Luxury holidays in Bologna

The birthplace of tortellini, mortadella and a meat ragù you might just have heard of, Bologna (nicknamed La Grossa, or The Fat) teems with storied trattorias, old-world bakeries and bustling farmers’ markets – come with an empty stomach and an even emptier suitcase. Feasting complete, brush up on your Bolognese history (and combat the post-pasta coma) with a portico-shaded stroll taking in mediaeval piazze, Renaissance palazzi and the oldest university in the world – oh, and not one but two totemic leaning towers. Pisa who?

When to go

Being a culinary capital is a full-time occupation, and Bologna hosts food festivals year-round. Temperatures soar in July and August, but spring and autumn hit the warm-weather sweet spot.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Direct flights from London Heathrow and many other major European hubs touch down at Bologna Airport, seven kilometres from the city centre. The regular Aerobus service connects the airport with Bologna Centrale railway station, and an express monorail service is set to open in 2020.
  • Trains

    Bologna Centrale railway station has high-speed direct links with a host of domestic cities, including Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, Turin, Naples, Padua, Verona and Salerno.
  • Automobiles

    Bologna is easily explored on foot, and extensive restricted zones – including most of the city centre – make driving a difficulty worth dodging.