Bologna : A Historic City in Northern Italy with Stunning Sightseeing Destinations

Bologna is a historical city in Italy known for its cuisine. It is known to be one of the largest and best preserved historic capitals among Italian cities. Because of this, there are surely a lot of beautiful sightseeing destinations where you could visit in Bologna. On this article, we are going to identify ten of the best sightseeing destinations in Bologna

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Bologna : A Historic City in Northern Italy with Stunning Sightseeing Destinations:table of contents

1. Basilica - Santuario di Santo Stefano

The Basilica - Santuario di Santo Stefano is a complex of religious edifices that could be found in the city of Bologna. The different parts of the complex include the following: the Church of Saint Stephen of the Holy Crucifix, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Church of the Saints Vitale and Agricola, Courtyard of Pilate, Church of the Trinity or of the Martyrium, and Chapel of the Bandage. All of these churches are built between the 4th century and the 17th century. Because it is a complex, you could expect a lot of sightseeing attractions on this destination.

2. Le Due Torri

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Le Due Torri, also known as the Two Towers of Bologna, are a group of medieval structures that could also be found in Bologna. As a matter of fact, these landmarks are considered as the symbol of the historic city. They are situated at the intersection of the roads that lead to the five gates of the old ring wall. The taller tower is called Asinelli while the smaller one is called the Garisenda. When you are sightseeing in Bologna, these two large structures should never be missed.

3. Archiginnasio of Bologna

The Archiginnasio of Bologna is one of the most significant structures that is located in the city of Bologna. It could be found at the heart of the historic center. It was once the seat of the ancient University of Bologna, the oldest university in Europe. At present, it is the home to the Biblioteca Comunale dell'Archiginnasio or the Municipal Library of the Archiginnasio. The said municipal library specializes in the humanities and in the history of Bologna. It has about 850,000 volumes and about 120,000 old books. It really is an educational sightseeing attraction.

4. Museo per la Memoria di Ustica

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Another great sightseeing destination in Bologna is the Museo per la memoria di Ustica, or the museum for the memory of Ustica. This museum was built in commemoration of the victims of the Ustica massacre. The Museo per la memoria di Ustica is part of the Bologna Modern Art Gallery. It houses the remains of the DC-9 that is reconstructed within the wide spaces of the ATC Ex-Warehouse. An installation by Christian Boltanski which consists of 81 lights and 81 mirrors could be found around the wreck. This installation pays tribute to the 81 victims of the massacre.

5. Santuario Della Beata Virgine di San Luca

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The Santuario Della Beata Virgine di San Luca, or the Sanctuary of the Madonna in San Luca, is a basilica church that could be found in Bologna. Located atop a forested hill, this sanctuary is another stunning sightseeing destination in the city. The present church that could be seen was constructed in 1723 using the designs of Carlo Francesco Dotti. The lateral external tribunes were constructed by Giovanni Giacomo. When sightseeing around the sanctuary, you could be stunned by several painted artworks by Domenico Pestrini, Guido Reni, and Guiseppe Maria Mazza, among others.

6. Chiesa di Santa Maria Delle Vita

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The Chiesa di Santa Maria Delle Vita, or the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita, is a late-Baroque style Roman Catholic Church that is located in the heart of Bologna near the Piazza Maggiore. Constructed starting 1687 to 1690, this Baroque church was designed by Giovanni Battista Bergonzoni who constructed the elliptical plan with a dome that was designed by Guiseppe Tubertini. An oratory named Oratorio dei Battuti was built adjacent to the church where sightseeing tourists could see designs by Floriano Ambrosini, Nosadella, Guilio Cesare Conventi, and Alfonso Lombardi.

7. Piazza Maggiore

Another significant and popular sightseeing destination in Bologna is the Piazza Maggiore. It is the central sqaure in Bologna. The appearance of the square in the 21st century reflects the layout from the 15th century. Piazza Maggiore is surrounded by major administrative and religious structures in the history of Bologna. These include the Palazzo d'Accursio, the former city hall which is now a museum, the Palazzo dei Notai which is the former notaries' guild, the Basilica of San Petronio, the Palazzo dei Banchi which is the former banking center of Bologna, and the Palazzo del Podesta, the former police and justice offices.

8. Quadrilatero

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The Quadrilatero, or the Quadrilateral, is noted as the womb of Bologna. It could be reached by crossing the stunning facade of Palazzo dei Banchi from Piazza Maggiore. The Quadrilatero is a maze of streets that allow sightseeing tourists to experience the best food production of Bologna. Often without doors, their traditional shops expose their goods and products on counters outside the entrance. Tourists could try out and witness different products which are sold by the natives including ripe fruits, precious fabrics, and horse meat, among others. Other delicacies like cheeses and sausages could also be found here.

9. Basilica di San Petronio

The Basilica di San Petronio, known in English as the San Petronio Basilica, is the main church of Bologna. Basically, it dominates the Piazza Maggiore. Due to its volume, the basilica is considered as the tenth largest church in the world. The vault reaches 45 meters inside and 51 meters in the facade. The Basilica di San Petronio is also recognized as the largest church built of bricks in the world. Dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Petronius, the basilica has become one of the most visited sightseeing destinations in Bologna.

10. Basilica di San Domenico

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The Basilica di San Domenico, or the Basilica of San Domenico, is another major church that could be found in Bologna. It is where the remains of Saint Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers, are buried inside the stunning shrine called Arca di San Domenico which was designed by Nicola Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Niccolo dell'Arca, and Michelangelo. Sightseeing tourists will surely be stunned by the interior of the church. It consists of a central nave, a transept, two lateral aisles, several side chapels, an apse, and a choir.

◎ Closing

Due to its historic significance, you will surely enjoy sightseeing around the city of Bologna. But aside from wandering around this beautiful city, do not forget to try their local cuisines. They are as Bolognese as they can surely get.