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Bologna - Italy

Fountain of Neptune, Bologna City Square, BolognaPorticoed Streets, BolognaPorticoed Streets, Bologna

Bologna is much more a working city than either Rome of Florence and lacks the big tourist crowds. There's still plenty to see and do, and it's a pleasant city to stroll through. This is mainly due to the porticoes that line the majority of the streets and provide respite from the hot sun or rain. Some 40km of the city's streets are lined with these columned covers, which give Bologna a unique feel. It's a great town for shopping as well, with plenty of affordable shops along the porticoed streets and narrow alleyways full of market stalls.

The central square of Bologna features a huge fountain of Neptune and is surrounded by the public palaces (housing the city's art collection as well as the administration) and the cathedral. The cathedral is encased in red and white marble, although
this is unfinished and only extends halfway up the walls, exposing the red bricks beneath.

Not far from the central square lie Bologna's two towers, both leaning quite dramatically and looking quite unsafe. Throughout the city are scattered all sorts of monuments and churches - it could take several days to explore them all. Bologna is definitely worth a visit, especially to experience the historic city without the tourist crowds that dominate Rome of Florence.

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