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Exploring The Beauty And Charm Of Bologna

Exploring The Beauty And Charm Of Bologna

Bologna is often bypassed by tourists for the more popular destinations of Rome, Venice and Florence. However, this city is a must-see when you are visiting Italy.

You simply cannot afford to miss this gem of a sight which Italians consider to be second only to Venice when it comes to beauty and charm. Those who like to explore superb cultural, historical and architectural attractions without the mass tourism should definitely consider visiting Bologna.

Moreover, it is a city famous for delicious cuisine, making it a haven for visiting foodies.

Bologna is easily reachable by train from major Italian destinations. Inter-regional trains will transport you to the city in 1.5 hrs from Florence and 2.5 hrs from Milan, while the Eurostar train is a faster option (only 2.5 hrs) if you are coming from Rome. Moreover, the central train station is located north of the city and takes less than an hour on foot to reach the main square of Piazza Maggiore. However, if you are not up for a long walk, be on the lookout for buses no. 25 and 30 to take you to the area.

Piazza Maggiore, located in the old part of the city, remains the best starting point of your Bologna exploration. Overlooking the piazza’s landscape is the famous Basilica of San Petronio, the 5th largest in the world. It dates back to 1392 and is the home to a remarkable sun dial that brought us the leap year in today’s calendar. Also, surrounding the square is the handsome building of the Palazzo Comunale with its grand staircase and the remarkable collection of Renaissance object d’art. Furthermore, the piazza is also home to the lovely Palazzo del Podesta and the portico dei Banchi which are also worth visiting.

Not far from Piazza Maggiore you will discover a marvelous work of art- The Neptune Fountain. This exquisite piece is a bronze statue of Neptune rising above four angels and four sirens – is a remarkable sight during the day but even more breathtaking when it is all lit up during the night.

From there, you can visit the two leaning towers at Piazza di Porta Ravegnana. These are two of the 20 medieval towers – originally 100 towers back in the 12th and 13th centuries – that are still standing to this day. Or for the more active tourists, you can climb Torre degle Asinelli and get a great panoramic view of russet rooftops, terra cota buildings and Renaissance palaces laid out before you.

Another must see/visit square is Piazza di Stanto Stefano, which is home to the many churches of St. Stefano. This complex of churches is actually made up of several interconnected churches, crypts and courtyards and makes for a mesmerizing visit. After, you can stop to see the colonnaded cloister of Chiesa della Santa Trinita with its stunning portico and loggia as well as the nearby museum where you’ll find some interesting paintings and frescoes.

If you want to explore more works of art, visit the National Gallery in via Belli Arti where you will find prominent examples of the old artists. Finally, if you are a fan of 20th century painter Giorgio Morandi, there is a museum specially dedicated to his works inside Palazzo d’Accursio in Piazza Maggiore.

Of course, your Bologna holiday will not be complete without indulging and falling in love with the Bolognese cuisine. So for the visitors who are foodies, make sure you sample the local restaurants and cafes when taking a break from your sightseeing and exploring this magnificent city.

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