The happiness to be an Italian #Bologna
The old red “youth”
Bologna is a city with an extraordinary rich history that you can feel while strolling around in the pleasant atmosphere of the small streets surrounded by typical red bricks. Also the spirit of the city is very colorful and lively. It is no coincidence that Bologna is one of Italy’s hottest spots as it has the largest young population in the country and also for the simple reason that it is one of the largest university cities in the country.
I had the pleasure of visiting Bologna several times (a one-way train ticket from Florence varies between 8-12 euros). The first thing that grabs the eye is the color of most buildings. Almost all the buildings are in stunning red, which creates the specific appearance of the city: elegant, academic and sophisticated.
For one day, I managed to visit the sights I was aiming for, presumably I started with the most impressive ones – the Two Towers Garizenda and Azinelli or just the Two Towers. These are towers that were built in the 11th century with a defensive purpose. Their height is 97 meters, one is lower than the other with 49 meters.
In order to climb to the top of the tower you need to pass through 498 steps. Also, ironically, not only the Pisa Tower is inclined, the tower in Bologna is as well but the deviation from the base are only the modest 2.23m.
Nowadays the towers become one of the most attractive sights, as well a symbol of Bologna. They provide an unforgettable panorama of the city that fully justifies the efforts to climb the tower.
For visitors is only open the Azileli Tower (the higher one).
From 9:00 to 18:00 (last entry at 17:40), no day off
Winter working time:
From 09:00 to 17:00 (last entry at 16:40), no day off
Long working hours are possible in March and April;
Ticket for adults and children: 3,00 Euro;
Free of charge for disabled guests (no lift);
If you are fond of panoramas, this is the best offer that the city provides;
I recommend you to visit it in order to see and enjoy the true magic of the red color in this city;
Piazza Maggiore and fountain of Neptune
After that, I moved to the city’s largest square, the Piazza Maggiore, which has the role of a social center as well as a venue for many different events. Around the pizza itself are other major attractions. My favourite is the fountain of Neptune. Magnificent and stylish, the fountain was built in 1567 by Tomazo Loretti. It is located in Neptuno Square. It is a 3.2 m bronze statue. It is decorated with different elements representing angels, dolphins, sirens and fishes. There are four other statues on God’s feet, which depict four rivers: the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile and the Danube.
At the back of the fountain is the sixth largest cathedral in Europe (the fourth largest in Italy) the Basilica of San Petronio. The length of the building is 132 m and the width is 60 m, the capacity is up to 28 000 people. The construction began in 1390 and ended in 1663.
A curious fact is that here was crowned Emperor Carl V of the Holy Roman Empire in 1530. Also Napoleon Bonaparte’s sister – Elisa Bonaparte was burried here.
On the side of the basilica you will also see the Arcusio Palace which houses the Bologna City Hall. The palace includes a complex of buildings that have been united over the centuries. It was originally the headquarters of lawyer Acourius. In the 15th century, the castle underwent restoration, with a clock tower added to it. The facade of the palace building is very beautiful and you can also see the statue of Pope Gregory VIII, who introduced the Gregorian calendar.
Bologna is home to the oldest university in Europe (globally controversial), opened in 1088;
In the XII and XIII centuries, 180 towers were built in the city of which about 20 have been preserved to date. The most famous of them are Garieda and Azinelli;
Bologna is home of the Ducati motorcycle brand;
Bologna is called the “city of the arches” because of the countless arches involved in the construction of the buildings, which have also become a part of the city’s appearance;
Bologna is also called small Venice, because it is built on canals but it’s not so clearly visible. Only in certain places you can see an open channel inbetween buildings.