The city of Bologna is a well-kept secret - a fascinating and beautiful town where you get a strong feel for the "real" Italy. Home to the oldest university in Europe where Umberto Eco lectures, one of Bologna's nicknames is "La dotta" (the learned). It also has the nickname "La rossa" on account of its red roofs and reddish porticoed architecture and also because it is a traditional stronghold for left wing politics (La Brigada Rossa). The Bolognesi are passionate about food and the town is famed for excellent cuisine - for which it's known as "La grassa", or the fat lady. Don't leave without sampling the local wine and delicious regional dishes such as meat-filled tortellini, mortadella, (a tasty sausage) and crescentine, (a filled flat-bread pocket).