One Hour From: Bologna

Underneath the arches ... all 666 of them

Escape the culinary capital of Italy and discover a wealth of art, fast cars and some disco action.

Escape the culinary capital of Italy and discover a wealth of art, fast cars and some disco action.

Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca

Play at being a pilgrim and walk up Guardia hill, once home to Bologna's army. The first hermitage was built here in 1160 but the existing church dates from 1723. A colonnade of 666 arches – the world's longest portico – marches three miles across the hillside to Bologna.

By bus and foot: bus 20 to the Porta Saragozza, then follow porticoed route south; 40 minutes.

Modena

If you like Romanesque architecture you will love Modena. The spiritual capital of Emilia Romagna is crammed full of Romanesque delights, such as the 12th-century Duomo, the finest in the region, with reliefs and sculptures by Wiligelmus. See the fabulous collection of paintings built up by the ruling Este family in the Galleria Estense. If you are lucky you might even get to hear home-boy Pavarotti, who occasionally gives an impromptu performance in the main square.

By road: A1 and follow signs; 25 minutes. By rail: frequent service to Modena; 30 minutes.

Maranello

Check out the hot rods on display at the Galleria Ferrari, at the famous car factory.

By car: take the A1 to Modena and follow signs; 30 minutes.

Parma

The home of prosciutto, culatello and parmigiano is as good as Italy gets. With art treasures from names such as Correggio and Parmigianino to behold and big buildings including the 16th-century Palazzo della Pilotta and the 11th-century Duomo. Take in an opera at the Teatro Regio, which is right up there on a par with La Scala.

By car: take the A1 north and follow signs; 50 minutes. By train: frequent service; 55 minutes.

Rimini

Escape the art scene with a seaside jaunt to Italy's equivalent of Blackpool, which has more than 150 clubs to choose from.

By car: A14 south; one hour. By train: frequent service; one hour plus.

Ravenna

Lovers of Byzantine art are in seventh heaven here. Treasures to see include fine mosaics such as those in the basilica of San Vitale, the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia and in the nearby church of Sant'Apollinare in Classe.

By car: take the A14 south and follow signs; one hour. By train: frequent service; one hour.

Magic of Italy (020-8241 5135; www.magictravelgroup.co.uk) offers a three-night b&b break at the five-star Hotel Grand Baglioni from £567 per person, based on two sharing, including return flights. Europcar (0870-607 5000; www.europcar.com) offers weekend car hire in Bologna from £79.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there