Bologna: what to see, itinerary and routes to do in two days
What to see in Bologna, a journey by foot to visit the main monuments and places of interest.
The area of the Po valley where today stands Bologna, the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, was inhabited since the ninth century BC, but the first nucleus of the city called Felsina, was founded by the Etruscans in 550 BC. With the descent of the Gauls in the Italian peninsula in 350 BC, the Etruscans were gradually outvoted and Felsina, conquered by the Gallic tribe of Boi, will begin to be called Bona.
The Romans came the city’s name was Latinized and became Bonomia, the city center was enlarged and were made importani public works. The late Middle Ages were a time when the city had an important growth, due to the arrival of people from the countryside to the University, referred to as the first University of the Western world.
In fact the origin of the University of Bologna dates back to 1088 and in the Middle Ages his fame attracted writers and scholars from all over Europe. Dates back to the Middle Ages, the construction of the many arcades, a feature of the city. However since this era coincided with the center of the city Piazza Maggiore, Bologna’s main square, overlooked by the main buildings of the medieval city and the Basilica of San Petronio, the patron saint of the city.
In fact, in order to create a space to use to the market, in the thirteenth century, the municipality bought and demolished the buildings that were in the area where today stands the square, which will take the form present in four.
Itinerary to visit Bologna
On the northern side of the square is the oldest palace, the Palazzo del Podesta, which was built in 1200. The building is topped by the Tower dell’Arengo, with the bell to summon the people (arengo), and comes with a high porch decorated that housed hatters, haberdashers and in the Middle Ages also cured meat and cheese, fruit sellers and notaries.
On the back are the Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and the palace of King Enzo. On the western side of the square is the old Town Hall, consists of two buildings of the Accursio Palace and the Palace of Legato. The first, dominated by the clock tower, named after the lawyer Francesco Accursio, who lived there in the second half of the thirteenth century.
The other, the Palace of Legato, is the sixteenth century and was built to house the apartments of the Cardinal Legate. In the Town Hall, the seat of the Municipality of Bologna, have seat the Municipal Art Collection of Bologna and the Museo Morandi. In the east of Piazza Maggiore is the Palazzo dei Banchi, which owes its name to the shops of the money changers and bankers who occupied this side of the square.
The Palazzo dei Banchi along with that of Notaries (another historic building that overlooks the square) was the site of the medieval guilds. Actually Palazzo dei Banchi does not correspond to a single building but a facade built to a design by Vignola in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, in order to bring the level of the buildings surrounding the old houses that faced on this side of the square.
From this palace begins the most famous portico, the Pavaglione, which connects Piazza Maggiore at Archiginnasio, the first seat of the University of Bologna. The southern part of Piazza Maggiore is occupied by the imposing Basilica of San Petronio, whose construction was begun in 1390 by the will of the people, after the autonomy of the city from papal rule.
The City Council gave the charge to the architect Antonio di Vincenzo, for the building of a large church civic, whose work will be completed almost three centuries later, and will not reach the size provided for in the original project. The church today is in the Gothic style, with a number of Renaissance and the unfinished facade. Since 1929 is transferred to the diocese and its consecration dates back to 1954.
Bologna is also famous for its towers, medieval were built primarily for military purposes and became a symbol of power and prestige. The most famous are the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda, which arise in the square Ravegnana.