Bologna, Province of Bologna, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Until the late nineteenth century Bologna remained one of the best preserved Medieval cities in Europe, though to this day it remains unique in its historic value. In spite of the considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's historic centre, one of the largest in Europe, still preserves a wealth of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque monuments.
The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is widely regarded as the oldest existing university in Europe, and was an important center of European cultural life during the Middle Ages, attracting scholars from throughout Christendom. A unique heritage of medieval art is still preserved in the illuminated manuscripts and jurists' tombs from the 13th to the 15th century.
To this day, Bologna is still very much a university town, with 1 fifth of the population, about 100,000, made of students, including a great number of Erasmus, Socrates, and Overseas students. Several American Universities, such as Johns Hopkins and University of San Francisco, also sponsor exchange programs in the city.