How to Plan a Walking Tour of Bologna’s Old Architecture

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Bologna’s iconic port has earned it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. But it’s not the only architectural treasure in a city steeped in history.

published 10 Dec 2021 16:01 GMT

Bologna, Italy – Two Towers (Due Torri), Asinelli and Garisenda, iconic Medieval Bologna towers.

photo by Getty Images

From tagliatelle alla bolognese to tortellini in brodo, classic Italian dishes are part of Bologna’s timeless appeal, but this is a city as famous for its architecture as it is for its culinary prestige. Perhaps the city’s most distinctive feature is the port: more than 30 miles of sheltered sidewalks, where foundation stones have been laid since the early 13th century, connecting homes and businesses. of the old town in the Middle Ages An ornate stone arch or arch built to shield the city from the sun. It is the highlight of the Bologna urban landscape. And the architectural significance of these is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List this July. This is where the daily life of Bolognese takes place. from meeting neighbors about coffee persuasion of crafts to the people passing by Follow these trails and discover a city rich in Italian heritage and home to one of the world’s oldest universities and a well-preserved network of Roman ruins.

1. San Luca Wharf

This jetty stretches nearly 2.5 miles from the hilltop sanctuaries of Madonna di San Luca to the historic center. It was built between the 17th and 18th centuries, primarily to protect the Byzantine symbol of the Virgin Mary from the scorching sunlight during religious processions. Hundreds of arches line the winding path from the Roman Catholic cathedral. Downhill from the Roman Catholic Cathedral Take in the view of Bolognese at home

2. Certosa Monument Cemetery

as you walk down the hill Instead, redirect to the city’s cemetery. It was built on the site of a former Carthusian monastery and formerly an ancient Etruscan tomb. It is often described as an open-air museum. which is full of sculpture collection wall painting and a stunning cemetery set among the vast halls and cloisters. Many famous Italians have vacationed here. including 18th-century painter Gaetano Gandolfi and Ferrucio Lamborghini, the founders of the luxury sports car maker of the same name.

3. Library Hall Borsa

when in the middle Head to the Public Library, located within Bologna’s majestic town hall, the Palazzo d’Accursio, its position on the grand Piazza Maggiore. But the real wonders are right here under your feet. Excavations on the palace grounds have revealed the ancient Roman city of Bononia. Along with foundations, wells and passageways dating from the 1st century BC, the glass floor lets you explore the buried city. But you’ll get a closer guided view.

4. Archiginacio

Get lost in the corner and you can dive into the Italian Renaissance at Archiginnasio This was the city’s main university building until 1803, but now serves as a library. Full of stairs and majestic coats of arms. and many halls are still open to visitors. The discontinued anatomical theater is undoubtedly the highlight. with marble slitting table The walls are decorated with spruce. statues depicting physiological grace and grisly ‘man with skin’ statues.

5. Two Towers

La Rossa (‘Red’) is one of the city’s nicknames. And while it can sometimes be attributed to its left-leaning political reputation. But it also means an ocean of terracotta buildings. Climb 500 steps to the top of the mighty Asinelli Tower to see the maroon roof that stretches for miles. Here are the twin towers leaning against the symbol of Bologna. The other building is nearby Garrisenda Tower. The city was once crammed with more than 100 towers, built by medieval lords as a symbol of strength, 24 of which still stand today.

6. University of Bologna

Nearby is the city’s university. It was founded in 1088, making it a university considered by most historians to be the longest running university in the world. Bologna’s reputation as Italy’s left-wing political fortress is immense throughout. Look at the slogans written on the walls and signs in the university windows. Explore the remnants of medieval architecture. And don’t miss the Palazzo Poggi Museum, filled with ancient scientific equipment.

Do you know? Bologna’s two towers are referenced in numerous literary works, from Dante’s 14th-century Inferno, depicting the leaning Garisenda Tower, to Charles Dickens’ 1846 travelogue. Picture from Italy.

Released December 2021 problem of National Geographic Traveler (United Kingdom)

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