One of the best preserved medieval historic centers in the world, a city rich in culture, art and with an incomparable gastronomic tradition.Bologna has a reputation for being a foodie's paradise. It is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, home to some of the most famous pasta dishes, as well as meat, cheese and wine specialties. But there are also plenty of historical and cultural sights - one of which is the arcades from the Middle Ages, which have an impressive length of 38 kilometers and are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Most of the basilicas and squares are located in the city center, which has a network of pedestrian streets, making it easy to explore on foot. For more information, please visit the Official Tourist Information Site of Bologna.
The heart of the city, Piazza Maggiore is the result of centuries-old transformations that gradually enriched it with important buildings: the Basilica of San Petronio, the Palazzo dei Notai, the Palazzo d’Accursio, the Palazzo del Podestà and the Palazzo dei Banchi. It dates back to 1200, when the Municipality began to acquire houses and land to build a square, which, on one hand, was to represent the importance of the municipal institution and, on the other, was to bring together the various city activities (exchanges, trade and services of various kind).
Santuario di Madonnna di San Luca
The Sanctuary of San Luca, located on Colle della Guardia, has been the symbol of Bologna as well as a place of religious worship for centuries. It is connected to the city center by a road that, starting from Porta Saragozza, unwinds for four kilometers with a portico that boasts over 600 archways and is the longest in the world. Together with the other city porticoes, it was included in UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2021.
The two towers: Garisenda and degli Asinelli
The two towers are commonly recognized as symbols of Bologna and are located in the heart of the city at the point where the ancient Via Emilia (Aemilian Way) entered the city. The Asinelli Tower is the only one open to the public. Booking is required online or at Bologna Welcome Information Office. They were built during the Middle Ages and had a military function (signalling and defence) as well as representing, with their grandeur, the social prestige of the family that had them built.
The old market in the Quadrilatero
The “Quadrilateral” is a bustling area in Bologna’s city center with a craft, mercantile and trading tradition dating back to the Middle Ages. You cross the tall perspective archways leaving the elegant Piazza Maggiore behind you to venture into the narrow fragrant alleyways of the ancient market of Medieval origin with the characteristic “holes”.