Bologna is a medieval university town, a high-tech hub, and a hotbed of political thought. The city goes by many names. La Rossa, "The Red One," evokes the terra-cotta buildings. La Dotta, “The Learned One,” refers to the city’s university, founded in 1088 and one of the oldest in the world. La Grassa, “The Fat One,” speaks to the cuisine: A long list of classic Italian dishes originated here, including tortellini, mortadella, tagliatelle, and Bolognese sauce. Bologna is the capital of the Emelia-Romagna region, which makes it a great hub for sampling the local cheese, vinegar, and cured ham.