The Art & Palaces of Bologna, Ferrara & Ravenna

Suggested Itinerary

Day 1 – Bologna

Scheduled flight to Italy from your preferred airport – transfer with our professional guide in our private executive coach to the 3* Hotel Touring in Bologna.

Day 2 – Bologna & Pinacoteca Nazionale

Guided tour of the buildings and porticoed streets of Bologna, home to medieval palaces and the oldest university in Europe – afternoon guided tour of one of Northern Italy’s finest galleries, the Pinacoteca Nazionale housing works of the great Northern Italian artists including Giotto, Raphael and Perugino.

Day 3 – Ferrara, Palazzo Schifanoia & Castello Estense

With medieval houses, a 12th century cathedral, the palaces of the d’Este dynasty and one of the region’s greatest walled towns, Ferrara is one of Italy’s hidden gems and the guided tour takes in the magnificent Palazzo Schifanoia with its wonderful Cycle of the Months fresco by Francesco Della Cossa and Ercole de’ Roberti – afternoon guided tour of the 15th century frescoes, dungeons and the wonderful views from the Torre dei Leoni of the 14th century Castello Estense.

Day 4 – Ravenna guided tour & Basilica of Sant’Apollinare

Once the capital of Rome’s Western Empire and one of the great seats of Byzantine art in Europe, a guided tour of Ravenna takes in the truly magnificent 6th century mosaics of the Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, the Basilica di San Vitale and the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia – visit the beautifully decorated Early Christian 6th century Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in the small town of Classe.

Day 5 – Mantova - Palazzo Ducale & Palazzo Te

Guided tour of the Palazzo Ducale, once one of Europe’s largest palaces and now housing a wonderful art collection including the frescoes in the ‘Camera degli Sposi’ by Mantegna – visit the magnificent Palazzo Te and Giulio Romano’s ‘Room of Giants’.

Day 6 – Bologna

Morning free in Bologna before the transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight back home.

Tour Features

All excursions & guided tours included

Professional local guide

Scheduled flights to Italy

Executive coach in Italy

One free place per 10 paying passengers

Bologna - guided tour

Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna

Ferrara

Palazzo Schifanoia & Cycle of the Months fresco - guided tour

Castello Estense - guided tour

Ravenna - guided tour

Basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe

Mosaics of St Vitale & the Mausoleo di Galla Placidia

Mantova - Palazzo Ducale & Palazzo Te

Hotel

Five nights on bed and breakfast basis at the 3* Hotel Touring, located in central Bologna close to Piazza San Domenico. The hotel has a terrace bar and all rooms are en suite.

Tailor-make this tour

Your tailor made tour

Here are some more suggested places of interest you might like to include:

  • Urbino - set against a magnificent backdrop of medieval and Renaissance streets, Casa Natale di Raffaello was home to the painter Raphael and the Oratorio di San Giovanni Battista displays 15th century frescoes of the Crucifixion and the Life of John the Baptist by Giacomo and Lorenzo Salimbeni
  • Anatomical Museum, Bologna - the collection includes numerous models of organs and limbs that were used as medical teaching aids until the 19th century
  • Lucca - visit the house in which Giacomo Puccini was born or the 11th century cathedral, an outstanding example of the exuberant Pisan-Romanesque style
  • Pinacoteca Nazionale, Ferrara - located in the Palazzo dei Diamanti and housing paintings from the Ferrara school from the Middle Ages up to the 18th century
  • University city of Parma - the Baroquestyle Farnese Theatre dates from 1618 and frescoes by Antonio da Correggio decorate the dome in the Cathedral and the Camera di San Paolo.
  • Modena - the birthplace of Luciano Pavarotti and the Galleria Estense includes paintings by Bernini, Tintoretto and Veronese
  • Basilica di Sant’Andrea, Mantova - one of the major works of 15th century Renaissance architecture
  • Pisa - begun in 1173 on sandy silt subsoil, the Leaning Tower started to tilt even before the second storey was finished!
  • Padova - one of Italy’s oldest university towns and the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’ 
  • Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padova - Giotto’s beautiful frescoes depicting the life of Christ which became a powerful influence on the development of European art

Tour Reviews

Reviews for The Art & Palaces of Bologna, Ferrara & Ravenna

Date of tour: September 2016

I have recently returned from Bologna. It was an excellent tour, if rather tough on the feet! Our guide was very friendly and knowledgeable, as were all the local guides. What really made the tour for us all was the use of radio microphones - no more shouting on street corners or whispering in churches! The hotel was a perfect choice - central location, good breakfast and extremely helpful staff. I had a single room with a view and a terrace - lucky me. I shall be pleased to recommend this tour and Tailored Travel to other societies in East Anglia.

