Several years ago we enjoyed a number of visits to Bologna‚ the atmosphere of this ancient university city‚ the number and quality of its museums‚ the elegance of its Renaissance palaces (we stayed in one) the excellence of its cuisine (it is regarded by many as the gastronomic capital of Italy) made it an unforgettable experience. Combine this with three nights in the legendary city of Ravenna‚ a place which has become a by-word for the incomparable beauty of some of the very earliest Christian architecture in the world and you have a tour fit for a king.
DAYS 1, 2 & 3
We can fly directly into Bologna‚ so 3 hours after leaving the UK we can be enjoying an afternoon stroll around the arcaded streets of one of Italy’s most accessible cities. Our hotel is a stone’s throw from the great Piazza Maggiore‚ home of many of the city’s principal buildings including the Renaissance Town Hall and the splendid Basilica of San Petronio‚ one of many superb medieval churches in the city. Bologna is one of the oldest universities in the Western World and the university buildings themselves make a fascinating visit. In addition, Bologna has over 50 museums and galleries. The quality of the art is second-to-none and includes works by Michelangelo‚ Giotto‚ Mantegna‚ Guido Reni and the other giants of the Renaissance as well as a major collection of the work of Giorgio Morandi‚ one of the giants of modern art. We shall also discover that Spaghetti Bolognese does not exist but savour the absolutely delicious Fettucine al Ragù.
After three nights in Bologna, we move the short distance to Ravenna where again we shall be sleeping in an 18th mansion‚ perfectly located in the heart of the old city. Ravenna is an ancient city which in pre-Roman times was located on islands in the manner of Venice. It is world famous for its collection of early Christian churches and religious buildings and has no fewer than eight UNESCO World Heritage sites whose mosaics are among the greatest achievements of western culture. We shall visit all of them in the company of local experts.