Cruise

Uniworld River Cruise Diary Day Three: Bologna

John Bastick

Travellers aboard Uniworld’s Venice and the gems of Northern Italy river cruise could be mistaken for thinking it’s all cruise and mostly river.

But that’s not the case, as day three’s serendipitous adventures prove with an hour-and-a-half bus ride to the landlocked city of Bologna, home to among other notable things, its signature dish, bolognese sauce.

It’s a captivating Renaissance-era walled city with a massive public piazza and a mandatory cathedral (San Petronio Basilica). Then there’s the ominously leaning 1000-year-old Two Towers that are testament to the city’s shifting soils and, arguably, shonky building permits.

Plus – driving enthusiasts take note – the city is also home to motoring royalty, with Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and Ducati all headquartered in very close proximity.

Bologna is that perfect tourist mix – it’s Instagram pretty, with friendly locals (although that can’t be said of the slightly surly staff in the tourist office) and it’s true foodie heaven.

jonh1

The locals pride themselves on the region’s culinary gems, namely bolognese sauce, lasagna, parma ham, parmesan cheese and real-McCoy balsamic vinegar (that sells for as much as $300 a bottle). Unsurprisingly, Bologna also wears the unofficial title of City of the Fat.

Bologna’s entire heart is dedicated to the most wonderful shops and restaurants plying the local fare. It’s like walking through those Italian movies from the 60s my mother used to watch. So if you happen by the place, wear loose pants and plan a possible trip to Jenny Craig upon your return.

john3

The highlight of my day visit (the place really needs two to three days to really savour it) was the 100-metre climb up the Two Towers, the Basilica and the rather macabre Anatomical Theatre. Part of the neighbouring university, its where they first started cutting up cadavers to understand the human body and where Michelangelo is said to have visited to get inspiration for many of his artworks.

But Bologna is all about food and lunch is catered for with a pasta-making demonstration (and subsequent devouring of said demonstration) at the nearby Cantina Bentivoglio, a classic Bologna restaurant where it appears only the vino is revered more than the bolognese.

john4

With stomach and senses full, it’s a sad adieu to the wonderful Bologna and back to the waiting River Countess, moored on the River Po.

And if there was any downside to the day, my overzealous consumption of the Cantina Bentivoglio’s culinary finery means there’s little room for the River Countess’ chef’s offerings that evening, save me snapping a belt.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Sir Richard Branson rewards UK truckie with free cruise

The man sent a tweet to Virgin’s CEO asking if he remembers a good deed her performed for him a decade ago. His response has sent Twitter into a frenzy.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

COOKIEGATE: United freaks out flying community by temporarily axing cult cookie

As avid cookie fans, we can totally empathise with the passengers’ concerns and would have written a strongly worded letter had the airline not amended its mistake.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent Wrap: Wendy Wu’s mega famil, AAT Kings gives back to locals, Flight Centre helps deaf community + MORE

This week’s Agent Wrap is so full of famil opportunities and incentives Travel Weekly staff are considering retraining as travel agents to get in on the action.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Tourism

The Women in Travel Awards are back!

Attention all talented and hard-working industry females: it’s time to start working on your entry for this year’s Women in Travel Awards!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand fires back at Qantas with new safety video of its own

by Ali Coulton

The Kiwi carrier just launched a new safety clip starring a little girl in gumboots, a large CGI bird, a robot and a big fuzzy green guy. It’s equal parts cute and cringey

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: People from these Aussie states are most likely to plan a holiday this year

As Aussies are asked to travel within Australia to support our challenging domestic tourism market, this research reveals which states may lead the way.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Accor, Vibe and Adina to open properties in Melbourne, The Fullerton celebrates IWD + MORE!

There are so many offers, updates and openings in this week’s Hotel Wrap that it took our journo three hours to put it together. Well, that may also be because she spent two-and-a-half hours playing with the office dog.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Flight Centre’s half-yearly profit nosedives, as Skroo warns of further pain

by Huntley Mitchell

The travel giant has left a bad taste in the mouths of investors, posting a whopping fall in profit for the first half of the 2020 financial year.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand’s profit plummets $47 million, as CEO commits to 100-day review

by Huntley Mitchell

Air New Zealand’s new boss certainly has his work cut out for him, after the Kiwi carrier suffered a big drop in first-half profit.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Industry veteran named Crystal’s new chief operating officer

Travel Weekly understands staff at Crystal are hurriedly tucking in their shirts, shining their shoes and tidying their quarters in the hope of impressing the company’s new COO.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Osaka’s funny rail videos, UTracks’ half-price savings + MORE!

We’re serving up this week’s Road & Rail Wrap with a spoonful of humour, thankfully sans any dad jokes.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Apollo Tourism & Leisure’s Aussie RV rentals burnt by bushfires

by Huntley Mitchell

On a more positive note, the ASX-listed company posted record revenue for the first half of FY20.

Share

CommentComments