Italy impressed in the group stages by winning all three games without conceding a goal and are up against the Austrians in London at Wembley.
We visited Bologna as a starting point for a train tour of Northern Italy taking in Venice, Verona and Lake Como too, before crossing the border to Switzerland.
We were delighted with Bologna and could easily have stayed longer than the two nights we did.
The architecture is very interesting, topped quite literally by two towers that afforded a great view across the city (see above photo).
Between the 12th and the 13th century, Bologna was a city full of towers. They were defensive lookouts in case of invasion by Venetians, Ottomans or any other empires eyeing up the city.
The taller tower is called the Asinelli while the smaller but more leaning tower is called the Garisenda. It is believed that the Asinelli Tower initially had a height of around 70m and was raised only later to the current 97.2m.
The Garisenda Tower has today a height of 48m with an overhang of 3.2m.
Ever one for a rail tour, 2019 took us from Ljubljana to Piran and Lake Bled in Slovenia, and then onto Klagenfurt, Semmering and Vienna (thanks to the excellent Europe by Rail website for the Semmering tip).
Semmering is a ski resort with some stunning train routes in its vicinity. We stayed a single night in a chalet style hotel overlooking one of the ski runs.
Our arrival was beautiful and sunny, but unfortunately it clouded over somewhat on day two, making the planned cable car ride up into the mountains untenable. €70 saved though!
By the way, the train tickets were procured very easily in advance from OBB, the official Austrian Railways site. Commission-free bargains.
Score prediction – Italy 2 Austria 0