The No. 1 ‘underrated’ city in the world, according to 175 travel consultants: ‘It’s poised to be the new scorching’ destination
New York, Paris and Tokyo might be in your travel bucket listing, however there are many locations that do not get sufficient credit score and are properly value a go to. Underrated cities have their advantages — they will typically be much less crowded, extra inexpensive, and simply as fascinating.
As a travel journalist for over 20 years, I not too long ago requested 175 travel lovers, consultants and brokers about what they suppose is the most underrated city to go to. The hottest reply by far was shocking: Bologna, Italy.
“Bologna could be very up-and-coming and poised to be the new ‘scorching’ city to go to,” says Tom Marchant, founding father of luxurious touring firm Black Tomato. “And as the dwelling of pasta Bolognese, it is a foodie mecca.”
Bologna: The new ‘scorching’ city to go to
Bologna’s many nicknames — La Rossa (the “Red,” for its red-tiled roofs), La Dotta (the “Learned,” for the historic University of Bologna), and most famously, La Grassa (the “Fat,” for its wealthy delicacies) — clarify the finest elements of the city.
Here are the high three causes to put Bologna in your travel listing this yr:
1. The meals scene is unparalleled.
“[Bologna] fairly presumably has the finest meals scene in all of Italy,” says Jeff Miller, a travel blogger at Our Passion for Travel.
Food lovers can discover the city’s open-air markets and hidden pastifici (pasta retailers) and go to the eating places that created favorites like Bolognese and Tortellini.
You can even spend a day at FICO Eataly World (a.ok.a. the “Disney World of meals”), Bologna’s 20-acre theme park solely devoted to Italian delicacies.
Or, you may take a day journey to the Emilia-Romagna area, the place Italian gastronomy was born.
“Bologna has nice entry to Modena and Parma, each with well-known merchandise [Modena prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano] named after them,” says David Hawkraven, proprietor of Designed Travel.
Hawkraven typically sends vacationers to native farms, the place they will style Modena prosciutto, which is never discovered in the U.S., or find out about the delicate course of behind genuine balsamic vinegar.
2. Its structure and historical past rival different Italian cities.
The city is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its 38.5 miles of porticoes, or arched walkways.
It’s additionally dwelling to 24 medieval stone towers, together with Bologna’s most iconic landmark, the Two Towers.
Travel author Ann-Marie Cahill says climbing the Asinelli Tower, the one in all the Two Towers that is open to the public, is precisely the place historical past buffs ought to begin.
She additionally suggests visiting the unfinished San Petronio Basilica and touring the Roman ruins that run beneath Bologna’s library (it’s also possible to see them by means of the library’s glass flooring).
3. It’s handy and accessible.
Bologna is “solely walkable,” according to Marchant, and it’ll prevent the value of a automobile rental. If you need public transit choices, city bus tickets begin at simply 1.30€.
Marchant says locals are pleasant, and the city is mostly protected, making it a cushty trip spot. The common lodge room prices under $200 per evening for eight months out of the yr, according to travel search engine Kayak.
Located in Northern Italy, it’s handy to travel from Bologna to different Italian scorching spots. It’s solely about 70 miles from Florence, 95 miles from Venice, and 135 miles from Milan.
Still, the city is a destination all by itself.