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Top 10 Sights and Landmarks in Bologna For Every Nomad


If you’re thinking about traveling to Italy, make sure to explore the captivating sights and landmarks in Bologna. The alluring Italian city of Bologna first rose to prominence thanks to its esteemed university. However, this lovely place is much more than just its academic past.

Bologna is a simple city to visit and is regarded by many travelers as one of Italy’s most alluring cities, despite its size and significance as the provincial and regional capital of Emilia-Romagna. Those who appreciate good food undoubtedly do, as it is known as Italy’s gastronomic capital.

The majority of Bologna’s well-known attractions are close to Piazza Maggiore, and the city’s arcaded lanes provide for enjoyable wandering in any weather.

Find the best things to do in the city with our list of the top sights and landmarks in Bologna Italy.


Best Time To Go To Bologna

The finest and worst of the four seasons are experienced in Bologna, which has a humid subtropical climate. Thankfully, the vibrant city welcomes visitors all year long and frequently hosts local festivals or gatherings. At any time of the year, Bologna can accommodate any traveler’s needs.

Optimal Period To Visit Bologna: Fall & Spring
Temperatures: Mid 70s to Lower 40s

The ideal times to visit Bologna are in the spring and autumn. Without the chill of winter or the heat of summer, the city has the most pleasant weather for wandering. In contrast to fall, which goes backward and can start with summer highs, spring can start extremely frigid before gradually warming up. Despite the generally temperate temperatures, visitors should dress for chilly evenings or rainy days.

Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno

Piazza Maggiore, located in the center of Bologna, is one of the famous landmarks in Bologna. The lively Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore form a vibrant hub where locals and visitors converge. These iconic squares, known for their architectural beauty and lively atmosphere, are among the notable landmarks in Bologna.

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The centerpiece of Piazza del Nettuno is the magnificent Neptune Fountain, a symbol of the city’s rich history and artistic legacy. As you stroll through these bustling squares, you’ll be immersed in a tapestry of laughter, conversations, and the unmistakable charm of Bologna.

It was one of the best fountains of its time when it was built by Giambologna in the sixteenth century. The city’s most significant streets, including the bustling commercial route Via dell’Indipendenza and Via Galleria with its several historic aristocratic homes, are all accessible on foot within a few minutes.

San Petronio

It was intended to be even larger than St. Peter’s in Rome when the construction of the enormous church that dominates one side of Piazza Maggiore started in 1390, but it never quite achieved that goal. In actuality, the facade is still unfinished because it was never completed. You may view the facade submissions, including those by the renowned architect Andrea Palladio, in the small museum at the back of the church.

As soon as you enter, the splendor of the interior of this unique landmark in Bologna is shown to you. The architectural masterpiece of the Italian Gothic style is displayed by its complex detailing and grand arches. The side chapels, each of which resembles a tiny church in its own right, can be found as you continue your exploration.

The Two Leaning Towers of Bologna

The Asinelli and Garisenda Leaning Towers are also some of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Bologna. These recognizable medieval buildings serve as a reminder of Bologna’s lengthy past.

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I decided to climb the Asinelli Tower, and the sweeping panorama of the city was simply spectacular. It was an extraordinary experience to see the city’s terracotta rooftops and busy streets from above.

Piazza Santo Stefano

When exploring the landmarks in Bologna, Piazza Santo Stefano, also known as “The Square of the Seven Churches,” is a must-see. This charming area has a rare collection of four interlocking Romanesque churches and provides a tranquil retreat from the busy city streets. The SS. Vitale e Agricola, which is made up of Roman temples and columns, is the oldest of them all.

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Piazza Santo Stefano offers tourists seeking to immerse themselves in Bologna’s rich history and architectural splendor a genuinely enthralling experience. It is full of architectural marvels, lovely eateries, and an intriguing maze-like arrangement of little chapels.

Basilica di San Domenico

Work of the church started shortly after Saint Dominic died in 1221 in this convent of the order he founded, and it took several centuries to finish. The visitor attraction itself is the marble monument that holds his bones; it was carved in minute detail by some of the best artists of the time, including Michelangelo and Nicola Pisano.

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Intarsia maestro fra’ Damiano da Bergamo’s magnificent wood inlay in the choir was heralded as the eighth wonder of the world by Renaissance contemporaries. Free guided tours are provided to the chapels, choir, Inquisition rooms, St. Dominic’s cell, and other locations not typically accessible to the public on the first and second Saturdays of each month at 10.30 am and 3.30 pm.

