We were here in autumn 2015 and earmarked then Bologna as a place to spend more time. It’s an authentic, bustling Italian city – full of young people, off the main tourist trail, with heaps of filmic charm.
And the star is a vertigo-inducing climb up the iconic 97.6 metre Torre degli Asinelli. There are 498 steps up an exposed wooden staircase and what makes the climb so disconcerting is that the tower appears to get wider the higher you climb. In fact it’s not – it just appears to be as the walls are getting thinner.
At the top the view over the city is extensive. The main city square – Piazza Maggiore – and the world’s fifth largest Basilica – Basilica di San Petronio – are just below with Christmas shoppers bustling along the pavements. You can also see 4 km away on the hillside the Basilica Santuario della Madonna di San Luca which Hilary and our daughter later walked to.