Walking through the town

Walking through the town

Bologna is an ancient university town with a well preserved historical centre, one of largest in Italy.It is very famous for its towers and its long porticoes . The first settlement are back to one thousand years before Christ and the town was always an important urban centre, with Etruscan and Celts at the beginning, then with Romans (they called it Bononia) and in the Middle Age , as a free Municipality.

We are glad to provide for you a list (even if not exhaustive) of main monuments and museums that make of Bologna a town that deserves  to be explored and we invite you to ask our Reception for any orher information: maps, guides, visit reservations and any other useful tool to discover this magic city.


Two Towers                                                                                                                                    

This Two Towers were built around 1200 and they have become the symbol of Bologna. The Garisenda Tower was built by Garisendi family at the beginning of XI century, whereas the Asinelli Tower was built by the noble family of Asinelli between 1109 and 1119.

The Fountain of Neptune                                                                                                                           

The building of the monumental fountain was due to the will of Cardinal Carlo Borromeo, who wanted to bring prestige to the area of Piazza Maggiore.  The fountain was designed in 1536 by the architect and painter Tommaso Laureti, but the big bronze statue was achieved by the ducth sculptor Jean de Boulogne from Douai, who will be known later as Giambologna.

Palazzo Comunale                                                                                                                                                           

This building is also called “Palazzo d’Accursio” because originally it was the house of Francesco Accursio, doctor and teacher of Law in the Bolognese School. In 1136 it became the headquarter of “Anziani” (Seniors), the higher magistracy of the Municipality (“Comune”) and therefore the venue of the city government. In XV century it was renovated by Fioravante Fioravanti, who also added the clock of the tower. The building is now the head office of Municipality and it hosts a permanent art  and history collection, where the memory of historical and political past of the city is preserved.

Palazzo del Podestà                                              

Built at the beginning of XIII century, it was the first venue of the Middle-Age city government, represented by “Podestà”, the most important authority of the Municipality.

 Palazzo Re Enzo                                             

The building was originally called “Palazzo Nuovo” (New Building) in order to distinguish it from the Podestà building, then its name was changed after an historical famous episode. Indeed King Enzo of Sardegna, son of Frederich II Staufen von Schvaben, was imprisoned here for 23 years after the Fossalta defeat.



Santo Stefano Basilique  

Built over the location of ancient pagan worship, the Basilique of S. Stefano (also known as “of Seven Churches”) is composed of several holy buildings in front of the beautiful square Piazza Santo Stefano.                            


San Domenico Church                

The church of San Domenico was built in XIII century and was achieved by Dominicans on the side of the convent where the Saint who founded the religious order died. Its current outward is due to the work of C.F. Dotti, who changed it in 1728; the church is facing Piazza San Domenico, one of most beautiful in town.


The Church of San Petronio                                                                                                                                                         

In 1390 the Municipality of Bologna entrusted Antonio di Vincenzo to manage the building of a great cathedral with Gothic style. According to first ideas, it had to overcome the size of San Pietro Basilique in Rome (this plan was then stopped since the Pope did not wanted it),. The church would have been  been dedicated to San Petronio, who was Bishop of  Bologna during the V century and was the patron of the town. The facade was never completed.



Municipal Archeological Museum , via dell’Archiginnasio 2 – Phone  +39 – 051 – 2757211                                                         

Opening hours: 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday;  10 a.m. -6,30 p.m. Saturday and holidays (Closed on Monday)
It collects important materials about Bolognese history from prehistory to Latin age.


Municipal Middle-Age Museum , via Manzoni 4 – Phone +39 – 051 – 203930                                                                                      

Opening hours: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. from Tuesday to Friday; 10 a.m. -6,30 p.m. Saturday and holidays (Closed on Monday)

It collects Middle-Age sculptures, glasses, weapons, bronze and ivory objects and miniatures.


Mambo Modern Art Museum of Bologna, via Don Minzoni 14 – Phone +39 –  051 – 6496611                                             

Opening hours:  10 a.m. -6 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday; only on Thursday 10 a.m. -10 p.m. (Closed on Monday)

You will find here different works of contemporary international arts: from Informal to Concept Art, as well as “Arte Povera” and all last artistic trends.


Morandi Museum– Mambo, Via Don Minzoni, 14 –  Phone +39- 051 – 6496611            

Opening time:  10 a.m -6 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday only on Thursday 10 a.m. -10 p.m. (Closed on Monday)                                  

Totally dedicated to Giorgio Morandi, Bolognese painter, it collects 250 works: paintings, watercolor, etchings and designs.


National Pinacoteca, via Belle Arti 56 – Phone +39- 051 – 4209411                                                                                                

09-19 hours (Closed on Monday)
It offers a path through the Emilian painting from 200 to 800 where you can admire the works of Giotto , Raphael, Titian, Tintoretto , Carracci , Guido Reni.

Ducati Museum, via Cavalier Ducati 3    Tel. 051 – 6413111                                                                                                  

Opening hours : 09.30 – 13.30 Monday to Friday , reservation compulsory                                

It offers 26 classic motorcycles that trace fifty years of history of motorcycle racing , starting with the ” Cucciolo ” (1946) , to the more modern models .


Sanctuary of San Luca

The Sanctuary of the Madonna di S. Luca is located on Colle della Guardia , about 300 meters above sea level and the current building dates back to the mid-700 . The splendid panoramic position overlooking the entire Po valley makes it a must not only for tourists, but for the same Bolognese who often face the climb by faith, for leisure and also for jogging.

Opening hours: 6:45

Closing hours:

from November to February : 17.00

March and October: 18.00

From April to September : 19.00

On weekdays the Sanctuary is also closed from 12.30 to 14.30


How to reach the Sanctuary

On foot:

Portico of Sanctuary (45 minutes) from the town Meloncello

Public Services :

From Piazzale Re Enzo bus number 20 ( direction Casalecchio di Reno ) with a stop at Villa Spada (where the Arcade begins) + CoSePuRi small bus . 58 from Villa Spada to the Sanctuary (27 minutes)

San Luca Express bus from Piazza Malpighi that leads directly to the Sanctuary ( 22 minutes) – ask the timetables to our Reception