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The bustling city of Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and an exciting destination for holidays and breaks. The city is known for its striking squares such as Piazza Maggiore with its unique colonnades, and medieval and Renaissance attractions like the Neptune Fountain and the Basilica of San Petronio. Medieval towers dominate the skyline, and the Asinelli Tower is open to visitors who want to enjoy a sensational view of the city.
It's well worth taking a closer look at Bologna's surroundings. There are lots of exciting and appealing towns nearby; in fact the area is so culturally rich and diverse that it can be difficult to choose exactly what to see near Bologna. Perhaps you know a car enthusiast who would love to visit Maranello, home to the world famous Ferrari S.p.A. brand and to the company's Scuderia Ferrari Formula One racing team. The Ferrari factory first began producing cars in Maranello at the start of the 1940's when Enzo Ferrari decided to move his business from nearby Modena. Be sure to take a detour to the Ferrari Museum. Displays featuring sports and racing cars and the many trophies won by the Ferrari team are spectacular.
There's more to Maranello than Ferrari. The town is also the starting point of the Italian Marathon, and you can see where runners from all over the country set out on the annual race to Carpi. A note for architecture fans - be sure to see the town's library which was created by top designers Arata Isozaki and Andrea Maffei.
Still wondering what to see near Bologna? Why not visit Ferrara? One of the most beautiful towns in the Emilia-Romagna region, Ferrara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is just 31 miles (50 km) from Bologna. The city was the historical home of the Este family till it became a Papal State at the end of the 16th century. Ferrara is surrounded by 6 miles of Renaissance walls that were built from the 15th to 16th century, and the city boasts numerous palaces and castles such as Castello Estense with its striking moat and bastions.
Ferrara isn't all about history and the city hosts some amazing events. It's the hot air ballooning capital of Italy and the annual Ferrara Balloons Festival is the biggest event of its type in Europe, attracting visitors from all over the world.