Not as commercial as Florence or Venice, and offering numerous attractions, Bologna can captivate you. Tourists are attracted by the atmosphere and delicious cuisine, with particular emphasis on delicious pizza.
Walks around Bologna, and certainly in the historic center, will not be disturbed by the whims of the weather. The tour can be continued under the arcades. They are spacious enough as they were built to accommodate a rider on a horse. But Bologna is famous not only for the arcades around its old part, but also for the number of museums, and of course for its Bolognese sauce steaming appetizingly on top of the spaghetti.
If someone goes to this beautiful Italian city with the desire to visit as many attractions as possible, he should get the so-called Bologna Welcome Card . It is a card valid for 48 hours, which entitles you to discounts when booking accommodation, discounts at service and food outlets, as well as unlimited use of Wi-Fi points. It provides free admission to museums and one of the forms of transport around the city.
Visiting Bologna - where to start?
The heart of Bologna is Piazza Maggiore with the Neptune Fountain made of bronze. Next to it, there is the 13th-century Palazzo del Podestà and the former stock exchange, the Ex-Sala Borsa. Today, it houses the city library, attracting not so much with priceless books as with remnants of pavements and a forum from the times of the Roman Empire. We will see them under the glass floor of the library.
Right on the square stands one of the largest Gothic churches in Italy - the Basilica of San Petronio . Its formation dragged on for centuries due to lack of funds, and was finally completed in the 17th century. In the left aisle there is an astronomical clock - if someone visits the interior at noon, he will be able to see a ray of light indicating the day and month on the basilica floor. The paintings by Giovanni da Modena in the chapels of the temple and the reliefs by Jacop della Quercia decorating the main entrance portal are noteworthy.
Medieval Bologna was famous for its tall towers, built at the behest of wealthy families. The higher the tower was, the more wealthy the ordering parties were. To this day, only 2 out of almost 200, Torre della Garisenda and Torre degli Asinelli , have survived. The second, higher, is available to tourists who, after climbing to its top (and climbing exactly 498 steps), can admire the magnificent panorama of the city. Torre della Garisenda has been quite badly damaged by time - only half of it has survived.
The oldest university in Europe
When talking about Bologna, one cannot ignore the most important, i.e. the oldest university in Europe - the University of Bologna , founded at the beginning of the 11th century. He taught there, among others Umberto Eco, apart from that, there were also women among the lecturers. A nice touch for Poles is the sight of the monument to one of the students, Nicolaus Copernicus.
The main seat of the university is Palazzo Poggi, where you can see the scientific collections or simply walk along the corridors and see memorial plaques and sculptures. Previously, the university was located in the Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. One of the greatest attractions of the palace is the famous 17th-century Anatomica Room , where the first autopsies were carried out. The building is also famous for the huge collections of the Communal Library, the largest in the entire Emilia-Romagna region.
Where to stay
You cannot drive in the center, so you should look for a parking lot in advance. If you want to stay in Bologna longer, you may consider leaving the vehicle a bit further and using public transport. About 5 km north of the heart of the city is the Centro Turistico Città di Bologna - a hotel and camping site with a campsite and pitches for vehicles. An adult's overnight stay costs 6.5-7.5 euros, and a seat - from 11 to 13 euros a day. One of the advantages of the campsite is easy access to the city center, and the downside may be that it is sometimes quite noisy. There is also bustle in the city itself, and the later the time, the more so.
How will we remember Bologna? As a city of arcades, approximately 30 km long. As a city of Bolognese sauce and mortadella, towers and lush red roofs. You can lose your heart here.
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