Bologna: Itinerary in the city and amidst its monuments
This is another beautiful and stimulating city, showing a clear contrast between the chaos of modern times and the tranquillity of the historic centre, closed to cars, and the learned, fat and red Bologna, recognised in 2006 by Unesco as Creative City of Music. Its origins date back to the iron age and it has never stopped growing: today it is a beautiful city with mediaeval towers, gothic churches, renaissance palaces and an incomparable blend of village roads and porticos stretching 35 kilometres! Head straight for the centre and enjoy Piazza Maggiore with the famous Neptune’s mountain (16th century), the imposing basilica of S. Petronio (end 14th century), the town hall (13th-14th century), the renaissance Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo di Re Enzo. Just a short way away, what is considered the symbol of Bologna certainly does not go unnoticed: the leaning towers (12th century), the tower of the Asinelli, the highest (97.60 m) and sloping 1.23 m, And the Garisenda, standing 48 m high and sloping 3.22. Bologna is also famous for its university, the oldest in Europe (1088), where famous people who have trained internationally-famous intellects.
Enjoy a walk around the city. Wherever you go, you will find palaces, piazzas, roads, houses, buildings and churches worth a visit, where allowed. One of the many roads we should mention is Strada Maggiore, on which renaissance palaces, classic buildings, Mediaeval homes and churches stand, ready to reveal many surprises. For example, in Santa Maria dei Servi, a Madonna painted by Cimabue is kept. You can also enjoy a little relaxation in Piazza Santo Stefano, with its irregular form and the seven churches, the oldest of which dates back to the 8th century. And if you like visiting museums, Bologna will spoil you for choice: the museum system offers a very wide and complete range with 43 museums, mainly town-owned and many university, together with the many libraries, in addition to rich permanent collections. Important, interesting exhibitions are often on display. Bologna is also an important trade fair pole that attracts a great many visitors all year round.