The Asinelli Tower (Torre degli Asinelli), the tallest medieval leaning tower in the world, is located in Bologna, in Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, about 350 meters away from Piazza Maggiore. Together with the nearby Garisenda Tower (Torre della Garisenda), forms the architectural complex named Two Towers (Due Torri), symbol of the city of Bologna. SHORT HISTORY We do not know exactly who built the Asinelli Tower, but it seems that the tower owes its name to Gherardo Asinelli, a noble knight of the Ghibelline faction in Bologna, who began its constuction on October 11, 1109, and finished ten years later, in 1119. At the end of the 14th century, with the decline of the Asinelli family, the tower was purchased by the Municipality of Bologna to be used as a prison and fortress. During the same period, a wooden frame was built around the tower, placed thirty meters above the ground, joined with the Garisenda Tower through a walkway. The walkway was destroyed by a fire in 1398. Over the centuries, the Asinelli Tower was struck by lightning many times, until a lightning rod was installed in 1824. In 1888, the engineer Alessandro Ferretti proposed to mount an elevator Read more [...]
With 132 meters in length and 60 meters wide, the Basilica of San Petronio is the sixth largest church in Europe, despite being largely unfinished. Although is not the cathedral of Bologna, a title that belongs to the nearby Cathedral of San Pietro, it can be considered the main church of the city. SHORT HISTORY In the 14th century, the Bolognese aristocracy revived the cult of San Petronio, bishop of Bologna during the 5th century, and planned to build a church dedicated to him. On June 7, 1390, the first stone was laid in a solemn procession. The project was given to the architect Antonio di Vicenzo, who consulted on the design of the church with the father Andrea Manfredi. At the beginning of the 15th century, di Vicenzo died, and the Papal Legate Baldassarre Cossa, an enemy of the Municipality of Bologna, took advantage of the architect’s death to sell the material gathered for the construction of the church. In 1507, the architect Arduino Arriguzzi was comissioned to continue the work. Arriguzzi was sent to Florence to see and study the dome built by Brunelleschi for the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. On April 30, 1514, the Read more [...]
Palazzo dei Banchi (Palace of the Banks) is a 15th-century palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, next to the Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo del Podesta. The palace takes its name from some shops that practiced currency exchange during the 15th and 16th centuries. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo dei Banchi was the last building erected in Piazza Maggiore, starting with 1412. The palace consists of several buildings joined behind the same facade. The facade of the palace and the portico, known as Pavaglione, were built after a project by the architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola, and were completed between 1565 and 1568. Behind the palace, there is the Mercato di Mezzo, a series of alleys where, since the Middle Ages, a market of typical products and crafts was established. Also located behind Palazzo dei Banchi is the city’s archaeological museum (Museo Civico Archeologico) and the Church of Santa Maria della Vita. ARCHITECTURE Palazzo dei Banchi has a Renaissance-style facade, with a long portico on the ground floor (Pavaglione). The asymmetric facade of the palace has 15 rounded arches, two of which are larger and lead to the alleys mentioned above, while the others are lower. All the Read more [...]
Palazzo dei Notai (Palace of the Notaries) is a medieval palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, between the Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo d’Accursio. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built starting with 1381 as the seat of the Notaries Guild. Its construction had two stages: the part facing the Basilica of San Petronio dates back to 1381, but the one facing Palazzo d’Accursio was rebuilt by Bartolomeo Fioravanti in 1437. In 1422, a loggia was added to the building, and the current door was opened in Via dei Pignattari, next to the Basilica of San Petronio. In 1792, when the vault of the great hall was transformed and raised according to a design by Giuseppe Tubertini, many battlements were damaged, and the palace partially lost its characteristic medieval appearance. In 1908, Palazzo dei Notai was completely restored by Alfonso Rubbiani, who mainly intervened on the facade and demolished the great hall of Tubertini. ART AND ARCHITECTURE Palazzo dei Notai is a rectangular structure made of bricks, crenellated on top, with Gothic mullioned windows. Inside the palace, in the Salone dei Notai (Hall of Notaries), you can admire the 15th-century frescoes representing the Incredulity of Saint Thomas, Read more [...]
