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About Bolo City

10 Best Things to Do in Bologna

The Learned (La Dotta), the Red (la Rossa), the Fat (la Grassa): these are the most popular nicknames acquired over the centuries by Bologna, the capital city of the wealthy Italian region Emilia Romagna. It’s called ‘’the Learned’’ due to the presence of the oldest university in the Western world that continues to attract Italian and foreign students and to maintain its role as a very active cultural centre. On the other hand, Bologna has gotten the nickname of ‘’the Red’’ because of the city’s roofs and houses, that keep alive the typical colors of the medieval era. Finally, the city is referred to as ‘’The Fat’’ because for the people here eating well is an absolute priority. ''When you hear about Bolognese cuisine, bow as it deserves'' said the great Pellegrino Artusi, a gastronome of the late 1800s. If there is one thing that both locals and foreigners love is its typical cuisine, rich in flavors and traditions.

01 Piazza Maggiore

Also called Piazza Grande by the locals due to the famous song of the Bolognese singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla, Piazza Maggiore is the beating heart of the city and the centre of Bologna's civil and religious life. It is famous for the Fountain of Neptune, overlooked by the most important buildings of the medieval city: the fourteenth-century Palazzo Comunale on the west side, the sixteenth-century Palazzo dei Banchi on the east side and the majestic Basilica of San Petronio on the south side, in front of which lies the refined Palazzo del Podestà. Despite its historical importance, it seems that the square brings bad luck to students attending the renowned University of Bologna. In fact, according to legend, students should never cross the square passing through the centre, but always skirting it, otherwise they will never graduate.


02 Basilica di San Petronio

La Basilica di San Petronio è la chiesa più importante e imponente di Bologna oltre ad The Basilica of San Petronio is the most important and majestic church in Bologna as well as being the fifth largest church in the world. The construction of the Basilica began in 1390 but went on for centuries. To make room for this temple, a symbol of the city's civic pride, it became necessary to demolish many towers, private houses and eight churches.


03 The Two Towers

The towers of Bologna are a hallmark of the city. Of the many towers that were built between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries today are left only less than twenty. These structures had both a military and an aristocratic function, as they gave prestige to the family that ordered its construction. The two most important towers belonged to the families of the Asinelli and the Garisenda.

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04 La Basilica di Santo Stefano

The Basilica of Santo Stefano is a group of sacred buildings that form the most famous complex known as the Seven Churches. The triangular Piazza Santo Stefano, which has recently been restored to its original appearance, houses the Church of the Crucifix, the Basilica of the Sepulchre, the Church of San Vitale and Sant'Agricola, the Courtyard of Pilate, the Church of the Martyrium, the Medieval Cloister and the Museum of Santo Stefano.


05 L'Archiginnasio

The Archiginnasio is the most beautiful palace in Bologna and certainly one of the most beautiful in Italy. Usually, eager tourists pass by the front door throwing only a distracted look at the central porch. Instead, they are missing just a few steps to be amazed by the long porch made of 30 arches decorated with hundreds of coats of arms and two loggias on the upper floors.


06 The Hidden Canals of Bologna

Few people know it, but Bologna has always been a city of water, a small Venice that is now largely hidden. The most evocative glimpse of this hidden part of the city can be discovered by opening a small window located in Via Piella. Here, as in a vision, the view opens on the Moline Canal (Canale delle Moline), used for centuries to power the watermills that processed wheat.


07 The National Gallery

Bologna’s National Gallery (Pinacoteca Nazionale) houses one of the most important Italian museum collections. The artworks retrace the entire Emilian and Italian artistic process from the thirteenth to the beginning of the nineteenth century. Here you can see works by artists such as Raffaello, Carracci, Reni, Perugino, Parmigianino, Tintoretto, Vasari, Guercino and many others.


08 The Porticoes of Bologna

What would Bologna be without its arcades? For 40 kilometers the city is crossed by arcades that are not only an architectural element but represent the very essence and moods of the city.


09 Church of Santa Maria della Vita

This small church, reachable from a side street of Piazza Maggiore, is worth a visit for the splendid "Lamentation over the dead Christ" a 1463 sculptural group by Niccolò dell’Arca.


10 Bolognese Cuisine

Bolognese cuisine has been renowned since the Middle Ages when the flow of students and professors from all over the world made it necessary to enrich the food culture. Bolognese cuisine, like Emilian cuisine generally, is diverse and rich. In addition to the famous tortellini, still made by hand by pasta experts and served strictly in broth, the main ingredients you will find on the menu are egg pasta and pork, that combined in several ways create some of the typical dishes.

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