Archeological Museum

Visit the renowned Museo Civico Archeologico, which houses artifacts from prehistoric eras, to delve into Bologna’s ancient past. In addition to some of the most exquisite Egyptian artifacts in Italy—second only to those from Venice and Turin—the museum also houses a sizable collection of Etruscan and ancient artifacts from the region.

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Discover the intriguing exhibitions as you learn about the ancient cultures that influenced Bologna and the rich history of the city. Must-see landmarks in Bologna for history buffs and those who want to thoroughly immerse themselves in the city’s legacy is the Archaeological Museum.

Sanctuary Of Madonna Di San Luca

Bologna’s Sanctuary of Madonna di San Luca offers a cultural and natural experience. Not only is the beautiful cathedral on a hill one of the must-visit and significant landmarks in Bologna but perhaps even more impressively, 666 arches take visitors from the town center to the sanctuary beneath the Portico of San Luca, the longest-covered arcade in the world.

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Although it is believed that a church has stood in this location for centuries, the current sanctuary was built in the 1700s. The church can be visited for free after a 50-minute walk through the Portico of San Luca into the gorgeous Emilia-Romagna countryside, or visitors can turn around for stunning views of Bologna.

Oratory of Battuti

A modest oratorio embellished with Baroque paintings, frescoes, and gilded carvings is one of Bologna’s underappreciated treasures; climb the steps to the room above the church to discover it. Use one of the benches to stretch out and take in the perfectly splendid ceiling to avoid getting a stiff neck.

15 terracotta statues of the Death of the Virgin, made by Alfonso Lombardi in the first half of the 16th century, are positioned throughout the space. Due to the superb acoustics of the space, musical programs are frequently held here.

Pinacoteca Nazionale

One of the most popular landmarks in Bologna and previously a Jesuit college, the Pinacoteca Nazionale is a must-see for art enthusiasts. It is currently one of the top landmarks in Bologna because of its art galleries. The gallery features works by notable Bolognese artists from the 14th through the 18th century and houses a sizable collection of Italian Renaissance paintings.

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With pieces by illustrious artists like Vasari, Guido Reni, Perugino, Guercino, and Carracci, the 17th century is particularly well-represented. The National Picture Gallery should be on your list of things to do in Bologna if you want an exceptional creative experience that showcases the city’s vibrant artistic tradition and talented artists.

The Archiginnasio Palace

The Achiginnasio Palace rounds out our list of important landmarks in Bologna. Bologna is a city that offers plenty of food for thought in addition to food for the stomach. The oldest university in the world is the University of Bologna, which was established in 1088. Many of the university’s revered buildings, notably the Achiginnasio Palace and Teatro Anatomico, are open to visitors who enjoy history.

At the 16th-century palace, which formerly served as the university’s main hall, visitors can marvel at the elaborate courtyards and stairways adorned with porticoes and frescoes. Visitors can later see the lavish anatomical theatre and envision the lectures that were held there by touring the Teatro Anatomico.

Wrapping Up: Landmarks In Bologna

Bologna’s famous Piazza Maggiore, the enthralling Archeological Museum, and the tranquil Oratory of Battuti are just a few of the prominent locations that perfectly capture the city’s rich cultural legacy. Every location provides a different window into Bologna’s history, from its lively public square to its historic relics and houses of worship. When combined, these sites provide a mosaic of tales that entices tourists to discover and enjoy the rich history of the city. The treasures of Bologna remain as evidence of the city’s continuing importance as an Italian center of culture and history.


Is bologna safe for visitors?

Bologna is considered a safe travel location, even for solo travelers. However, visitors should continue to be on the lookout for theft and pickpocketing. The center is the safest and most practical place to stay.

Is Bologna worth the trip?

One of the top tourist destinations in Italy is Bologna. Bologna is worth the journey to experience some of the famous regional culinary specialties, including Parmigiano Reggiano, Modena Balsamic Vinegar, or Parma ham, as it is less congested than Rome or Venice.

How many days do travelers need in Bologna?

Travelers who want to drive through Italy should be aware that they only need one day in Bologna. Taking a walking tour to see Piazza Maggiore, The Madonna of San Luca, and The University of Bologna, among other well-known landmarks in Bologna, will allow you to enjoy the best of the small city.

What things are there to do near Bologna?

From Bologna, tourists can take a quick rail ride to Verona’s charms and attractions, Ferrara’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, or San Marino, a little nation with a massive castle. Food lovers would adore taking a day trip to famous cities like Modena or Parma.

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