is a beautiful city. It is very friendly to pedestrians and is conducive
to sightseeing. Even rain can’t stop people from going around.
The people of Bologna have very thoughtfully created porticos that
create a dry walkway in front of every building.
heart of the city is created by the two main squares: the Piazza
Maggiore and the Piazza del Nettuno. If you only have one day to
go around Bologna, this is the area to be in. The best part is everything
here is in easy walking distance, with porticos to shade you from
the harsh sun and the rain, should any fall. It is also fun just
to find a seat here and people watch. Almost everyone in Bologna
goes here at some point during the day.
The two towers (Le Due Torre) are easily visible
against the Bologna skyline, as they lean toward each other. Created
by the wealthy families of the city as signs of prestige as well
as for defence, there used to be hundreds of towers in the city.
Most have fallen or been demolished. There are only a few left.
The Torre degli Asinelli and Torre degli Garisenda are the best
known of the few that remain. Only the Asinelli tower (the taller
of the two structures) is open to the public and is worth the long
Standing in the Piazza del Nettuno, you can’t
miss the “Giant” as they call the statue that depicts
the God of the sea, at the top of the Fontana di Nettuno (Neptune
Fountain). It is a magnificent, well-muscled statue of Neptune with
cherubs, dolphins and mermaids adding a playful feel to the scene.
It is a masterpiece that was quite controversial in its time.
The Basilica di San Petronio is the fifth largest
church in the world. It is dedicated to the city’s patron
saint and is a treasure trove of art. Its unfinished façade
makes it unique, as does the fact that it contains within its walls
the longest meridian line (sundial) created at 66.8m. There are
22 chapels within its walls, each containing artwork from many great
For those who wish to see more of history from
the Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Etruscan period, the Archeological
Museum (Museo Civico Archeologico) is the place to go. The museum
contains the collection of Filippo Pelagio Palagi as well as some
mummies and sarcophagi. All the archeological findings from digs
in and around Bologna can be found here.
The Palazzo Comunale, aside from being the seat
of government in the city, also houses two museums. The Municipal
Arts Collection in the Sala Urbana contains the works of the great
artists from Bologna. The Museum of Giorgio Morandi (Museo di Giorgio
Morandi) on the other hand, contains the paintings of this great
painter. They have even recreated his atelier or studio for people
to see. The Palazzo Communale can be viewed by request only so it
is best to inquire before visiting.
If you wish to go outside of the squares, visitors
may want to drop by the Basilica di San Domenico. Dedicated to St
Dominic, patron saint of astronomers, scientists and the falsely
accused, he is also the founder of the Dominican Order of Preaching
Friars. The church where his tomb lies is a magnificent collaboration
of skills, including the work of a young Michaelangelo, visible
in the angel candleholder on the right side of the saint’s
There is so much to see in Bologna. Art is everywhere
and life, vibrant life fills the city. It is worth exploring.