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Tourist attractions Bologna

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  • 1 Main Square and Neptune Square Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Maggiore e del Nettuno

    Between medieval palaces and the Gothic basilica, the heart of Bologna unfolds around an immense open area made up of the Maggiore and Nettuno Squares. The Fontana del Nettuno, a huge bronze by Flemish sculptor Jean Bologne (1529-1608) is both gracef..

  • 2 Fountain of Neptune Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Navona

    On Piazza Magiorre, the fountain of Neptune, work of Flemish sculptor John of Bologna (1529-1608), features a muscular bronze giant surrounded by mermaids who press their breasts to release water. This fountain is as powerful and graceful as the city..

  • 3 Saint Petrone's Basilica Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Piazza Galvani 5

    Work on this basilica, started in 1390, was only completed in the 17C, when they finally built the vaults! The facade is remarkable for its central portal, a major work by Sienna-born sculptor Jacopo della Quercia. The vast interior has no lack of wo..

  • 4 Bologna National Art Gallery Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Via delle Belle Arti 56

    The national picture gallery showcases work from the 13-18C, most of which from the Bologna school, of which the highlights are Vitale da Bologna's Saint George and the dragon and Giotto's Madonna with child on the throne. The Renaissance section boa..

  • 5 Palace of the Archigymnasium Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Galvani 1

    The 16C palazzo dell'Archiginnasio, rich in lavish decoration, houses an artists' lecture hall, the city library containing more than 2 500 early printed books and 15 000 rare 16C volumes, in addition to an anatomy amphitheatre (17C), formerly devote..

  • 6 Square of the Gate of Ravenna Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza di Porta Ravegnana

    The picturesque Piazza di Porta Ravegnana is the site of two high noble towers, the Asinelli and the Garisenda.

  • 7 Towers of Bologna Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza di Porta Ravegnana

    These tall towers belonging to the nobility are reminders of the fights that once opposed enemy families, the Guelphs and the Ghibellines, against each other. The tallest one, of the Asinelli family, dates from 1109 and is almost 100 m high: 486 step..

  • 8 Bologna City Hall (Palazzo d'Accursio) Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Maggiore

    The facade is made up of buildings dating from the 13C-15C. In the centre is a large portal topped by a statue of Pope Gregory XIII, while to the left is a charming statue of Virgin and Child by Niccolo dell'Arca. At the back of the courtyard, a ramp..

  • 9 Bologna Palace of the Magistrate Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Maggiore e del Nettuno

    The arcaded Renaissance facade of the Palazzo del Podesta overlooks Piazza Maggiore.

  • 10 Municipal Archaeological Museum of Bologna Interesting

    Museums and art

    Via dell' Archiginnasio 2

    The museum is home to some fine collections from Emilia-Romagna, from prehistoric to Renaissance times. Some of the exhibits are from the Necropolis of Verucchio, near Rimini, a major centre of Villanovan culture. Note the askos Benacci, probably a c..

  • 11 Grand Street Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Str. Maggiore

    The elegant Strada Maggiore is lined with many fine town houses, such as the one at No. 19, Isolani mansion, with its rare 13C wooden portico.

  • 12 St-Stefano Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Via Santo Stefano 24

    In this square lined with Renaissance palaces, you will come across the church of the Crucifix, an old Lombard cathedral, before moving on to the polygonal church of the Holy Sepulchre. The church of Saint Vitale and Agricola (8th to 11th C.) is on t..

  • 13 Church of Saint Dominic Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Piazza San Domenico 13

    Saint Dominic is buried here in a fine sarcophagus by Nicola Pisano (1267), while the crowning with the statues is a later work by Niccolo dell'Arca finished by Michelangelo in 1494. Bas-reliefs by Pisano illustrate the life and the miracles of Saint..

  • 14 Church of Saint Francis Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Piazza San Francesco

    Erected in the 13th C., this church is one of the most beautiful examples of the Gothic style in Italy. Notice the three magnificent arches of the glossers, and the remarkable apsidal group. Inside is an altarpiece made of marble by the Venetian scul..

  • 15 Giorgio Morandi Museum Interesting

    Museums and art

    Via Don Minzoni 14

    The Giorgio Morandi Museum is home to a fine collection of works by the Bolognese painter (1860-1964). Ochre, blue, white, ivory and grey depict his colour spectrum and are emblematic of his austere universe, dominated by the absence of human forms. ..

  • 16 Bevilacqua Palace Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via D'Azeglio

    Palazzo Bevilacqua is a beautiful Renaissance edifice embellished with bossages in the Florentine style.

  • 17 San Giacomo Maggiore

    Religious buildings

    Via Zamboni

    Embellished with a lovely Renaissance gallery, this 13C church houses the splendid Bentivoglio chapel, decorated in part by Lorenzo Costa, from Ferrara, and adorned with the Virgin and saints on a throne, painted around 1494 by Francesco Francia. A l..

  • 18 Industrial Art Museum and Davia Bargellini Gallery

    Museums and art

    Str. Maggiore 44

    In a beautiful palace from 1658, "industrial art" collections (in other words, applied and decorative arts) and paintings from the 14th to the 18th C.

  • 19 Church of Holy Mary of the Servi

    Religious buildings

    Strada Maggiore 43

    A beautiful portico with four Renaissance arches, a fine apsidal whole, and between them, a magnificent Virgin in majesty by Cimabue.

  • 20 Municipal Museum of the Middle Ages

    Museums and art

    Via Manzoni 4

    Housed in the beautiful Fava-Ghisilardi Palace (15th C.), this museum evokes the development of urban art from the Middle Ages to the beginning of the Renaissance: arks of the glossers of the University, a statue of Pope Boniface VIII by Manno Bandin..

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