum. If you are a sports car fan like me you can enjoy your time there for half a day.
Also world’s most famous motorcycle manufacturer is based in Bologna too, Ducati.
After the Maggiore, you can have a break for a fantastic Italian cappuccino over a counter in a bar. Eataly has a store near the piazza and can offer you sneaks as well coffee.
Keep walking down the main boulevard (Via Francesco Rizzoli) of the city and you will see the “Two Towers” of Bologna. The city used to have many towers raised by wealthy families as a symbol of prestige. Today only a handful remains and most famous ones are the Two Towers: the Asinelli Tower (97 m) and the Garisenda Tower (48 m).
Asinelli tower can be visited by tourist at a small fee (around 3 euros in April 2016). And believe, me from 97-meter height it is worth climbing up those 300 something stairs. You can see the whole city from the viewing windows of the tower top and it can give you a height fear if you are not used to it. I have to emphasize it again. No lift available but only foot power can take you up there. So be prepared for the challenge.
Also, city still maintains its main gates at the walls of old town. Although walls are mostly demolished gates are still there to visit.
Last but not least; do not forget to eat Italian pasta with famous Bologna sauce. Small note; it contains pork meat along with minced beef.
Here I have to cut my comments on Bologna since it was not my main target in my last visit.