A pleasant walk among the ancient churches and palaces of Bologna to discover the soul of this beautiful city
Our walk in Bologna (pic n°1) starts from Via Indipendenza, one of the main roads running from the Central Station to the old city center of Bologna. Shortly before getting to Piazza del Nettuno, we turn left along Via Rizzoli, at the end of which we will reach Piazza della Mercanzia.
Piazza della Mercanzia is a beautiful square and it is home to the ancient "Loggia dei Mercanti" (pic n°3), an open building with a wonderful portico and two of the many towers of Bologna: Torre degli Asinelli and Torre Garisenda, both symbols of this city and characterized by a slight slope.
From this square, we can walk along Via Caprarie until we get to Piazza Re Enzo. This square takes its name after Palazzo Re Enzo, a thirteenth-century palace that was built as an extension of the municipal buildings of Palazzo del Podestà, and for this reason, it is also known as "Palatium Novum" (new palace). Actually, the history of this palace has always been linked to King Enzo of Sardinia, who was taken prisoner in Bologna during the Medieval struggles between Guelphs and Ghibellines.
Piazza del Nettuno (pic n°6) is just behind Palazzo Re Enzo, whose name comes from the fountain located in its center. Palazzo D'Accursio overlooks this square and houses the Town Hall, a library and an exhibition space.
Nearby Piazza del Nettuno there is Piazza Maggiore (pic n°2). Here you will find the Gothic style Basilica of San Petronio with its magnificent façade. This cathedral is the fifth largest cathedral in the world and houses the world's largest sundial.
When in Piazza Maggiore, you can also admire Palazzo del Podestà. Its vaults are embellished with four terracotta statues from the sixteenth century, which embody the four patrons of the city. The vaults are designed with a special acoustic effect that allows you to hear sounds from one corner to the other, even at a very low volume.
The last part of our walk leads us to Piazza San Domenico through Via dell'Archiginnasio, where the world's oldest university was established. Then again we walk under the beautiful arches of Via D'Azeglio. A the end of it, we turn left to Via Marsili, where we can visit the Romanesque-style Church of San Domenico, headquarters of the Dominican Order.
When in Bologna you should not miss the local food. In fact, Bologna is the homeland of many tasty and famous Italian dishes: homemade tagliatelle, tortellini or lasagna (types of pasta), ragù (known as Bolognese sauce), and different kinds of cheeses and cold cuts.