Things to Do in Bologna, Italy

Things to Do in Bologna, Italy
Bologna is an ancient Italian town located in the north-central part of the country. The city of Bologna has long been a tourist destination. People are drawn to the city's fascinating streets, impressive public squares, long-established university and unique cuisine. Visit Bologna to see one of the best-preserved Renaissance cities in Europe, with its restful piazzas and churches filled with artwork.

National Gallery of Art

The 14th century was the start of a renaissance in artwork in this city. Visit the National Picture Gallery or Pinacoteca Nazionale. The gallery is one of the highlights of region. Here you'll find works of art by major Italian artists such as Raphael, Guido Reni, Vitale de Bologna, Francesco Francia and Giotto. The focus of the gallery is on paintings, but there are sculptures and woodcarvings as well.

Basilica de San Petronio

The Basilica de San Petronio is a huge Gothic cathedral designed to honor the patron saint of the city. The intricate façade was never completed but much of it still remains. There are 22 chapels, many of them filled with significant works of art. View the door to the chapel that was designed by Jacopo della Quercia. Inside lies a pieta by Amico Aspertini and a painting by Lorenzo Costa the Younger.

The Towers of Bologna

During the early middle ages wealthy families competed to build ever-higher structures. Several of those buildings still remain today. Two are them are considered symbols of the city. The Asinelli and Garisenda towers were built in the 12th century. Today the Garisenda Tower, 164 feet high, leans to one side. Visitors can view the outside but not go in. The Asinelli tower is open for tourism. You can climb 500 steps for a glorious view of the surrounding countryside.

The Neptune Fountain

The Neptune Fountain was designed in 1566 by Flemish sculptor Giambologna. The large piece of artwork sits in the center of the city across from the city hall and adjacent to the Piazza Maggiore. Visitors can admire the sculpture of the god Neptune cast in bronze and surrounded by dolphins and cherubs. Throw a coin into the fountain for good luck. Notice where church officials forced the artist to cover Neptune's genitalia with his left arm. This revision was controversial then and remains a source of debate to this day.

Article Written By S. Herlihy

S. Herlihy has been a freelance writer since 2001. Her work has appeared in many publications, including "USA Today," "The Women’s Independent Press," "Big Apple Parent" and "ComputorEdge Magazine." Herlihy earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the City University of New York.

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