During the holidays, my younger son and I decided to take the fast train up to Bologna for a day trip.

I hadn’t been to Bologna for years, and my son was visiting for the first time.

He and I both have a passion for finding the highest object in town and climbing to the top for views over the city. In Bologna, that’s one of two medieval towers – the Torre di Asinelli.

Views over Bologna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

It had been years since I climbed it, so we were surprised to discover a long line of tourists and news that it was sold out – and that tickets needed to be reserved online or at the tourist center. Better luck next time.

Instead, we settled for second best (but still stunning) and climbed the terrace of San Petronio church. There is also the much more popular elevator option, but, as my sprinter son said, ‘What’s the point?’

Views over Bologna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

Hike we did – as we always do – and it was well worth the effort. It’s not as high as the Torre di Asinelli, which you see clearly on the skyline, but it also provided great views.

We had already been wandering the city before our post-lunch climb, which was much needed after the rich foods of Bologna. From our perch, we could follow the route we’d walked that morning and point to all the landmarks.

Views over Bologna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan

It may not have been then medieval tower we wanted, but the views from the terrace of San Petronio are also well worth the hike.

Views over Bologna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan
Views over Bologna, Italy/ Kimberly Sullivan