• There’s Much More to Italy than Venice, Florence and Rome

    by  • August 31, 2016 • Bologna, City Breaks, Food & Drink, Naples


    There are so many Italian cities to get to know  –  try Bologna and Naples just for starters…

    Italy has been in the news recently – for all the wrong reasons.  The earthquake which affected a broad swathe of the country to the north-east of Rome and almost completely wiped out the town of Amatrice and nearby villages has brought horrific images to our television screens.  Amongst the dead are foreign tourists as it is the height of the holiday season and rural Italy is always a popular tourist destination for those seeking good scenery, good food and a genuine Italian atmosphere.

    Many visitors to the ever popular cities of Venice, Florence and Rome will certainly enjoy seeing countless remarkable sights and no doubt will sample some excellent Italian food and, if they are lucky, find a quiet hidden corner or two as well.  For visitors who are able to travel off-season, generally between November and March, they will also be able to enjoy seeing many of the sights when they are fairly quiet and when prices are low.  But why not branch out a bit and visit some of the other Italian cities which also have so much to offer the visitor?


    Bologna is renowned for its cuisine.  It is the home of tortellini and mortadella sausage, tagliatelle and ragù, among many other delicacies. In fact the city boasts one of the richest culinary traditions in Italy.  There is no better place in Italy for eating out and it is very difficult to pay a lot of money for a meal.  The city also has many more charms to surprise the visitor.  It is considered second only to Venice in beauty by many Italians and has one of the largest and best preserved historic centres among Italian cities. The town centre with its attractive covered walkways, known as “porticos,” is one of the best-preserved in Europe.  One advantage over Venice is that Bologna remains delightfully untouched by tourism.


    Naples is not known for being a city-break destination, but the historic city centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.  It is well worth just spending a few hours wandering amongst the narrow lanes of the central area with its little shops which have hardly changed over the last few centuries.  Well worth a visit is the city’s National Archaeological Museum which possesses  one of the largest collections of Roman art and artefacts anywhere, including massive frescoes and mosaic panels as well as sculptures taken from Pompeii and Herculaneum. The pace of Naples can seem rather hectic, so for a few hours’ peace head to the Santa Chiara Monastery which  has a very attractive and peaceful cloister, a garden, and beautiful 17th century frescoes. Naples is also an excellent base for travel further afield to the Amalfi coast and to the beautiful island of Capri.

    These are just two alternative Italian cities.  There are many more which are crying out to be visited – but that will require another blog…


    With a degree in Geography under her belt, Ann felt that a career in travel might be a good choice. Fast forward over thirty years, and Ann is still in the industry so her instincts have served her well. Ann spent much of her early career working for big names such as Global Overland and Wallace Arnold where she was involved in the contracting and operation of coach tours on a large scale. Taking time out to raise her family, Ann returned to the industry working for Cities Direct. Her desire to travel is as strong as ever and she loves nothing better than visiting a new destination and being able to relay her experiences first hand to Cities Direct clients.