Elegant and hi-tech at the same time, Bologna has cemented itself as one of northern Italy's most interesting cities. It's home to the world's oldest university and has a rich food legacy too; both ragù and bolognese sauce was first concocted here.
One of the city's most unique religious sites is Basilica di Santo Stefano. The architectural masterpiece incorporates Romanesque, Lombard and ancient Roman elements and originally had seven churches. Today, only four remain.
Basilica di San Petronio is another spectacular structure. It's Europe's sixth-largest church and measures a staggering 132m by 66m by 47m. While work on it began in 1390, it was never finished and today, the main façade remains incomplete. Look out for the enormous sundial that stretches 67m down the eastern aisle.
Hosting a wonderful collection of over 80 musical instruments, the beautifully restored San Colombano is a must-see too. Some of the instruments date from the 1500s and are still in full working order. And from time to time, the museum offers free concerts.
Melomaniacs will love Cantina Bentivoglio, Bologna's top jazz joint. Part restaurant, part jazz club, the spot oozes with charm and with over 600 wines on the menu, there's little reason to leave. During summer, Bentivoglio partners with neighbouring venues to host the annual Salotto di Jazz – a 6-week long open-air jazz festival.
Craft beer in Italy? But of course. The gastropub and beer bar, Ranzani 13, serves a great selection of gourmet pizzas and ice-cold brews. Finding a table can prove difficult despite its size and visitors are urged to reserve ahead.