Getting there

Ryanair flies to and from Venice and Bologna at bargain prices (www.ryanair.co.uk). British Airways (www.britishairways.com) also flies to both cities.

Where to play

About thirty minutes from Bologna lie Le Fonti, Modena and Bologna golf courses. Le Fonti is great fun, opening innocently enough but with water coming into play on the third hole to keep you on your toes, while Modena, designed by Bernhard Langer, is the host course of the Italian Open. Bologna was designed by Cotton and Harris, with some alterations by Peter Alliss in 2000, and is one of the oldest courses in Italy.

To the north of Verona Palazza Arzaga has 18 holes designed by Jack Nicklaus and nine by Gary Player. Both are in excellent condition and roll through beautiful undulating countryside with grand views of the surrounding hills. The nearby 27 hole Garda Golf is the other excellent course in the area.

Where to stay

Bologna, with its symbolic twin towers, is the main city in Emilia-Romagna and is the ideal base from which to explore the courses of the region. Al Cappello Rosso is in the heart of Bologna, just off the main square and a few yards from the city?s most exclusive shopping area. It offers underground parking ? a bonus in the ancient city. A couple of hours north is the beautiful and historic city of Verona. The best place to stay around here is Palazza Arzaga, 25 minutes from Verona and ten from Lake Garda. Milan is also within day trip distance. Facilities at Palazza Arzaga are excellent, including comprehensive practice facilities and a golf academy. Rest your golf weary limbs by making use of the spa and massage rooms, or soak up some sun by the outdoor pool.

Off course

Emilia Romagna has plenty of spa?s offering thalasso therapy to ease muscles overdone on the golf course. Lake Garda has lots of outdoor cafes and restaurants. Desenzano and Sirmione are two beautiful towns popular with tourists.

Take a day trip to Venice and if you?re itching for a round don?t panic as there is a golf course on the Lido, along with a beach, easily reachable by water taxi.

Contacts Book

For golf packages, green fee information in Emilia Romagna visit www.emiliaromagnagolf.com.

For information on the five star Palazzo Arzaga visit www.palazzoarzaga.it