AP, Bury St Edmunds

Date of tour: June 2016

I am so sorry I haven’t written to you sooner to tell you what a wonderful success our tour to Italy was. Everyone loved it – the organisation of it all went extremely well, our guide/manager, Tamara, was excellent, though being typically Italian she talked a lot!(!) and all in all it worked perfectly. In fact we had our NADFAS monthly meeting yesterday and so many people came up to me to repeat what they had said in their thank you letters – how much they had enjoyed it and what a wonderful time they had had. In fact a whole lot of people who hadn’t been on the tour came up to say they had heard all about the wonderful tour we had been on too. So thank you, Sandy, for all your work, extremely efficient organising and attention to detail, your patience in answering all my queries and dealing with the more scatty members. I went off feeling totally confident all would go well on the tour and it certainly did. Thank you again for all your excellent work.

GD, Shaftesbury

Date of tour: April 2016

I just wanted to say on behalf of the group what a successful tour we had. Everything went well and there were NO complaints! The hotel was a lovely place to stay. The staff were all friendly and helpful and most of the group booked to eat in the attached restaurant for the remaining evenings after the first two included dinners. My husband and I enjoyed the beautiful view from our room at the front of the hotel - thank you for that ‘extra’. Our tour manager Ludo was exceptional and ensured that everything went smoothly. I was particularly grateful to him for seeing us on to the coach on our return to Heathrow. Our coach driver in Italy was also popular, and one lady said she had enjoyed the drives each day to our destination. It was a full programme but we all coped and appreciated being able to see such important treasures. Ravenna was of course a highlight, and our guide there was outstanding. I think we’ve all been inspired to read more about what we’ve seen. So a very big thank you to yourself and everyone else at Tailored Travel involved in organising our tour. I have encouraged people to put a selection of pictures on the website so you will be able to see how much we enjoyed ourselves! Thanks again and best wishes,

SS, Horsham

Date of tour: June 2015

We are all back safely after a lovely trip to Bologna. Very action packed, which some found difficult in the heat but everyone found their level of involvement and all reported a wonderful trip. Tamara was great fun, if a little manic but we all got on well with her and her sense of humour and enthusiasm. The other guides were also first rate. The hotel could not have been better and they were very friendly and accommodating. All together it was 'fantastico'. Thank you for your superb organisation. It worked like clockwork. Many thanks from us all.

PW, Oxford

Date of tour: May 2015

On behalf of our DFAS I would like to thank everyone at Tailored Travel for the splendid organisation of our visit to Bologna, Ravenna, Ferrara and Mantua. When it became obvious that we were unable to go to Lucca due to flight alterations, your input and advice and suggestion that we visit Ferrara instead, was very much appreciated and avoided disappointment. Nothing was too much trouble for Sandy and she dealt with any queries swiftly and efficiently. Our guide/manager Tamara was excellent and everything ran smoothly, our extra local guides were always ready and waiting for us to arrive. The Vox listening devices were really useful with no-one worrying about being at the back and unable to hear and we were always split into manageable groups. We will certainly be using Tailored Travel again in a couple of years’ time, so I'll be in touch. Thank you again to all your team, we had great time.

