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The City of Towers – Bologna

The City of Towers – Bologna

Preserving the traces of civilizations, Bologna is known for its art, cuisine, and fabulous palaces. The oldest Italian university, the University of Bologna, keeps the city teeming with students with different backgrounds, hence transforming it into a city of different cultures.

If you are planning to spend a weekend in Bologna, here are some places you must visit by following this hypothetical itinerary.

Piazza Maggiore

This big square sits at the heart of the city and is known for its history. Founded in 1200, the square was built as a market. The most famous building in the square, Palazzo del Podesta, is mounted with the Torre dell’Arengo.

A fourteenth-century complex Palazzo Comunale runs along Piazza del Nettuno, which holds the Neptune fountain which holds the bronze statue of the God Neptune of Giambologna. The Basilica of San Petronio, known to be the most famous church in the city, stands to the south of the fountain. Heading towards the east, you will find the 16th century Palazzo dei Banchi.

Torre degli Asinelli

Bologna is known as the city of towers. Most of them were built between the 12th and 13th centuries – less than 20 remains. The Torre degli Asinelli and the Torre Garisenda are known to be the symbols of the city. They are located at the intersection of the streets that lead to the five gates of the circle of walls.

Built for prestige and military purposes, Torre degli Asinelli was constructed in 10 years. If you feel fit enough, you can climb the 498 steps to see the view of the entire city.

Basilica of Santo Stefano

The Complex of Santo Stefano holds religious significance as it includes several sacred buildings. While you are in this square, you can visit, the Church f Martyrium, the Medieval Cloister, the Santo Stefano Museum, and the Church of Crucifix.

San Luca and the Arcades

Arcades are also known to be a symbol of Bologna. Spanning over 40km, Bologna is home to the world’s longest portico. The portico connects Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca to the center of the city. It is spanned over 4kms having 666 arches and 15 chapels. Each year, the painting Madonna and the Child in San Luca is carried in the Basilica of San Petronio.

The Channels

Several underground channels flow beneath the city of Bologna. Known to be a city of water at one point, you get to hear the roar of water while moving around in the city. You can listen to the river Reno at the intersection of Via delle Moline and Capo di Lucca. In Via Piella, you can see the famous Moline canal – which has been used as the primary source of water to process the grain.

At the end of the year 1100, the Bolognese created two systems which brought water to the city. The project involved digging of two canals to the city center.

The Hills of Bologna

A trip to the hills of Bologna is a serene one. Placed between Bologna and Modena, these hills create a beautiful view for churches and villas built there. The Reno valley is home to Marzabotto village while the Monteveglio is present at the South West end. The Monteveglio is known as one of the most picturesque villages. These villages hold vineyards and scene drive points.


Marc Partiti

Experienced Property and Revenue Manager, with strong background in Business Administration. Born in the UK, I spent over 20 years in Italy. In 2007 I moved to Thailand where I’m currently living.

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