The Via dell’Indipendenza is the main artery between the railway station and the Piazza Maggiore, the central square of Bologna. The street, which was constructed after the unification of Italy, is one of the most important shopping streets of the city.
Via dell’Indipendenza Bologna
Main attractions: Palazzina Majani (n. 4), Palazzo dell’Ex Seminario (n. 8), Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (n. 11).
Bus lines: 11, 20, 27, A, C.
History and description
Construction of the Via dell’Indipendenza was completed in 1890, when Bologna became an important rail hub. Today it is primarily a shopping street, flanked on both sides by the characteristic Bolognese arcades.
What to see
The art-deco style Palazzina Majani (n. 4) was built in the early 20th century by Augusto Sezanne. It was the seat of café/chocolate shop Majani. Nowadays, the building houses a branch of a low-cost clothing store. Note the floral motifs of the capitals above the entrance and balconies.
Palazzo dell’Ex Seminario (Grand Hotel Majestic)
The so-called Palazzo dell’Ex Seminario (n. 8) was commissioned by Pope Benedict XIV in the 17th century and built by Alfonso Torreggiani. It was originally intended to be the seat of the Episcopal Seminarium. In 1912, the palace was converted into the Grand Hotel Majestic, still the most prestigious hotel in Bologna. In one of the rooms on the belvedere floor you can still see a frieze painted by the three Carracci brothers (Agostino, Annibale and Ludovico), depicting the history of Europe.
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà
The 15th century Palazzo del Monte di Pietà (n. 11) started its existence as the seat of the canons of the nearby San Pietro Cathedral. A century later, the Monte di Pietà settled in the palace. This was an institution that made small loans against a non-profit collateral. In the 18th century the building was restored by the Roman architect Marco Antonio Bianchini with some help from Alfonso Torreggiani. The sculpture on the main entrance is attributed to Gabriele Fiorini and depicts a Pietà.
The building on Via dell’Indipendenza n. 55 was constructed in the 19th century. On the small rectangular square next to this building a daily market is held.