Staff Review

Bologna and Venice


18 Nov 2016

by The Kirker Team

Kirker Holidays

What more could anyone ask for? Delicious food, fine wine and cities steeped in fascinating culture - all included on my recent trip to northern Italy.

Bologna, my first stop, is a city known for its culinary tradition, its elegant arcades and its two famous mediaeval towers. A mere 498 steps are all it takes to reach some of the most breath-taking panoramic views of the rooftops below. If you choose to visit Bologna, a couple of nights in the Corona D’Oro will definitely not disappoint; an oasis of calm in an otherwise buzzing city. Not only a charming city in its own right, Bologna is also the perfect base from which to explore the smaller surrounding cities of Emilia-Romagna; including Modena (the home of balsamic vinegar), Faenza (where majolica ceramics are still crafted by hand), and Ravenna. Well worth a longer visit, Ravenna is a small town, but full of basilicas and churches dating from the 6th century. The Basilica of San Vitale contains some of the most spectacular frescoes in the world - even matching those of Istanbul or Pompeii.

Leaving Bologna reluctantly, my next stop was Venice. This is a city with which I am more familiar, and have visited on a number of occasions, but it never fails to impress me with something new and as yet undiscovered around every corner - a morning with an expert local guide here is an exceptionally rewarding experience, whether it is your first visit or your fifty-first! My stay in the 4* deluxe hotel, L’Orologio was really quite refreshing - a stylish and contemporary hotel, which contrasts with the more traditional Venetian style of many properties in the city. If you are looking for a 5* treat, perhaps for a special occasion, then the Gritti Palace is the place to be. Recently refurbished, it has an amazing restaurant with a terrace right on the Grand Canal itself.

When visiting 'La Serenissima' there are a few things that must be done, and these are my three top tips for Venice: firstly the private water taxis are a must. Not only do you travel in real style, but you also avoid of the stress of finding your bearings in an unfamiliar city. Secondly, as mentioned earlier a few hours with a local guide is essential, and the Kirker walking tour is a perfect way to spend your Tuesday morning, exploring the Venetian ‘calles’, discovering hidden gems and learning new and interesting facts about Venice. Finally, the Doge's Palace - one of the iconic buildings of Venice - is an unmissable experience. Make use of the complimentary entrance tickets included with Kirker holidays and you can even skip the queues (longest in the middle of the day and during the summer months).

Speak to an expert - 020 7593 2288

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.


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