Pasta is top-notch in Bologna
Tagliatelle al ragu credit: Getty Images
Bologna can lay claim to one of the world’s best inventions – pasta. Yep, everyone’s favourite carb was invented in Italy’s foodiest city, and so you have to imagine they know what they’re doing. Over here, their namesake sauce, bolognese, isn’t some soupy goo from a jar – it’s fresh, meaty, and called ragù, served seductively over just-made tagliatelle.
Read more: Take a pasta crawl in the home of bolognese
You can recreate one of Italy’s greatest crime films in Turin
Chiesa Di Gran Madre credit:© Tim E White
Lovers of classic cinema will recognise Turin’s cobblestoned streets from the best crime caper ever filmed – 1969’s The Italian Job. Hop in your Mini (or any kind of car will do) and whizz around the city’s impressive landmarks, like the sprawling Villa della Regina palace or the imposing neoclassical Gran Madre di Dio church. Once the day is done, clamber up the Monte dei Cappuccini to watch the sun set over Turin’s cinematic skyline.
Read more: Relive the Italian Job in Turin
Palermo’s rebirth is something you have to see
Cannolis at Caffe Antico Spinnato credit: Alamy
Once a gritty city off the tourist trail, now Italy’s ascendant centre of youthful hedonism. Palermo is the country’s new cool kid, a place to party till the sun comes up and snooze on the beach the next day. For an outgoing evening, start with Negronis at hole-in-the-wall Botteghe Colletti, line your stomach with the city’s best cannoli at Antico Caffe Spinnato then join the throng in the historic centre, where fun times are always to be had.
Read more: Stay out all night in Palermo
Pisa’s home to one of the world’s greatest architectural icons
Baptistery of St. John credit: Getty Images
You’ve heard of its namesake leaning structure, but did you know Pisa’s got more towers you can feast your eyes on? Get a good look at the red-brick Guelph Tower, the ancient octagonal San Nicola and the flamboyant Pisa Baptistery before setting off to explore Tuscany – Florence, Lucca and Siena are all easily accessible from here.
Read more: Tour Pisa’s towers
Naples leads a double life underground
Bourbon Tunnel credit: Vittorio Sciosia
Naples has a lot going for it above ground: the world’s best pizza, gilded heritage sights and buzzing piazzas. But look below its historic streets and you’ll find an entirely different city, built 4,000 years ago by Greek settlers who carved their way through the porous volcanic rock of Mount Vesuvius. Go way down to explore this subterranean network of escape tunnels, creepy cemeteries, ancient aqueducts and more clandestine curiosities.
Read more: Go underground in Naples
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