Palazzo d’Accursio, also known as Palazzo Comunale, houses the Town Hall of Bologna. The palace is located in Piazza Maggiore, flanked by Palazzo del Podesta and Palazzo dei Notai. SHORT HISTORY Palazzo d’Accursio is actually a collection of buildings joined over the centuries, hidden by the same facade. The original nucleus, purchased by the Municipality at the end of the 13th century, was the home of Accursio, a jurist and teacher of law in Bologna. Only in 1336, the palace became the residence of the Anziani (Senior Citizens), the highest magistracy of the Municipality of Bologna and, therefore, the seat of the city government. In the 15th century, the palace was renovated by Fioravante Fioravanti and an astronomical clock was added on the Torre d’Accursio, with a carousel of automata that paraded at each hour change. Other architectural renovations date back to the early 16th century, after the fall of the Bentivoglio family. At the end of the 16th century, the double flight of stairs that gives access to the interior, attributed to Donato Bramante, was completed. In recent history, the palace became famous for the massacre that bears its name. On November 21, 1920, while the newly elected Read more [...]
Palazzo del Podesta is a beautiful palace in Bologna, located in Piazza Maggiore, adjacent to Palazzo Re Enzo, opposite the Basilica of San Petronio. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 13th century, the Municipality of Bologna expropriated several buildings to create the wonderful Piazza Maggiore, and erected the first complex of palaces destined for public administration, starting with Palazzo del Podesta. Proving insufficient for the needs of the city’s government, between 1244 and 1246, Palazzo Re Enzo was built as an extension of Palazzo del Podesta. In 1453, Aristotile Fioravanti renovated the Romanesque facade of the palace in a Renaissance style, at the behest of Giovanni II Bentivoglio, although he never finished the work due to the expulsion of the Bentivoglio family from the city. The great Hall of the Podesta (Salone del Podesta), located on the upper floor, once a courtroom, was used from 1581 to 1767 as a public theater, and, later, as a playing field for ball games. The hall was completely frescoed by Adolfo De Carolis at the beginning of the 20th century, with The Glories of the City of Bologna. Today, Palazzo del Podesta is a prestigious venue for exhibitions and events. Read more [...]
Present since 1937 in the historic center of Bologna, Ristorante Bolognese is located in an enviable position, close to major hotels, the railway station, the bus station, and a stone’s throw from the central Via Indipendenza. The restaurant, once used as a coal deposit, has a characteristic exposed stone ceiling with vaults, an architectural detail typical of old Bologna. The result is the right atmosphere, intimate and welcoming, in which to propose the typical dishes of the Emilian and Bolognese tradition. The presence of two rooms with a capacity of about 25 seats each makes it particularly suitable for business lunches, dinners or for groups. The Bolognese restaurant has an air-conditioned environment and, in summer, it also has a cozy outdoor veranda. The kitchen is directed by chef Alfredo Morisi with his twenty years of teaching in the old hotel school in Bologna and numerous experiences in the city’s historic restaurants. HOW TO GET THERE The restaurant is about 240 meters away from Bologna Centrale, the main train station of the city. The closest bus station is Stazione Centrale, about 110 meters away from the restaurant.
Situated a few steps from the Due Torri (the Two Towers), restaurant La Brace is a well-known landmark in Bologna for all lovers of good food. The dishes brought to the table are made after the traditional Bolognese recipes mixed with the flavors of Mediterranean cuisine. The menu ranges from typical dishes with home made pasta such as tagliatelle with meat sauce, tortellini in broth, to the famous Rigatoni La Brace or risotto with porcini mushrooms. Depending on the season, the dishes can be enriched with seasonal vegetables and excellent porcini mushrooms. The wide choice of fish dishes will satisfy all your requests, with freshness, variety and imagination. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station is Due Torri, about 110 meters away from the restaurant, on the bus lines 14, 19, 25, 27, T1 and T2. To find the restaurant on foot, use the map below.
Buca San Petronio is a restaurant located in the center of Bologna, 50 meters from Piazza Maggiore. Focused on the Italian Style, from food and wine proposals to design and background music, the restaurant welcomes you in an elegant room and a terrace located in one of the most fascinating corners of the city. The menu, rich in Mediterranean flavors, is created with high quality raw materials from the surrounding area – homemade pasta, Parmigiano Reggiano, Altedo asparagus, Parma ham… Colors, flavors, elegance and harmony: these are the basic ingredients of their creations. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station is Piazza Maggiore, about 120 meters away from the restaurant, on the bus lines 29, A, C and T2. To find the restaurant on foot, use the map below.
