Bologna is the gastronomic capital of Italy, home to beautiful museums, historical monuments, centuries-old churches such as the Basilica of San Petronio and an intense cultural life. Find out which places to visit on your trip to the Italian city of Bologna

The city of bologna, in north-central Italy, stands out as one of the most beautiful and lively cultural centers in the state of Emilia Romagna, one of the oldest and most prosperous in the country. The city holds important historical and architectural landmarks, dating back to the times of the Roman Empire, passing through the most varied cultural periods of Italian history. This Italian region became world famous due to bologna bologna, one of the most exported products, being one of the stars of delicious local cuisine. Bologna is also known as the gastronomic capital of Italy, enjoying the good restaurants between one tour and another is more than a mandatory task for your trip. Are you going to visit the city? Check out our selection of places to visit in Bologna:

THE Basilica of Santo Stefano It is a complex with seven religious temples that mix different architectural styles, built over centuries. Some buildings date back to 1100 AD, guarding a rich collection of works of sacred art. Among crypts, chapels, tombs and a vast diversity of adornments and ancient objects, it is worth spending a few hours a day visiting the complex.

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One of the oldest buildings in the city is the Archiginnasio di Bologna which, during the 16th century, was the main building of the University of Bologna, one of the most traditional in northern Italy. Its stone construction holds a large theater stage, as well as the Bologna Municipal Library, with hundreds of books and rare copies of Italian history. To get to know one of the city's main architectural landmarks, you need to visit the Two Towers of Bologna. These buildings, which date from the 11th and 12th centuries, are the remains of medieval Bologna.

In the past, hundreds of these stone towers existed along the city's streets, serving as residences, markets, prisons and commercial centers. Over the years, several urban reform projects have changed the scenario, with these two towers Asinelli and Garisenda, survived with its architecture almost intact. It's a curious way to get to know the city's past and, at the same time, enjoy a beautiful view of the region.

Those who like art and culture cannot fail to explore the great collection of National Art Gallery of Bologna, one of the largest and oldest museums in the city. Great names in Italian and European art are represented in paintings and sculptures, such as Raphael, El Greco and Tintoretto. already the Piazza Maggiore is one of the most exciting places to visit in bologna, therefore, located in the center of the city, it is surrounded by beautiful examples of architecture, with its buildings in reddish stone. Gardens, restaurants and shops dot the area, providing plenty to explore for visitors. In addition, it is close to one of the most magnificent local churches, the Basilica of San Petronio, was built in 1390, undergoing major renovation projects that provided the site with a vast artistic wealth. In addition, great restaurants, beautiful parks and gardens complete a surprising tour of the city.

Here are some of the must-see sights to visit in bologna:

What to do in Bologna

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Basilica of Santo Stefano

This complex of churches, monasteries and convents is one of the oldest buildings in the city, having been part of Bologna's history since the Middle Ages. When visiting this place, you will be able to explore the Church of the Sacred Crucifix, Church of the Holy Sepultura, Church of Saints Vitale and Agrícola, Church of the Trinity and Martyrdom, the Bandage Chapel and the Courtyard of Pilate. Each church was built in a different historical period, its oldest buildings date back to the 5th century. It is possible to find a series of paintings, sculptures and frescoes scattered throughout the interiors, providing a curious and rich journey through time through Italian artistic history.

Archiginnasio di Bologna

This building was the first headquarters of the University of Bologna, built in the 16th century, it is one of the main architectural landmarks of the city, being, today, the seat of the Municipal Library. Centenary books and various artistic and archaeological treasures adorn the rooms of the place. The guided tour allows tourists to get to know the Anatomical Theater, where operas and plays by the most important playwrights in Italian history have been performed. Part of the building had to undergo intense renovation processes due to the bombing suffered during the Second World War.

Two Towers of Bologna

In the past, the city of Bologna had more than 180 stone towers adorning its urban area. The large spikes had varied uses, serving as prisons, residences, markets and stores for various products. Its use declined with the transformations of the Modern Age, many towers were torn down to open avenues, streets and new buildings. Among the two best preserved are the towers Asinelli and Garisenda, from where it is possible to have a very beautiful view of the city. On the ground floor shops sell souvenirs to tourists. The tall towers belonged to noble families during the Middle Ages.

National Art Gallery of Bologna

This grand museum has one of the richest and most diverse collections of art and history in Italy, with canvases, sculptures and archaeological artifacts that help showcase centuries of Italian art traditions. With great names of European art in the collection, such as Raphael and El Greco, its 30 rooms are a true temple to the finest examples of movements such as romanticism and baroque. A vast collection of sacred art completes this impeccable collection, which deserves to be admired. The museum is free every first Sunday of the month and children under 18 also do not pay admission.

Piazza Maggiore

With its central location, this square is important to the city's history since the time of the Roman Empire. Surrounded by shops, with restaurants, craft shops and small markets, banks and museums. The square also holds important architectural landmarks of the city. It's a good starting point to start a city tour through the center and discover places to visit in Bologna.

Basilica of San Petronio

Completing the list of the best attractions to visit in Bologna, you cannot miss exploring the charms of this one of the oldest basilicas in the city. Built in 1390, it has undergone several renovations over the centuries, which have introduced chapels and spaces that mix different architectural styles. In the inner parts, baroque frescoes decorate part of the main altar. The stone walls contrast with the vaulted ceiling, forming a curious space inside the temple.  

Other places to visit in Bologna:

  • Quadrangle Municipal Market
  • Basilica of San Domenico
  • International Museum and Music Library
  • Salaborsa Library
  • Cathedral of San Pietro
  • Museum for the Memory of Ustica
  • Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca

How to get to Bologna

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The city of Bologna is served by the Bologna International Airport – Guglielmo Marconi (BLQ). To move around in its interior, it is possible to use bicycles, walk, or use the tram, bus, trolleybus and train services to neighboring cities. Those who want more convenience can choose to use taxis and rented cars.

Best time to visit Bologna

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The best time to enjoy firmer weather and heat is between the months of May and October. During the summer, between June and August, temperatures exceed 30°C and care must be taken with sunscreen and hydration.

Where to stay in Bologna

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Find accommodation in Vienna here.

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