June 5, 2023 4:22 pm

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New York, Paris and Tokyo could be on your travel bucket list, but there are a lot of cities that do not get sufficient credit and are nicely worth a stop by. Underrated cities have their positive aspects — they can generally be much less crowded, far more reasonably priced, and just as intriguing.

As a travel journalist for more than 20 years, and I not too long ago asked 175 travel enthusiasts, professionals and agents about what they consider is the most underrated city to stop by. The most well known answer by far was surprising: Bologna, Italy.

“Bologna is extremely up-and-coming and poised to be the new hot Italian city to stop by,” says Tom Marchant, founder of luxury traveling firm Black Tomato. “And as the house of Bolognese pasta, it is a foodie mecca.”

Bologna’s lots of nicknames — La Rossa (the “Red,” for its red-tiled roofs), La Dotta (the “Discovered,” for the ancient University of Bologna), and most famously, La Grassa (the “Fat,” for its wealthy cuisine) — clarify the most effective components of the city.

Right here are the prime 3 factors to place Bologna on your travel list this year:

1. The meals scene is unparalleled.

“[Bologna] rather possibly has the most effective meals scene in all of Italy,” says Jeff Miller, a travel blogger at Our Passion for Travel.

Meals lovers can discover the city’s open-air markets and hidden pastifici (pasta shops) and stop by the restaurants that produced favorites like pasta Bolognese and Tortellini.

You can also invest a day at FICO Eataly Planet (a.k.a. the “Disney Planet of meals”), Bologna’s 20-acre theme park totally devoted to Italian cuisine.

Bologna’s meals markets generally tumble into the streets. Make, cheese and wine from regional farmers can be purchased about the city.

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Or, take a day trip to the Emilia-Romagna area, exactly where Italian gastronomy was born.

“Bologna has wonderful access to Modena and Parma, each with popular merchandise [like Modena prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano] named just after them,” says David Hawkraven, owner of Created Travel.

Hawkraven generally sends travelers to regional farms, exactly where they can taste Modena prosciutto — which is seldom located in the U.S. — or understand about the delicate method behind genuine balsamic vinegar.

two. Its architecture and history rival other Italian cities.

Bologna is recognized as a UNESCO Planet Heritage Web-site for its 38.five miles of porticoes, or arched walkways.

It is also house to 24 medieval stone towers, such as Bologna’s most iconic landmark, the Two Towers.

The porticoes of Bologna are generally covered in decorative tiles or paintings.

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Travel writer Ann-Marie Cahill says climbing the Asinelli Tower, a single of the Two Towers that is open to the public, is precisely exactly where history buffs really should begin.

She also suggests going to the unfinished San Petronio Basilica and touring the Roman ruins that run below Bologna’s library (you can also appear at them by way of the library’s glass floors).

three. It is hassle-free and accessible.

Bologna is “totally walkable,” according to Marchant, which will save you the price of a vehicle rental. If you want public transit solutions, there is a city bus with tickets beginning at just 1.30€.

Marchant says locals are friendly, and the city is frequently protected, generating it a comfy trip spot. And the typical hotel space charges below $200 per evening for eight months out of the year, according to travel search engine KAYAK.

Positioned in Northern Italy, it is hassle-free to travel from Bologna to other Italian hot spots. It is only about 70 miles from Florence, 95 miles from Venice and 135 miles from Milan.

Nevertheless, the city is a location all on its personal.

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