LB, Alsager

Date of tour: October 2014

We returned home on Thursday evening after a lovely holiday. No incidents to report and everyone stayed well (phew!). These are my main concerns because I am absolutely relaxed that all arrangements made by you will be efficiently done! The hotel was good. We all liked it and although the rooms varied tremendously in position and facilities everyone was happy. We have all travelled extensively and do not expect standardised chain-like accommodation in an old city centre. In fact, that was the charm of the place. The first night I was very impressed with the helpful staff on duty on the reception desk and hoped she would be there most evenings. In fact the reception was always staffed with welcoming and knowledgeable people. Our Tour Manager Tamara was conscientious and worked hard to co-ordinate us, the coach and the guides when we arrived at the different destinations. She was considerate too and recognised the need for coffee and loo stops! She also gave us interesting facts about Italy, politics, agriculture etc, but never too much, which was good. The guides were all very well-educated in the History of Art and spoke excellent English. Everyone was very impressed with the standard of the guides and told me so. Ryanair has earned some brownie points because most of our party would never consider flying with them and were pleasantly surprised. There was good legroom and the staff were professional and some, who had been with them before, noticed a great difference in the whole experience. It was such an easy journey with the very short transfer to the city centre and our hotel. Finally, I would like to thank you for a very well-arranged holiday. It was good to have the familiarisation of Bologna on the first day because it helped us get our bearings. It was good to have Ravenna on the second day because that was what we were very keen to see. Mantova and Ferrara were both appreciated too, thanks to the guides. All the cities were so individual, which seemed surprising in such a small area. I can be relaxed on your holidays because I know I don’t have to think about small details too far in advance because you deal with them one by one. So, Congratulations, you have got the recipe right, and we are all looking forward to the next trip. With very many thanks.

JC, Lancaster

Date of tour: October 2014

The Italy trip was a resounding success, and I am so grateful to you for all the information and advice. The travelling went smoothly, the hotel was wonderful, and the first and last night dinners more than satisfactory. On the Monday we were able to eat altogether on the roof of the hotel, which turned into quite a party. My only problem now is that I don't think we'll be able to accommodate all the people who are already asking when they can put their names down for our extended visit in 2015!

AD, Woodbridge

Date of tour: May 2014

I would like to thank you very much for all your hard work in organising the Society trip to Italy, thanks entirely to you it was a great success, you thought of everything. I am having so much praise heaped upon me which, by rights, should be yours. Not one person complained or moaned about anything, how about that.

MR, Stourbridge

Date of tour: June 2013

Just a few lines to let you know that our tour to Bologna and other cities went very well. We had sunny weather, no one lost their purse or fell down a hole. Anna was an excellent guide as were all the other guides in the various towns. Thank you for all your hard work in organising things.

SE, Stratford-Upon-Avon

Date of tour: May 2012

On behalf of our Society, I would like to thank Tailored Travel for arranging a most exceptional tour to the ‘Arts and Palaces of Bologna, Ravenna, Mantova and Ravenna’. I choose the word ‘exceptional with care since it cannot often happen that a group flies out in the wake of an earthquake at its designated destination! Thank you for fielding the phone calls before our departure and managing to ensure that our tour could go ahead, despite the news headlines of ‘Earthquake in Emilia Romana’!

EH, Putney

Date of tour: May 2011

I want to compliment you on your arrangements for this most enjoyable tour to Bologna. Before departure I noted some rather unfavourable comments about the hotel and I would like you to know we thought the facilities, staff and location were admirable. The bed was so comfortable my wife is now telling me we need to replace ours!!

PC, Oxted

Date of tour: May 2011

A very successful trip to Bologna. All went very much according to plan and Anna proved excellent. I have come back for a rest! A big "thank you" to you, Sandy, for setting everything up so meticulously. The fact the trip went so smoothly was largely down to your detailed planning.

MH, Oxted

Date of tour: May 2011

Our tour to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy was very successful. Everything went according to plan and everyone seemed to enjoy the places we visited. Anna was an excellent Tour Manager. The change of hotel to the Tre Vecchi was I believe, a good move. There were many restaurants nearby, and it was very close to the centre of the city. Thank you for organising the Tour. I am now looking forward to our tour of Dublin!

MV, Dorking

Date of tour: May 2009

A note to say thank you very much indeed for the very well organised trip in Bologna, Ravenna and Ferrara. It was very well done, everything ran smoothly and we were particularly impressed by the quality of our week long guide, Natalie, who was first class. Many thanks.

JD, Norfolk

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor this tour
for your group

Tailor make your group tour

Remember this itinerary is just our suggestion. Tailor make this tour exclusively for your group to suit your members’ budget or preferences. You could:

  • stay at a 4* hotel
  • on half board basis
  • for more (or fewer) days
  • include different excursions – see ‘Tailor-make this tour’ tab for suggestions
  • include UK airport coach transfers
  • bring a specialist lecturer
  • include all entrance fees & gratuities

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor make the perfect tour
for your group