This corner of the city is known as "little Venice". Looking out among the buildings, you can see one of the few stretches of running water, which was not covered with asphalt between the beginning of the twentieth century and the postwar period.
Piazza Maggiore is located at the very centre of Bologna. In the past the square underwent many changes and was further enriched with important buildings: Basilica di San Petronio, Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà and Palazzo dei Bianchi.
Piazza Santo Stefano is one of the most peculiar places in Bologna. Even though it is mainly considered as a square, it is not properly this: Via Santo Stefano widens to create this peculiar area that leads to the monumental group of buildings named after the same Saint.
Piazza di Porta Ravegnana (originally known as Porta Ravennate) is the place where “le due torri”, (the two towers, symbols of Bologna) and the statue of San Petronio (the patron Saint of the city) may be found.
Piazza Galvani is located behind Basilica di San Petronio and in front of the portico leading to Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio. At the centre of the square there is a marble statue by Adalberto Cencetti representing Luigi Galvani, a famous bolognese scholar mainly known for his research about bioelectricity, while observing the famous frog he used to study.
Piazza dei Martiri was originally named after King Umberto I. It was built in 1889 when this area was still mostly rural; as a matter of fact, here there were the ancient gardens first belonging to the Poeti and then to the Garagnani families. In 1945 tha square was given its current name, Piazza dei Martiri, to homage people died in fighting Nazis and Fascists during WWII.
The origins of this area, now known as Piazza VIII Agosto, may be traced back to the ancient Roman Empire. The area was acquired by the Municipality of Bologna in 1219 and from 1251 it came to be known as Piazza del Mercato because here the cattle market used to take place.
Charming stretch of street which currently houses the homonymous bar, it derives its name from the presence of some florists’. In the back of one of these, in November 1794, two university students - Luigi Zamboni (from Bologna) and Giovanni Battista De Rolandis (from Asti) – prepared an attempted insurrection against the papal government, soon failed.
Via San Vitale is divided into two segments. The first starts from the foot of the Two Towers and reaches Piazza Aldrovandi and has a prevalently noble and upper-class character, and the second, from Piazza Aldrovandi to the gate, which, apart from a couple of exceptions, has a more middle-class and popular character.
In the nineteen thirties (1932-1936) the fascist administration completed the modern thoroughfare, initially named Via Roma, which was developed on the left-hand side with several buildings that reflected the modernist formalism of the time.
The street was the access to the Porto Naviglio, Bologna's docks for the transport of goods on the Canale Navile. In 1801, the Western part of the street was called Via dei Murelli that was remaining about protection walls built for the security of pedestrians in the second half of the 16th century.