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The City of Bologna Italy, reasons to visit with photos of the cities landmarks.

Updated on June 21, 2012
The historic areas of Bologna are beautiful to walk around and photograph.
The historic areas of Bologna are beautiful to walk around and photograph. | Source

The City of Bologna. Italy.

Bologna is a beautiful city to visit .

Bologna combines the benefits of a modern city with the beauty of historic architectural buildings. When you need a break from the walking around the city of Bologna and admiring the ancient buildings there you will find that there are top designer shops here with their windows set out in an understated elegant style. In the summer months it is nice to spend a few hours window shopping in the shade of the arcades, and they also protect you from the rain.

Italian cities look good because design and the way things look matters to the Italians. The beauty of the older parts of the city will be the lasting impression you are left with here are photos of some of the places to visit but by exploring the city you will discover many more interesting buildings.

The Italians are capable of creating architecture, parks, cities and shopping arcades that work and are beautiful to visit. Like all cities there are areas that are noisy and dusty in summer especially , and if you arrive at the central railway station you may feel confused by the roads and noise of the traffic there. However a few streets away and the city settles down and is a pleasant place to walk around. Opposite the railway station are a couple of places that sell coffee,cold drinks and Italian style sandwiches. If you prefer it there is a Mac Donald's close by to the station.

The leaning towers of Bologna add an extra charm to the city.

The towers are both monitored for further movement and only one of them is open to the public to walk up the steps to the top. There are other towers in Bologna but these two are the best known and are central to find. The towers are called Torre degli Asinelli and Torre della Garisenda and here is a photo of them further down the page.

Bologna is easily explored by foot; the city centre has two main squares, the Piazza Maggiore and the Piazza del Nettuno. Bologna's tourists attractions and historical monuments are easily reached by walking from the city centre. The city has twenty towers. The two leaning towers are close together in the city centre and it is possible to buy a ticket to climb up the steps of one of them.

Piazza Maggiore is surrounded by medieval and Renaissance buildings; also there you will find the Piazza del Nettuno, with the Fountain of Neptune. Be sure to take a walk in the streets that surround this area as they are varied and some are very picturesque.


5 Reasons to Visit Bologna, Italy.

  • Fine examples of Architecture.
  • Food - eat real bolognese sauce with your pasta here.
  • To eat wonderful Italian ice cream.
  • To shop in the towns great selection of traditional and modern shops and window shop the designer shops.
  • To visit the food markets.

Photo of the Italian city of Bologna's Porticos, covered walk-ways.

 Bologna Italy. These decorative painted walkways provide shelter from the sun in summer and the rain in winter.
Bologna Italy. These decorative painted walkways provide shelter from the sun in summer and the rain in winter. | Source


The Piazza Maggiore is a beautiful square surrounded by elegant arcades where you can stroll along the covered walkways and study the elegantly understated window displays of the designer shops. The whole area around Pizza Maggiore is traffic-free.


Outside the city.

Breathtaking in more ways than one is the arcade up a hill path to the Basilica di San Luca. You can walk up this arcade to the church at the top. It is a place of pilgrimages, the arcades may have been built to shelter pilgrims from the summer heat and winter rain and cold. In May, on procession day; the Madonna di San Luca comes down to visit the city.


Neptune's fountain is close by the  Piazza Maggiore  and  the fountain is always popular with the tourists for photographs.


Photo of Neptune's Fountain, Bologna, Italy.

Neptune's fountain Bologna, Italy.
Neptune's fountain Bologna, Italy. | Source

Fountain of Neptune designed in marble and bronze by Giambologna in 1563.

Representing papal power, Neptune ruling the waves the Pope ruling the land.

The four female statues at the feet of Neptune represent the rivers of the four known continents (at that time); the Nile, the Ganges,the Amazon and the Danube.

This is a popular place for tourists to stop to take photographs. It is easily found -

at the Piazza del nettuno, it is close to the Cathedral and Piazza Maggiore.

Picture of Bologna, the towers, Torre degli Asinelli and Torre della Garisenda .

The city of Bologna is famous for its towers.
The city of Bologna is famous for its towers. | Source

The symbol of the city is Le Due Torri:

The towers were built by Bologna's important families in the 12th century.

