Bologna will certainly be interesting for any tourist. If you spend your vacations at the Ve-netian Riviera or at Rimini, you should plan a one-day trip to this city. You can see towers and red-brick houses in the historical center of Bologna, enjoy local cuisine, and have a stroll along the famous Bolognese galleries.
Indeed, the center of the city is beautiful and singular. For example, only in Bologna you can see galleries going along all buildings in all main streets of the city. Only in this city the center is filled with a great number of tall towers, and you can climb some of them to enjoy the magnificent view of the old Italian city. It is believed that historical center of Bologna is only inferior to that of Venice. Also, there located the oldest university in Europe, Bologna University, founded in 1088.
Architectural ensemble of Piazza Maggiore was shaped in XIII century. It is surrounded by several beautiful palaces representing the power of Bologna in the Middle Ages: Palazzo D`Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo dei Banchi, and Palazzo dei Notai. In the center of Piazza Maggiore there located the huge Basilica of San Petronio (patron of Bologna). The church is massive and beautiful, but alas, the city hadn`t enough money to complete its exterior finishing, that’s why its lower part is covered with white and pink tiles while the upper part – with bricks.
Neptune Square is next to Piazza Maggiore. There is a fountain in the square. Its bronze figure of Neptune was made by Giambologna in XVI century. The main street of Bologna, Via Independence, starting at the railway station go into this square.
San Domenico`s Basilica is an important sight of Bologna. There was buried Saint Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). The church was laid down after his death in 1221. His tomb, Ark of Saint Dominic, was made by Nicola Pisano, and angels – by Michelangelo.
Arcade galleries are quite a special sight of Bologna. It seems that it always rains in Bologna and people have to hide from them. It is true that it rains much in Bologna, compared to the rest of Italy, but not so much that you have to constantly hide from them. By the way, it was just there that the world`s famous waterproof cloth was invented.
Almost in all streets of Bologna, unlike all other cities, sidewalks are overhung with arcades. The galleries are endless, stretching along many quarters. The longest gallery of Bologna is about 3.5 kilometers consisting of 666 arcades.
Bologna has also a great number of towers. Each rich family though it necessary to build their own town, and it had to be taller than the neighbour`s. Originally, there were about 170 towers, but many of them didn’t survive until our time.
Torre degli Asinelli and Torre degli Garisenda are the most famous towers in Bologna. The former tower is 97 meters and the latter tower is 49 meters. Tower of the Asinelli was built in 1119. Initially, Tower of the Garisenda was much taller, but it leant by 3.2 meters (similar to the Tower of Pisa), so the owners had to considerably shorten it. Tower of Asinelli has also gave a tilt but not as dangerously, so tourists can visit it. From the tower you can have a magnificent view of the historical center of Bologna.