‘It’s not like wherever else I’ve been to’_ readers’ favourite cities

Padua, Italy

Padua is filled with fascinating places to see. Saint Anthony’s Basilica, with a formidable silver sarcophagus housing the saint’s physique, merely rivals Saint Peter’s in Rome. The shut by botanical gardens, filled with vegetation and flowers, are a pleasing answer to go a few hours. Inside the morning, hit Piazza della Frutta and Piazza delle Erbe, for buzzy markets selling each half from strawberries to sneakers, or pop into the Palazzo della Ragione with its spectacular frescoes. At night time time, every squares become open-air bars and consuming locations for sampling native delicacies. Whenever you’ve bought time for a day journey, Verona and Venice are decrease than an hour away by put together.

Berni G

Bologna, Italy

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna. {{Photograph}}: mauritius photographs GmbH/Alamy

After I picture Bologna, it’s always bathed in golden-hour mild that makes its rust-red partitions glow. Nonetheless what lies beneath the ground bewitches merely as lots. Exploring the small and idiosyncratic museums of the school reveals historic courtyards. Diving into hidden doorways and arches leads to secrets and techniques and strategies – or meals. Music and debate liven evenings within the precept sq.. And there’s the welcome. On my remaining journey I watched locals in impassioned dialogue, taking prompts stools in Piazza Maggiore. Not trusting my Italian, I declined an invitation to contribute, nevertheless gladly accepted the cherries shared among the many many crowd.

Siobhan Maher

Lucca, Italy

On the Guinigi Tower. {{Photograph}}: Zoonar GmbH/Alamy

Lucca in Tuscany has deep roots and loads of surprises: a Roman amphitheatre morphed proper right into a piazza of cafes and retailers; metropolis partitions certainly not breached in battle, so now you can journey a bike spherical all 4km. City fascinates on every go to – from holm oak bushes atop the Guinigi Tower to cartoon exhibitions. The music is eclectic – day-to-day Puccini recitals in church buildings or worldwide rock stars having fun with city squares or partitions. Its labyrinth of medieval streets recall the earlier, nevertheless it has the ability to change its face, presumably on account of outwitting competing Italian medieval metropolis states to stay neutral.

Rosie Edwards

Melilla, Spain/North Africa

Metropolis partitions and harbour in Melilla. {{Photograph}}: Viliam.M/Alamy

Melilla, the Spanish enclave on Morocco’s northern coast, is a relic of Spain’s colonial earlier with a persona determined by its geography. Coping with the Mediterranean on one side and the Rif mountains on the alternative, and hemmed in by a terrifying border fence, it is definitively multicultural, with Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Hindu communities dwelling side by side with a giant drive of Spanish legionnaires. The cityscape is equally numerous: streets of small Moroccan properties give answer to in depth avenues lined with art work deco marvels; it’s even home to Africa’s solely actual gothic church. Weird truly doesn’t come shut.

Digby Warde-Aldam

Belgrade, Serbia

Skadarlija, a neighbourhood in Belgrade. {{Photograph}}: Alamy

We now have now merely returned from Belgrade – in distinction to another European capital and an shocking pleasure, from the flaking nevertheless charming earlier metropolis perched between the Sava and the Danube, to the model new metropolis with an astonishing array of futuristic trendy construction along with mind-blowing examples of concrete brutalism. Wherever we went people had been unfailingly effectively mannered, simple and helpful. Public transport is ubiquitous and easy to utilize (who doesn’t like an hour and a half limitless journey for 50p?), making city and its unconventional sights easy to find. Easy to get to by plane or put together, and a terrific base for exploring the Balkans if in case you may have the time and energy.

William Gage

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Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Plovdiv’s Roman theatre. {{Photograph}}: Maya Karkalicheva/Getty Images

Plovdiv is charming. The attractive Roman theatre gives a backdrop of the snow-topped Rhodope mountains – we liked a day there, a pleasing marriage ceremony ceremony photos session together with to the romance. The custodian on the Bishop’s Basilica gave us a private tour of its acres of fabulous mosaics, and in every single place the welcome was spontaneous and warmth. We saved seeing bushes and bushes adorned with red-and-white bracelets known as “martenitsa” – we found why when one different custodian put a pair on our wrists. Martenitsa convey happiness, and Plovdiv undoubtedly did that for us.


Cádiz, Spain

Plaza de San Juan de Dios, Cadiz. {{Photograph}}: Luis Dafos/Alamy

Go to Cádiz – Andalucía concentrated proper right into a densely developed, extraordinarily photogenic earlier metropolis, seemingly one of many essential historic settlements in Europe. It’s filled with historic previous, flamenco, gardens and bastions, towers and plazas. The usual of meals is continually extreme, from a plate on the Mercado to trendy high-end consuming, all emphasising native produce. Open air the Land Gate is the trendy metropolis with the miles-long Playa de la Victoria and a terrific alternative of chiringuitos, tapas bars and fish consuming locations. Or take a ferry all through the bay to El Puerto de Santa Maria, the closest of the three sherry triangle cities, for a wine tasting or a go to to the three-star Aponiente or its additional modest sister restaurant.

Jane McGurk

Wells, Somerset

Vicars’ Shut, Wells. {{Photograph}}: Zefrog/Alamy

England’s smallest metropolis, Wells, with its gothic cathedral, is on the coronary coronary heart of this tiny metropolis, with its clock which is thought for its 24-hour astronomical dial set initially for jousting knights to hold out every quarter hour. Pop inside Vicars’ Shut, purportedly the oldest purely residential avenue in Europe, and admire the earlier Deanery herb yard. Stroll by the use of the historic gates of the penniless porch to Wells market place. And go on a film location strolling tour – city has featured in a number of productions, along with Scorching Fuzz.

Hayley Robinson

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Typical Bosnian espresso. {{Photograph}}: Bepsimage/Getty Images

In all probability probably the most memorable metropolis I’ve visited was Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and an especially gorgeous, welcoming and culturally rich place with lots additional to it than its tragic present historic previous. From the historic and fascinating bazaar – Baščaršija – that runs by the use of the middle of city, to the engaging mountains that embody it, there could also be lots to see and uncover. We encountered many selection people on the pavement cafes, eager to help us understand additional regarding the hearty native meals and the usual Bosnian espresso. It’s not a metropolis that seems to be talked about lots, nevertheless it’s not like wherever else I’ve ever been.


WINNING TIP Tarragona, Spain

Tarragona is renowned for its sandy seashores and Roman stays. {{Photograph}}: Gerold Grotelueschen/Getty Images

Tarragona is an hour south of Barcelona by vehicle or put together. As Barcelona’s poor cousin, in reputation and wealth, you’ll be forgiven for contemplating it isn’t deserving of our consideration. Nonetheless you will be sadly mistaken. Each half is at your step and most of it inside strolling distance: seashores for these in need of their tan restore; an earlier quarter to whereas away the afternoon ingesting vermut amid the very good Roman ruins (arguably the right in Spain); and some low-cost however stunning bars and consuming locations alongside la rambla. We stayed on the good Resort Pigal, inside the coronary coronary heart of city, in a double room with a balcony for £60 a night in July.

Nigel Maguire

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