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Gladstn London Journeys to Bologna

If our bags could talk, where would they say they had been?  Which got us thinking why don't we share with our Gladstonian Journal members where we take our bags and at the same time give you a snapshot travel guide to some interesting places and our favourite things to do if you happen to visit!

For our very first snapshot guide we have chosen Bologna, Italy as seen through the eyes of the bag we chose as our travel companion, the Hampton in Truffle Green. Bologna is simply the perfect European city break in Spring, a foodie paradise and a must-see city in Italy visiting from America. Complemented perfectly by our Hampton tote bag for those relaxed everyday journeys.
So where should we start in Bologna?
It has to be Piazza Maggiore and the Towers of Le Due Torri...
Scenes from Bologna's Piazza Maggiore
Scenes from Bologna's Piazza Maggiore
One of the largest and oldest squares in Italy, Piazza Maggiore is the centre of political and social life in Bologna. Surrounded by some of the city's grandest buildings, including the Basilica di San Petronio, some of the finest Palazzos and the fountain of Neptune, Piazza Maggiore is the meeting spot for locals and the perfect place to start.

A short walk from Piazza Maggiore took us to Bologna’s most recognised symbol - the Towers of Le Due Torri. As with the rest of Italy, Bologna was extremely wealthy during the Middle Ages. Many powerful families built towers as extreme displays of wealth and status and to guard their land. During this period Bologna actually resembled modern-day Manhattan, with close to 180 towers dotting the city’s skyline. The Towers of Le due Torri were constructed by the prominent Asinelli and Garisenda families as defensive fortifications and status symbols.

For a love Academia, Art & Architecture…..
Bologna is brimming with cool people - stylish, intelligent and who somehow manage to look super elegant while riding their bikes everywhere! All of this stems from Bologna’s university, the oldest in Europe, which has been enticing Europe’s intellectual forward-thinkers to the city since 1088 and gives this city a young vibe!

For those who like to devour art, two galleries to make some time for – Pinocoteca Nazionale & Museum of Modern Art (Mambo). The national art gallery of Bologna, whilst not quite comparing to the galleries of Florence, has a great collection of artists who were connected to Bologna and the region. And if you do get a little tired of the historical sites then go to Mambo for something a little more modern!

Everyday Journeys on the streets of Bologna...
Street scenes in Bologna
Street scenes in Bologna
Bologna is a very walkable city and the atmosphere created by the narrow streets, tiny windows and curious corners make it a great place to explore on foot. It has some of the most wonderful porticos in Italy and the colourful streets are the beating gourmet heart of the city.

Which leads us to the incredible food and drink of Bologna!
Where to eat & drink…..everywhere…What to eat….everything
Some of the food delights of Bologna, truly a food lover's destination!
Some of the food delights of Bologna, truly a food lover's destination!
The first thing to know is that Bologna is the birthplace of Bolognese. Secondly, the region of Emilia Romagna is home to the glorious Parmigiano Reggiano, tortellini, mortadella, Parma ham, balsamic vinegar, and many other delicacies.  And thirdly try these local favourites - tagliatelle al ragù, tortellini in brodo (broth), pumpkin tortellini with Parmesan and tortellini with sage & butter.

We have many favourite places to eat in this city but a must visit is Osteria del Sole  – enough said! If you're in town try Oesteria dell Orso, Cantina Bentivoglio or Va Mo La – all great! If you have a need for coffee, cake or ice cream we loved Café Terzi, Gamberini and Cremeria Santo Stefano.

And finally the very serious question of where for our aperitivo which has to be a Spritz! We loved Gianni Vini, Fabrik or Piazza Santo Stefano.

A wonderful city of history, culture, art, porticos, tiny colourful streets and the amazing food and drink of Bologna and Emilia Romagna. Have bag will travel! 
Enjoy Bologna.
To find out more about why we love to travel, read Our Story
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