The capital city of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, Bologna is home to the oldest university in the world, a grand dame of Medieval architecture. Medieval terracotta buildings clamor for space in the old town of Bologna; at its core, the Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno are lined on every side by colonnades and bejeweled with some of the city's most coveted architectural gems. Of these, the unfinished facade of the Basilica of St. Petronius is the most striking, and considered by many to be Italy's finest Gothic church. Its blank face only serves to highlight the exuberance of the intricate interior design and allows the imagination a free reign to envision the potential grandeur of this magnanimous church had the architect's plans been realized. The city also boasts a pair of leaning towers. Replete with inviting cafes, quaint little shops and fabulous restaurants, Bologna is rich in charm. Origin of the Bolognese sauce and one of the country's top producers of pasta and sausages, the city also caters to epicurean cravings with hearty flair. Paired with top-notch entertainment venues, museums, galleries and shopping streets, Bologna may not be as reputed as Rome or Venice, but is no less intriguing. For a real taste of the city, embark on a guided food tour of the city's restaurants and factories.
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