Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, is best known as a university city. It has a beautiful medieval center and an attractive nightlife. The most beautiful churches and historical buildings are in the district around Piazza Maggiore.
Top 10 tourist attractions Bologna
01. Piazza Maggiore
The Piazza Maggiore is Bologna’s most famous central square. It is completely surrounded by arcades and there are several cafés where you can enjoy a cappuccino outside. The city’s main shopping streets all open onto this square. The city’s most beautiful buildings stand along Piazza Maggiore.
02. Piazza Santo Stefano
Piazza Santo Stefano is another central square and stands out mainly because of a group of ancient churches, to which it owes the nickname “Square of the Seven Churches”. It is otherwise lined with multiple beautiful historical buildings. The square is often the scene of concerts and other events.
03. Pinacoteca Nazionale
Bologna’s Pinacoteca Nazionale is among the most important Italian painting museums. The collection consists mostly of paintings produced by artists from the region between the 13th and 18th centuries. Napoleon had part of the collection taken to the Louvre, but most of these works were later returned.
04. Piazza Porta Ravignana
Piazza Porta Ravignana is a square on which there are two ancient leaning towers. No fewer than seven medieval streets open onto the square. The Torre degli Asinelli is one of the two leaning towers. It can be climbed for a nice view of the city.
05. San Petronio Basilica
The Basilica of Saint Petronius is the fifth largest Catholic church in the world. Although not the cathedral, this church is considered the most important in the city.
06. Piazza del Nettuno
Piazza del Nettuno is close to Piazza Maggiore and is characterised by the central fountain from the 16th century. It is also home to the public library.
07. Portico di San Luca
Bologna is characterised by the many arcades (portici) that adorn the streets of the city centre. These galleries have a total length of almost 40 kilometres. The Portico San Luca is the longest at almost 4 kilometres and leads from the centre all the way to a hill outside the city.
08. San Giacomo Maggiore Church
The 13th-century San Giacomo Maggiore Basilica is entirely dedicated to the Bentivoglio family, which is very influential in Bologna. This church has no less than 35 chapels decorated by the most famous artists of the 15th and 16th centuries.
09. San Pietro Cathedral
Bologna’s Cathedral is dedicated to San Pietro.
The University of Bologna is also worth a visit. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe and some of the buildings it is housed in are very beautiful.