Anyone visiting Bologna, wherever they may
come from, will notice that almost every street hereis lined with
Bologna in fact olds the record for having about 40 km of porticoes
winding around each are of the city. In the oldest part you'll
be able to see Medieval woodenporticoes or marvellous arches from
the Cinquecento or Seicento
As soon as you get to , the heart
of the city, you'll come across the , one of
the symbols of Bologna.
It is lovely to walk around Bologna under the porticoes and look
at the windows
of old shops or market stalls especially behind .
This beautiful fountain, dedicated to the sea god, is the work of
Giambologna and was built between 1564 and 1566.
The brass sirens and putti at the base were made designed by Tommaso
To the right you'll see Palazzo del
Comune (town hall) built in the 13th and 14th centuries and its
bell tower (1444) with a magnificent carillon clock.
Three important works of art are on the façade of the palace:
the Madonna di Piazza by Nicolò dell'Arca, the statue of
Pope Gregory XIII and an eagle attributed to Michelagelo.
the building is marvellous and so are its treasures, such as the
The square is dominated by the .
It was built
by the Free Comune.
The church was meant to be bigger than St Peter in Rome, but the
money ran out and the building remained unfinished.
The first foundation stone was laid in 1390 as planned by Antonio
The church was built over several centuries.
The semicircular apse was completed only towards the middle of the
The base of the façade, which contrasts with the unfinished
upper part, is characterized by elegant mouldings made of red Veronese
marble and Istrian stone.
The middle portal was ordered to Jacopo della Quercia in 1428.
the artist died ten years later it had not yet been completed.
The inside is gothic, with a nave and two aisles divided by 10 brickwork
pillars supporting ogival arches.
The aisles have 11 chapels each with polychrome window glasses.
In the chapels, full of works ofart, are the tombs of some of the
most famous citizensof Bologna.
To the east of the square, opposite the church, stands Palazzo di
Re Enzo (King Enzo's Palace), built between 1244 and 1246.
It was here that king Enzo, Frederick II's son, defeated at the
battle of Parma in 1248, was kept prisoner from 1249 till his death
On the other side of the square you'll
see the Pavaglione, a mass of building whose porticoes are a meeting
point for the Bolognesi.
It is made of two buildings planned by
Terribilia: the Palazzo dell'Ospedale della Morte (Palace of the
Death Hospital) of the 16th century and the Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio,
built between1562 and 1563.
The former is the seat of the Museo Civico Archeologico, which
contains Palaeozoic, Etruscan and Roman finds, and of the Museo
Civico Medievale e del Risorgimento.
The Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio instead is the seat of the Biblioteca
Comunale with its 700,000 books, rare manuscripts and codexes.
It is the most important public library in Italy.
It was the first seat of the in the 16th
The walls inside are covered with the polychrome coats of arms
of the Italian and foreign students that attended the university.
You can't miss the Teatro Anatomico (Anatomy Theater) (1638-49),
whose walls are covered with wood panels, statues of famous ancient
doctors and figures by Ercole Lelli (1753).
Beyond these splendid buildings you'll find afull of people looking for the typical
products of Bolognese cuisine.
You can't miss this area just a few yards away from the marvellous
San Domenico is cobbled and dominated by two tall columns of the
Settecento on top of which are the statues of Saint Dominic and
Our Lady of the Rosary.
Here also stands the Church of San Domenico, where the Dominican
Order was born and where the saint's remains are kept.
Thechurch was begun soon after the saint's death in 1221.
side of its Romanesque façade is the reanissance Cappella
Ghisilardi, planned by Baldassarre Peruzzi.
You'll see some important works by Nicolò Pisano, Nicolò
da Bari, Michelangelo, Guercino, and .
The convent next door is also worth visiting for its cloisters
(14th, 15th and 16th centuries) and library, planned like a basilica,
which dates back to 1466.
Not too far away is the Oratory of the Holy Spirit built in the
It is a small building which stand out for its precious façade
decorated with terracotta figures and reliefs in shades of warm
you walk down Via Santo Stefano, you'll get to the square of the
same name lined with porticoes.
There are seven churches here all built on the site of an old
pagan temple dedicated to the goddess Isis, which make up the
Olivetan Benidictine Monastery.
The different buildings stand for the sites of Passion of Christ.
These buildings were made in the 11th and 13th centuries recycling
old materials, partly Roman and Byzantine.
Besides the Chiesa del Santissimo Crocefisso, with its 1019 crypt
and inscription dedicated to the Roman goddess Isis, there is
the Chiesa del Calvario, centrally planned, containing a 13th-century
copy of the Holy Sepulchre where the relics of Saint Petronius,
patron of Bologna.
The other important buildings are: the Chiesa dei Santi Vitale
e Agricola, planned like a basilica, which contains two engraved
sarcophagi with the reliquies of two 4th century
martyrs from Bologna and the Chiesa della Trinità (13th
century). Inside there is also the Cortile di Pilato (13th century)
and the Cloister with its loggia on two floors, a typical feature
of Romanesque art in Emilia.
At ashort distancefrom you'll find the Towers,
symbols of Bologna. The Torre degli Asinelli, which belonged to
an important local family, was built at the beginning of the 12th
century. It is the taller of the two towers being about 98 m.
It is open to the public and if you want, you can climb to the
top but, be warned, you'll have to climb 498 steps.
The Torre della Garisenda dates back to the 11th century. It was
lowered around 1360 for fear it would collapse.
Not far away you'll see the Piazza della Mercanzia, famous for
its outstanfing Loggia dei Mercanti.
This is a gothic stone building built byAntonio di Vincenzo between
1384 and 1391.Several old buildings with wooden porticoes look
onto the square.
Leaving the towers behind and walking down the porticoes of Strada
Maggiore you'll get to the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi.
It was built in the 14th century, with four sides and a central
square in front of the church.
Thin columns and terracotta decorations distinguish the portico.
The church was planned like a basilica and built in 1346.
later extended in the 15th century.
Brick pillars support Gothic
vaults. A Madonna by Cimabue is worth seeing