12 things to do and see in Bologna

“Erudite, red and fat”:  these are the three nicknames used to describe Bologna, the chief town of the rich region Emilia Romagna.  Bologna  “la Dotta – the Erudite”, because in Bologna you can find one of the most ancient Universities of the world, still attended by many Italian and foreign students.

Bologna  “la Rossa – the Red”, because of the color of the roofs, the typical color of the medieval age.  Bologna “la Grassa – the Fat”, because of its delicious cuisine:  Bologna’s food is known all around the world because it can seduce everybody. In this page we suggest 12 things to do and see during a holiday or a weekend in Bologna.

12. Basilica di San Petronio in Bologna


The Basilica di San Petronio is the most important church in Bologna and it’s the fifth largest church in the world. The construction of this church began in 1390 and continued for centuries. In order to build this temple,  civil pride’s symbol of Bologna, towers, houses and eight churches were destroyed.

This Basilica has been for a long time used by the township of Bologna as public building for many purposes: a place of ceremonies, court, public meeting; in 1929 after the Patti Lateranensi (Lateran Pacts: agreements made between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See), it returned property of the church. If you visit this Basilica you can’t miss the beautiful Sundial made by Cassini, which demonstrate that the Earth moves around the sun. This is the last big Gothic church realized in Italy, characterized by a Latin cross plan with three naves and chapels. You can’t miss the Cappella Bolognini frescoed with Stories of the Three Kings;  the left wall, at the top, The Last Judgment and Heaven.  At the bottom of the fresco, the Hell with an extraordinary and big Lucifer, and the representation of the prophet Muhammad in hell.

Where: city center
How to get there: by feet
When – Hours: from 7.45 am to 2.00 pm and from 3 pm to 6 pm
Tickets: free entrance, during exhibitions some frescoes could not be free


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