Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy, has earned the title of the world’s most underrated city, according to travel experts. A recent analysis featured on CNBC’s website reveals that Bologna offers much more than meets the eye.
Sharael Kolberg, a seasoned journalist from the renowned American news magazine CNBC, surveyed 175 travel enthusiasts, experts and agents to determine which city they considered the most underrated. The goal would be to select a destination that is just as captivating as its more famous counterparts, but with fewer crowds and – of course – budget friendlier prices.
Bologna emerged as the resounding favorite among experts, and three key factors were highlighted. First, and widely regarded as the most crucial aspect, is Bologna’s culinary delicacies. As the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, known for its passionate devotion to good food and hearty meals, Bologna is affectionately referred to as “La grassa” or “the fat one”. It’s no surprise, given that iconic Italian delicacies such as tortellini, tagliatelle, mortadella and Bolognese sauce originate from this vibrant city of nearly 390.000 inhabitants and its surrounding areas.
The city’s architecture and history make up the second reason, as emphasized by both experts and avid travelers, who pointed out that Bologna’s architectural grandeur may even rival that of renowned cities like Florence, Rome and Venice. The Old Town, with its masterful arcades, has rightfully earned a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Additionally, the two iconic towers erected in 1300, towering 100 meters above the city center, serve as a symbol of Bologna’s heritage.
Finally, the third feature that sets Bologna apart is its accessibility, coupled with more reasonable prices compared to its illustrious neighbors, as well as the fact that most attractions can be conveniently explored on foot. Travel experts also commended Bologna for its exceptional safety standards, friendliness towards outsiders and affordable hotel options.
From the UK, you can fly directly into Bologna from London–Heathrow, London-Gatwick, London-Luton, London-Stansted, Edinburgh and Manchester.