Giuseppe Zurlo

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The squares of Bologna

Updated on 19 March 2020 From Comune di Bologna

The true essence of a visit to Bologna is disclosed within its old town, its streets and its wonderful squares, meeting places of sociality and conflicts, extremely versatile and ever-changing over time, and yet nerve centre of the city even today. If you have a couple of hours or half day to enjoy the city, here’s a useful external itinerary to discover the most fascinating squares of Bologna.

Your tour begins in Piazza Maggiore, the city’s beating heart since the middle ages, which dates back to the early 13th century and where two of the city’s most recognizable landmarks are located, the Basilica of San Petronio and Palazzo d’Accursio, the town hall. The main square is surrounded by Piazza Galvani on one side, enclosed on the east by the Archiginnasio’s porticoes, and by Piazza Nettuno on the other, named after the famous Neptune Statue by Giambologna towering in the centre.

The end of via Rizzoli opens out to Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, dominated by the massive dimensions of the two Towers, Asinelli and Garisenda, symbol of the city. Nearby you can access both Piazza della Mercanzia, distinguished by a beautiful fourteenth-century building, and Piazza Santo Stefano with the renowned complex of the “seven churches” and Palazzo Isolani. Continuing along via Santo Stefano you will finally get to Piazza Carducci, dedicated to the poet Giosuè Carducci whose monument has stood proud in the square since 1928.

Other notable locations include Piazza San Domenico, particularly known for housing two tombs of the so named Glossators (the first university professors), Piazza San Francesco, and lastly, right in the middle of the university district, Piazza Verdi, with the Teatro Comunale, the city’s opera house.

  Download the brochure about the squares of Bologna here

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