Things to do in Bologna

Top Things to Do in Bologna, Italy - Bologna Must-See Attractions

Things to Do in Bologna


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Top Attractions in Bologna

These rankings are informed by traveller reviews—we consider the quality, quantity, recency, consistency of reviews, and the number of page views over time.
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Other Top Attractions around Bologna

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What travellers are saying

  • Mark H
    Dublin, Ireland138 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lots of theatre. People watching. Buskers , dogs.
    Visit early in morning or after 8 to avoid crowds.
    Good tourist information.
    Written 8 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vadim
    Murmansk, Russia33,656 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Santo Stefano is rather a collective name for several churches built on the site of the Roman temple of Isis. The unofficial name of the square on which it is located says that there are seven of them. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. All the churches of San Stefano date back to the early Middle Ages: the Basilica of San Vitale and Sant'agricola and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre date back to the 5th century, the Church of St. St. John the Baptist (or the Holy Crucifixion) - VIII century, the Church of the Holy Trinity XIII century. The Basilica of Saints Vitale and Agricola, whose remains were brought here from Milan, is the most ascetic of all. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (La basilica del Sepolcro) was originally built as an exact replica of a similar temple in Jerusalem. However, after the Arab conquests, the temple in Jerusalem suffered, and after the invasion of the Hungarians, its counterpart in Bologna. It was impossible to restore the Bologna temple by direct copying, and it was impossible to return the original to its former form by reverse engineering. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was especially loved by prostitutes and pregnant women. This is surprising, because the image of the pregnant Virgin Mary is not here, but in the neighboring church of the Holy Trinity. As the initiator of the construction of St. Petronius intended, the church turned out to be five-relief. However, this idea was realized almost a millennium and a half after his death. Unlike the Trinity Church, the Church of the Crucifixion or John the Baptist retained the Romanesque style. There is a crypt at the bottom. In addition to the churches, the complex has a monastery, a museum, and a bell tower.
    Written 16 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • R K L
    Seattle, WA3,665 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    No doubt there were some interesting things to do and see in Bolgna...besides good food. However, in all honesty, the only reason we planned the short two-night stop between Florence and Milan was to see the famous two towers. Due to safety issues, Le Due Torri Torre degli Asinell were not open to the public, so a few pictures for posterity were definitely in order and had to suffice. Although it was late afternoon and bad weather, we decided to take in some of the city center sights. The city's colonnades were striking and understandably famous. We also visited the Basilica di San Petronio having been unknowingly drawn there by the ringing of the bells for Epiphany. The timing of our short stay in Bologna was obviously preordained.
    Written 19 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Michael U
    Las Vegas, NV45,494 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Located on a hill overlooking Bologna The Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca is a Catholic Basilica accessed by foot, car or an express train. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary the Church is free to enter with stunning artwork and panoramic views of the forests surrounding. Well worth the effort.
    Written 20 May 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vadim
    Murmansk, Russia33,656 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Usually the main thing in the city is the cathedral as the center of the diocese. It's not like that in Bologna, the Cathedral of St. Petra does not have anywhere near the importance that this basilica has. And it's not so much about this status, but, for example, that the coronation of the Spanish King Charles V by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire took place here. And Charles V, over whose empire, according to him, the sun never set, had plenty to choose from. Looking at the facade of San Petronio, it seems that the builders, having started laying out the facade with marble, then either got tired or stopped working because they were not paid. However, there is a version that this was the original plan at the time of construction, which lasted from 1390 to 1663. The dimensions of the church are 130 by 60 meters with 45-meter vaults are impressive. This is the sixth church in Italy, including San Pietro, which, strictly speaking, is in the Vatican. According to the city magistrate, the Bologna temple was supposed to surpass St. Peter's Cathedral, for which the Bolognese demolished 8 churches, freeing up space. However, Pope Pius IV prevented this by allegedly building a university building next to the already begun basilica, which stood until 1808. According to his logic, there should have been no more churches than St. Peter's Cathedral. In this regard, changes had to be made to the project. This explains the absence of a dome in the church. There have already been so many changes in the project that the architect Antonio di Vincenzo didn`t risk to make the structure heavier, leaving the Gothic vaults. The facade of the basilica is decorated with sculptures by Properzia de Rossi, one of the rare female sculptors of the Renaissance. The interior of San Petronio will be more interesting than the exterior. The basilica boasts the oldest organ in Italy from 1475 by Lorenzo di Giacomo of Prato. The church has a painting by Lippi and a chapel of Napoleon's sister Eliza buried here. But the most controversial work is in the Bolognini Chapel. The painting by Giovanni da Modena depicts hell, in which the prophet Muhammad is tormented, who is devoured by the devil. This is an interpretation of Dante, who placed the founder of Islam in the ninth circle of hell. Due to fears of provoking Muslim fundamentalists, it is forbidden to take photos in the chapel. Gothic vaults/ from the Asinelli Tower.