Welcome is Bologna

Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro

St. Peter City Cathedral

Via Indipendenza, 9 - 40121 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 222112

Reference maps: C-4


Date of last update: 20/12/2019, 09:54

It is the cathedral of Bologna, entitled “Metropolitana” in 1582 by Pope Gregorio XIII, who also turned the diocese of Bologna into an archdiocese. There used to be a baptistery in front of the façade and the origins of the building may be traced back to the beginning of the Christian era (although it is said that the church already existed during the 10th century).

The cathedral underwent several changes throughout the centuries: it was first hit by a fire in August 1131 and further put under strain by an earthquake in 1222.

The building, as it may be seen today, was renovated by three architects (Floriano Ambrosini, Alfonso Torreggiani and Cosimo Morelli), who removed every trace of the original Romanesque-gothic structure. The project began on 26th March 1605 and the cathedral was enriched with a new façade designed by Alfonso Torreggiani between 1743 and 1754 commissioned by the bolognese Pope Benedetto XIV.

The inside of the church is enriched from the paintings by Prospero Fontana (1579), Ludovico Carracci (the Annunciation in the lunette of the main altar, 1618), Marcantonio Franceschini (1728) and Donato Creti (1740) as well as from two plastic groups of particular interest: a Crucifix between the Madonna and St. Giovanni Evangelista made of wood dating back to the 12th century, already present in the Romanesque cathedral, and a Compianto sul Cristo morto (Lamentation over the Dead Christ) by Alfonso Lombardi (1522-1527).

The treasure of the cathedral contains liturgical artefacts and vestments of great artistic and spiritual value starting from the 14th century.

Its bell tower is the second tallest tower in the city (70 m). It is actually composed of two towers in one built in different times (the 10th and 13th centuries). The belfry houses the largest bell that can be rung “in the Bolognese way of ringing” (in a cadenced manner and with full rotation of the bell) and weighs 33 tons. The bell complex weighs 65 tons. There is a beautiful panoramic view of the city centre and nearby hillsides from the top of the tower.

Source: Curia Arcivescovile and Le Chiese di Bologna (L'Inchiostroblu)

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.

Monday to Sunday: 7am - 7pm; 8 am (Via Indipendenza's entrance). During the religious services, the tourist visit could be limited or suspended. Opening times can be subjected to little changes. For further information please call: 051 222112.


The "Campanile of the Cathedral" can be visited on Saturday from 2pm to 4:30pm and from 7pm to 11pm. A donation of € 5 is required for the maintenance of the tower and the Cathedral. 

Special openings of the tower, archeological area and treasure - January 2020.

Saturday 4/1 

Sunday 5/1 

Monday 6/1

Saturday 11/1

Saturday 18/1

Sunday 19/1

Saturday 25/1

Sunday 26/1

For information  Tel: +39051222112 

  • The Archaeological Area will be open on Saturday from 2pm to 4:30pm and from 8pm to 11pm. On other days the Archaeological Area can be visited by appointment sending an SMS to +39 3888987065.
  • The "Treasure of the Cathedral" can be visited by reservation calling  +39 051 222112 - guided tours for groups are available by reservation. 

Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro