Top things to do

Top Choice Church in Bologna

Abbazia di Santo Stefano

Bologna's most unique religious site is this atmospheric labyrinth of interlocking ecclesiastical structures, whose architecture spans centuries of Bolognese history and incorporates Romanesque, Lombard and even anc…
Top Choice Castle in Ferrara

Castello Estense

Complete with moat and drawbridge, Ferrara's towering castle was commissioned by Nicolò II d'Este in 1385. Initially it was intended to protect him and his family from the town's irate citizenry, who were up in arms…
Top Choice Church in Rimini

Tempio Malatestiano

Built originally in 13th-century Gothic style and dedicated to St Francis, Rimini's cathedral was radically transformed in the mid-1400s into a Renaissance Taj Mahal for the tomb of Isotta degli Atti, beloved mistre…
Top Choice Cathedral in Modena

Duomo

Modena's celebrated cathedral combines the austerity of the Dark Ages with throwback traditions from the Romans in a style known in Europe as Romanesque. The church stands out among Emilia-Romagna's many other eccle…
Top Choice Church in Ravenna

Basilica di Sant'Apollinare in Classe

This signature early Christian basilica, lighter than Ravenna's other churches, is situated 5km southeast of town in the former Roman port of Classe. Its magnificent central apse mosaic, featuring Ravenna's patron S…
Top Choice Christian Site in Parma

Battistero

Overshadowing even the cathedral, the octagonal pink-marble baptistery on the south side of the piazza is one of the most important such structures in Italy. Its architecture is a hybrid of Romanesque and Gothic, an…
Top Choice Church in Ravenna

Basilica di San Vitale

Sometimes, after weeks of trolling around dark Italian churches, you can lose your sense of wonder. Not here! The lucid mosaics that adorn the altar of this ancient church consecrated in 547 by Archbishop Massimiano…
Top Choice Church in Bologna

Basilica di San Petronio

Bologna's hulking Gothic basilica is the world's 15th-largest church, measuring 132m by 66m by 47m. Work began on it in 1390, but it was never finished and still today its main facade remains incomplete. Inside, loo…
Top Choice Museum in Rimini

Museo della Città

This rambling museum is best known for its Roman section. Spread over several rooms with excellent bilingual (Italian/English) signage are finds from two nearby Roman villas, including splendid mosaics, a rare and e…
Top Choice Museum in Bologna

Museo della Storia di Bologna

Walk in a historical neophyte and walk out an A-grade honours student in Bologna’s golden past. This magnificent interactive museum, opened in 2012 and skillfully encased in the regal Palazzo Pepoli, is – in a word …