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Bologna, in northern Italy, is the vibrant, historic capital of the Emilia-Romagna region. The Two Towers, leaning Asinelli and Garisenda, are amongst many medieval towers in the region. Bologna is among Italy's most overlooked cities. Given its stunning historic center, rich food culture and vibrant yet comfortable atmosphere, the typical Venice-Florence-Rome route is still missed by tourists. This is a shame because there are so many things to do in Bologna from scaling medieval towers to enjoying food tours and it is a great base to discover other attractions in the area. We spent a week there in April, loving the combination of sophistication and grittiness and all that delicious fresh pasta, of course.
Bologna is of paramount importance as a hub for roads and railways, through which most traffic between central and southern Italy and the north will pass. The city was largely dependent on agriculture centered on the surrounding fertile plain until World War I.
While still a significant agricultural market and food processing center, Bologna has also grown into a major industrial center; its key manufacturing facilities include agricultural machinery, electric motors, motorcycles, railway equipment, chemicals and shoes.
As you would expect from the location that invented the bolognese, Bologna is a foodie center. The markets in the center are great for fresh fruit and pastries, Via del Pratello is a great lunch spot, and there are plenty of choices for a delicious aperitif in the student area near Via Zamboni-but you can't go far wrong wherever you want to eat.
Bologna is a hub for numerous train lines with convenient access to Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome and both coasts. The historic center is only a short walk from the train station, but you can take a bus as well. Much of the compact historic core is traffic-free and is perfect for walking. In the region, there are good public transports and a small airport outside Bologna.
In July and August Bologna has several options for summer entertainment. On the outskirts of the city and the government-sponsored Bologna Sogna show, there is a regular open-air disco in Parco Cavaioni, with concerts at museums and buildings across town. There's plenty of nightlife for young people in the university area over the rest of the year.
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Con la compagnia Locauto dell'aeroporto di Cagliari mi sono trovato bene