Best Things to Do in Bologna, Italy

Italy is one of the most sought out travel destinations in Europe. While the treasures of Rome, Venice, and Florence cannot be underestimated but go beyond the usual travel circuit and you will find several other gems, one such being the historic city of Bologna. In fact sightseeing in Bologna will prove to be a very enriching experience.

Bologna is the capital of the region of Emilia-Romagna, in northern Italy. In the year 2000, it was declared the European Capital of Culture; in 2006, it followed up by another accolade when it was declared UNESCO Creative City of Music. Most buildings are painted in various hues of red, russet, ochre and yellow, giving it the name of Bologna la Rossa (Bologna the Red).

The historic city has many interesting sights to offer. The centre of attraction is magnificent Piazza Maggiore. During the medieval period, it was the venue of a Roman forum – in modern times, it serves as a beautiful setting for live music and arts festivals. The buildings surrounding the piazza add to its grandeur.

These include the 13th-century Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), the 14th-century Basilica di San Petronio, the 16th-century Palazzo dei Banchi (Bankers’ House) and the Palazzo dei Notai (House of the Notaries).
The basilica in Bologna is the fifth largest in the world. The front of the basilica is incomplete.

The story goes that the Vatican cut off the funds for completing the structure once it realized that there were plans to make it grander than the St Peter’s basilica in Rome.

Then there is the Palazzo Comunale or the town hall housing the Museo di Giorgio Morandi and the Collezioni Comunali d’Arte. The main attraction is the massive staircase which was designed to be used by horse-drawn carriages.

Nearby is the Piazza del Nettuno, where you can see the iconic Fontana di Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune). It is overlooked the magnificent 13th century Palazzo del Podestà, formerly the main law court of the city. You can also see the 13th-century Palazzo Re Enzo, named after an illegitimate son of Emperor Frederick II.

Bologna will well suit those who are fond of walking. The city boasts an extensive network of medieval porticos which extend for about 53 kilometres. So come heat or rain, you will remain protected while going sightseeing in Bologna.

The city also has the world’s longest portico – the Portico di San Luca. With 666 arches and 15 chapels the portico extends for 4 km to the 18th-century, circular Santuario della Madonna di San Luca.

It is believed that in the 12th century, the wealthy families took to building high towers, each higher than the other, in a bid to show their power and wealth. There were about 100 such towers all across Italy – now only 21 remain.

Of these, two towers the Torre degli Asinelli and the Torre della Garisenda are in Bologna.
Apart from the historical and architectural landmarks that provide for perfect sightseeing opportunities in Bologna, there is much on offer in terms of music and arts.

The city is also the culinary capital of Italy – several types of food originated here and the surrounding areas including Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and various types of pasta and cured pork products. All said, a visit to Bologna will prove to be a very enriching and fulfilling experience.
Powered by Blogger.