There are now twenty towers, once Bologna had over a hundred towers in the city.

Torre degli Asinelli and Torre della Garisenda in the city centre stand next to each other and lean in opposite directions. Of the two only Asinelli Tower is open to the public. You can walk up the steps of this tower to look down on the city roof tops. The Asinelli Tower climb is 500 steps.

There is a shop selling local craft items at the base of Asinelli.

In Medieval times, Bologna was the towered city. At that time the towers were status symbols, and rich Bolognese families showed their pride and power by building the tallest towers. At one time there were said to be over 180 towers in the city but this count is disputed by some, as inaccurate.

Torre degli Asinelli is the highest tower in Bologna at 97 metres. it has 498 steps to the top, from where your efforts at climbing the steps are rewarded by the view of Bologna's roof tops and the green hills beyond the city.

Bologna's University is the oldest existing university in Europe and was founded in 1088.

Bologna is famous for its cuisine.

Bologna is famous for its culinary tradition. A meat based pasta sauce is named after the city.

Bolognese sauce is a meat based pasta sauce called in Italy ragu alla Bolognese or even just ragu.

The local cuisine features meats and cheeses.

Popular pasta dishes include:

  • Tagliatelle al ragù,
  • Lasagne,
  • Tortelleni served in broth

Pizza is a popular as a meal or is sold as a snack.

Visiting Bologna.

Map of Bologna, Italy. The satellite map is a useful way to to see the city of Bologna in more detail...

show route and directions
A markerbologna Italy -
Bologna, Italy
get directions

the Italian city of Bologna.

B markerTorre degli Asinelli Bologna Italy -
Towers of Bologna, Strada Maggiore, 2, 40125 Bologna, Italy
get directions

C markerTorre della Garisenda Bologna Italy -
Towers of Bologna, Strada Maggiore, 2, 40125 Bologna, Italy
get directions

Piazza Maggiore Bologna Italy.

A markerPiazza Maggiore Bologna Italy -
Piazza Maggi ore, 40124 Bologna, Italy
get directions

This piazza has wonderful examples of fine Italian architecture.


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    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 6 years ago

      Thank you, pleased you liked this page. Italy has some amazing cities, I hope you get to visit them soon.

    • SimpleGiftsofLove profile image

      SimpleGiftsofLove 6 years ago from Colorado

      Thanks for this great hub on Bologna! It is my dream to travel to Italy, and I appreciate those who take me there before I do! Rated up and following!

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 6 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Wonderful Hub. I have wanted to visit Bologna and other Italian cities for some time and this has made me want to go all the more. I have only ever been to the extreme North of Italy, the Alpine region, while staying over the border in Austria.

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 6 years ago

      Hi MarlonC, yes it is a lovely place to visit, each time I go I discover something new that I like about the city. The food there is very good too.

      Your comment is an interesting comment I had not heard this before. But that may be because my ability to understand Italian is very limited - I can just about order a coffee or an ice-cream in Italian.

    • MarlonC profile image

      MarlonC 6 years ago

      Hi 2uesday, thanks for reminding me of Bologna - a lovely place, and a lot more relaxed than Moscow (which isn't saying much). A friend of mine told me that the locals refer to it as The Red City owing to both its architecture and its politics...

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 7 years ago

      Thanks Will. I have visited Bologna several times and each time I go there I discover something new to explore. I will try to find up more of my photos of this city and make another page about the things I like. The porticos are an interesting feature of the city. There is also a library near Neptune's fountain where you can look down through a transparent floor at the ruins beneath the modern library's rooms.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We honeymooned in Italy and drove past Bologna on our way to Venice. We plan to return (we loved Venice) and after reading this, I think we'll put Bologna on our list.

      Great Hub!

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 8 years ago

      Thank you donna, I have visited some of the lakes but it was a while ago when the children were young we would stay at a camp site near a lake - Lake Garda. We had a terrifying thunderstorm there once not sure how the tent managed to survive but it was pretty scary.

    • donna bamford profile image

      donna bamford 8 years ago from Canada

      Sounds like a beautiful city. i have only been through it 1968 on the way to Rome. I would like to go back. Have you ever been to the lakes of Italy? I'm hoping to see them one day soon. Great ittle travelogue. Thank you.