Casa Faccioli is an elegant Bed and Breakfast located in the historic center of Bologna, really close to the historic Piazza Maggiore, the Basilica of San Petronio and the other main attractions of the city. Casa Faccioli is, actually, a palace, in which the Bolognese painter Raffaele Faccioli lived and created his art. The building was redesigned in 1924 by the famous architect Edoardo Collamarini. The B & B is an excellent alternative to classic hotels. It allows you the freedom to have breakfast in your pajamas directly in the room or even on the terrace, enjoying a privileged view of the ancient towers. HOW TO GET THERE The closest bus station is Rizzoli, about 80 meters away from the B&B, on the bus lines 19, 20, 25, 27 and 62. Bologna Centrale, the main train station of the city, is about 1.5 kilometers away. To find the B&B on foot, use the map below.
Steam House Room & Breakfast offers the privacy of a guest house and the reception of a bed & breakfast in the historic center of Bologna, in a lively pedestrian street full of restaurants and characteristic places, a few steps from Piazza Maggiore, the main square of the city. The B&B has elegant and original furnishings inspired by the industrial style, which recall the adventurous times of the Victorian era. The rooms have private bathrooms with bidet, a desk and a flat-screen TV, and all the units are equipped with a coffee machine. A continental breakfast is available each morning at the property. HOW TO GET THERE Steam House is located about 1.3 kilometers from Bologna Centrale, the main train station of the city. The closest bus station is Irnerio, about 170 meters away from the property.
Hotel Internazionale is a 4-Star hotel located in a historic building in Via Indipendenza, in the heart of Bologna, within walking distance of the main attractions of the city. The ancient part of the building, on Via Indipendenza, was damaged during the Second World War and rebuilt in 1969 under the supervision of the architect Melchiorre Bega. Hotel Internazionale offers 80 double rooms, 12 single rooms, 12 superior and 12 deluxe, to satisfy every type of clientele. The hotel is equipped with a meeting room with natural light, and also offers the possibility of organizing catering services for small groups or individual customers. Free Wi-Fi is available everywhere. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Internazionale is located about 650 meters from the Bologna Centrale, the main train station of the city. The closest bus station is Mille Indipendenza, about 80 meters away. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
The Fountain of Neptune (Fontana del Nettuno) is a wonderful fountain made by Giambologna in the 16th century, located in the square dedicated to the same deity of the sea, in Bologna. SHORT HISTORY The Fountain of Neptune is, in fact, a collaborative project of Zanobio Portigiani, Tommaso Laureti and Giambologna, commissioned by the vice-minister Pier Donato Cesi to glorify the papal government of Pope Pius IV. The purpose of the fountain was to embellish the new Piazza del Nettuno, adjacent to Piazza Maggiore. The project was assigned on August 2, 1563, to the Bolognese architect Zanobio Portigiani, to the Palermitan architect Tommaso Laureti, who was delegated to execute the architectural structure of the fountain, and finally to the Flemish Mannerist sculptor Giambologna (Jean Boulogne), commissioned to build the bronze statue of Neptune and the sculptural parts. The fountain was completed in 1566. In 1604, a high fence was built around the fountain, which effectively managed to prevent acts of vandalism. The fence was removed by the city administration only in 1888. Throughout its history, the Neptune fountain has undergone numerous restorations. A first restoration took place in 1708 by the hand of the custodian Carlo Fagottini, who patched Read more [...]
Piazza Maggiore is the main square of Bologna and, at the same time, one of the most beautiful in Italy. The square is surrounded by the most important buildings of the medieval city, of which we can mention Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo d’Accursio, Palazzo dei Notai, Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo dei Banchi. SHORT HISTORY Piazza Maggiore is one of the very first squares built in Italy after the fall of the Roman Empire. The square was built starting with the year 1200, when the local people felt the need to have a central market and a public place for meeting. Only in the 15th century, the square received its present form, while in the 16th century the entire area was rearranged by papal will. Also, in the same century, the adjacent Piazza del Nettuno with the splendid Fountain of Neptune was built. In 1860, Piazza Maggiore was named after Vittorio Emanuele II, until 1943, when the king’s equestrian monument was transferred to the Margherita Gardens, where it is still located. From 1943 to 1945, the square was called Piazza della Repubblica, and in June 1945 received its current name. ARCHITECTURE The square measures 115 meters in Read more [...]