We chose Bologna for our "girlie-getaway" and, I must say that it was a very good idea.
Its size is suitable for walking without the need of buses or taxis and if you asked me for one word to describe it, it would be (apart from RED because of its color) VITAL.
It's a college town with lively bars and trattorias, and amazing cuisine (tortellini, mortadella, ragú, lassagne, cotoletta, crescentine...). I'm not very keen on Italian wines, but I would recommend having a nice aperitif and a Spritz at any of the bars of the streets around Piazza Maggiore. I know that Spritz is more typical of the Veneto but actually you can have a good spritz anywhere in Italy.
Talking about culture you can't miss Piazza Maggiore and Neptuno's Fountain, the Asinelli Tower nor Saint Stefano's Basilica. They used to be a set of seven churches which they are four remaining today, and you can visit them for free. Another speciality of the city are the more than 40 Kms of porticos which give the city a lot of personality.
Do you like shopping? Bologna is your city. You'll find not only the usual big chain stores but also a lot of small charming shops twhere you can find tasteful goodies and an interesting flea market in Piazza Santo Stefano. I'll talk about this market in the next post.
I'll post also my list of favorite places to eat very soon.
Meanwhile, please enjoy my Bologna postcards.