Bologna is one of those secondary “must visit” cities in Italy. After taking care of more well-known hubs like Rome and Venice, time-permitting the next cities on one’s list include places like Bologna. I never made it here during my semester of study abroad, so I figured there was no better time than the present to make my way over.
A quick one hour train ride from Milan, the historical center of Bologna is a charming reminder of medieval times. Its many towers, gates (or porte), and brick buildings take you back in time to an age of long ago. Something I discovered about the city upon visiting were it’s strong communist roots; it is often referred to as a “red city.” Another thing worth noting is that Bologna is home to the world’s oldest university, namely the University of Bologna.
Below is a collection of photographs from primary tourist attractions as well as general sights from the streets.
Basilica di San Petronio
This church took 300 years to build but remains incomplete. It houses 22 chapels within its walls and is located in Bologna’s main square, Piazza Maggiore.
The two towers of Asinelli and Garisenda are two of Bologna’s most iconic. They are not straight but in fact lean towards each other (think, “leaning tower of Pisa”).
This is one of Bologna’s principal piazze. It’s surrounded by many important historical administrative buildings, including Palazzo d’Accursio (former city hall, now a museum) Palazzo dei Notai (former notaries’ guild), Palazzo dei Banchi (former banking center), and Palazzo del Podestà (former police and justice offices).
Sette Chiese di Santo Stefano
The basilica of Santo Stefano features a cluster of interconnected churches within its complex.
Archiginnasio di Bologna
In the past, this building was the main building of the University of Bologna. Today, it houses the Archiginnasio Municipal Library and the Anatomical Theatre.
Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna
The National Art Gallery of Bologna showcases paintings created by artists who were connected to the city in some way. The paintings herald from between the 13h and 18th centuries.