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Basilica of San Petronio

Basilica of St. Petronius

Piazza Maggiore - 40124 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 231415

Reference maps: D-4

Date of last update: 09/03/2020, 12:42

The Basilica of San Petronio, dedicated to the city's patron saint, is located in Piazza Maggiore and is the largest and most important church in Bologna.

Its construction began in 1390 under the supervision of Antonio di Vincenzo. In 1514, Arduino degli Arriguzzi suggested a new Latin-cross model that would have been larger than St. Peter's Basilica in Rome but, according to legend, Pope Pius IV blocked its construction and insisted on the erection of the Archiginnasio instead. The façade also remained unfinished, being only partly covered in marble by Giacomo Ranuzzi starting from 1538. The interior, completed in different eras, is divided into three naves, which open onto twenty-two chapels decorated by artists, including Francesco Francia, Lorenzo Costa, Parmigianino and Donato Credi.

Famous is the Music Chapel of San Petronio, the oldest musical institution in Bologna (1436), whose most prestigious symbol is a still functioning organ, which, built around 1470 by Lorenzo da Prato, is the oldest in the world still in use. The Chapel of the Three Wise Men (IV) or Bolognini,  is also very popular among visitors. Its walls were sumptuously frescoed by Giovanni da Modena with scenes representing “Heaven” and “Hell”.

The sundial by the astronomer Cassini is also well-known and is the longest in the world, measuring 67.27 metres.

The Basilica of San Petronio also has a bell tower. Built in the 15th century by Giovanni da Brensa, it is 62 metres high and rises to the height of the eleventh chapel to the right of the church. One of its four bells is called "the schoolgirl" (la scolara), because it marked the beginning of the university lessons at the Archiginnasio.

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it
by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exits n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

Basilica di San Petronio
Free entrance - Foto ticket € 2

Cappella dei Magi
Admission ticket € 3.00 - Group € 1

Panoramic terrace*
Admission ticket € 3.00
Free entrance: Bologna Welcome Card PLUS holders, Amici di San Petronio members, priests, monks, children up to 12.
*The visit takes approximately 30 minutes. Access to the panoramic terrace is allowed to max. 25 persons at the same time. 

For groups reservation is required.
 +39 346 5768400 every day from 10am to 6pm


Monday to Saturday 7:45am-1:30pm and 3.30pm-6pm

Sunday 7:45am-1:30pm and 2:30pm-7:00pm

During the religious services, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended. 
Opening times can be subjected to little changes.

For further information: 
+39 051 6480611 Curia Arcivescovile

Panoramic terrace The terrace remains closed, the reopening date to be defined(54 meters in height) - entrance on the side Piazza Galvani. Access is by lift or by stairs (from the scaffold) 

Every day 10am-1pm and 3pm-6pm
Opening hours can be changed on the occasion of special events.

Cappella Bolognini/Magi
Every day 9:30am-1:30pm/2:30pm-6pm

Monday closed
Tuesday to Saturday 10am-12:30pm/2:30pm-5:30pm
Sunday 2:30pm/5:30pm

Bell tower
Usually not open to the public

At the entrance, Police controls are possible of backpacks and bags. In case of visit it is advisable not to bring large backpacks and bags with you.

Audioguide use is requested for groups of min. 7 persons + guide.
Reservations:  emiliaromagna@toursound.it info +39 349 1998587

Guided Tours: it is possible to attend 1-hour tour in: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Hungarian. Booking required within 2 days prior to the date of visit.
Visit Fee: € 50.00 for 5 persons + € 3.50 every additional person
Info and reservations: +39 346 5768400 - prenotazioni@succedesoloabologna.it

Basilica di San Petronio