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Itinerary to discover Bologna

Itinerary to discover Bologna

Enchanting by day, with churches, monuments and historic buildings to discover, intriguing by night, thanks to the many night clubs and numerous artistic and musical events.

Which is just over 60 km from Il Brugnolo, Bologna is a charming medieval town with a rich cultural life and a very interesting historical heritage. Situated between the mountains of Appennino Tosco -Emiliano and the heart of Northern Italy, Bologna is called the Learned (Dotta), the Red (Rossa) , the Fat (Grassa). La Dotta for the presence of the oldest universities in Europe, the Alma Mater Studiorum, founded in 1088, which even today continues to attract Italian and foreign students. Red for the reflections of the bricks with which were built towers and palaces. La Grassa for its delicious cuisine, which is characterized by authenticity and flavor. Moreover, the city of Bologna since 2006 also holds the auspicious title "UNESCO Creative City of Music", a prestigious award that celebrates the rich musical tradition and the lively life of the city.

But Bologna is mainly la Città dei Portici (the town of Arcades)  with just over 38 km in the city center. The arcades, whose origin is due to the strong expansion that had the city in the late Middle Ages, are an important architectural and cultural heritage. There is another city in the world that has as many arcades as Bologna. A famous example is that of Casa Isolani in Strada Maggiore, which is characterized by the presence of a portico supported by towering oak beams on which the third floor. Features of the city are also its towers, medieval structures that offer tourists the opportunity to admire the stunning views. Between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, there were up to 100, today there are 24 survivors, of which the most famous are the Asinelli and the Garisenda Tower. The two towers, which are strategically located at the point of entry into the city of the ancient Via Emilia, were built in the twelfth century masonry as bulwarks of sighting and defense. Among others are: Torre Accursi or Dell'Orologio, overlooking Piazza Maggiore; and Torre Azzoguidi, also known as Altabella for its height and verticality.

Enchanting by  day, with churches, monuments and historic buildings to discover, intriguing by night, thanks to the many clubs and numerous artistic and musical events. The heart of town is the beautiful Piazza Maggiore, whose current appearance is the result of secular transformations which enriched it with important buildings. In the square stands the Gothic and towering Basilica of San Petronio, dedicated to the patron saint of the city. Built at the behest of the City between 1390 and 1659 and left unfinished in his original plan, the church has a portal decorated with bas-reliefs by Jacopo della Quercia, while inside valuable works such as the magnificent "Madonna in Trono" by Lorenzo Costa . Of particular interest is the Basilica of St. Francis (San Francesco) of the thirteenth century, the first example in Italy of the Gothic style of French derivation. Among the other churches we find: St. Stephen's Basilica (Basilica di San Stefano), one of the most fascinating places in the city, actually a complex of sacred buildings, also known as a complex of "Seven Churches"; the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore, situated on one of the most attractive squares of Bologna, within which lies the Bentivoglio chapel, stunning architecture of the mid fifteenth century, full of Renaissance works of art; the Basilica of San Domenico, one of the richest churches of Bologna of art history; and the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, an important place of pilgrimage shrine which rises on Colle della Guardia.

Among the palaces and historic buildings are spoiled for choice. In Piazza Maggiore there are only three: il Palazzo del Podesta, built around 1200, which was the first seat of city government; Palazzo Re Enzo, built in 1244-46 as an extension of the municipal buildings and to whom are related many legends disclosed by reporters about the arrest and imprisonment of King Enzo; and Palazzo Comunale or d'Accursio, consists of a set of buildings that over the centuries have gradually been joined to an older core, currently the town hall of Bologna. Among the other historical buildings of Bologna it is: Palazzo dell' Archiginnasio, built between 1562 and 1563 by architect Antonio Morandi, was the seat of the ancient University and is now the seat of the Civic Library; Palazzo dei Notai, the ancient seat of the Notaries Society, as deduced from the three ink pots with quills depicted in the emblem on the facade; and Palazzo della Mercanzia, also called Loggia dei Mercanti and Palazzo del Carrobbio, which shows a total stylistic eclecticism characterized by the presence of Lombard-Romanesque styles, Gothic and Classical naturalistic.

But the city of Bologna is especially also rich in museums, in fact, there are over 50 that preserve a heritage and a wealth of unique proposals for the quality of the exhibits and the diversity of themes and historical periods. The main civic museums are: the National Art Gallery (Pinacoteca Nazionale), housed in the former Jesuit novitiate of St. Ignatius, with works by Raffaello, Carracci, Reni, Perugino, Parmigianino, Tintoretto, Vasari, Guercino and many others; the Archaeological Museum (museo civico archeologico), one of the most prestigious Italian archaeological collections; the Medieval Museum (Museo Civico Medievale), located in the fifteenth century Palazzo Fava Ghisilardi, with objects and artifacts that testify to the history and art of the medieval period; the Municipal Art Collections, with extraordinary collections of paintings, art objects, furniture, porcelain, fabrics, lace, embroidery, miniatures and important medieval wooden crucifixes from the churches of the Bolognese territory; MAMbo - Museo d'Arte Moderna in Bologna, which traces the history of Italian art after World War II to the present; and the International Museum and Library of Music, which traces six centuries of European music history with over one hundred paintings, more than eighty antique musical instruments and a wide selection of historical documents of enormous value.

Maybe they know in a few, but Bologna has always been a city of water. The city in the Middle Ages had a dense network of waterways. The channels of the Bologna system was developed gradually between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries and still today some of the main channels are still existing as the Canale delle Moline, one of the few stretches of the city's water among the early twentieth century and the postwar period it was not paved. The most charming part of this unusual Bologna is discovered in Via Pella, where is the famous window that overlooks on the Canale delle Moline. This corner of the city, also known as "Little Venice", gives a very picturesque view of Bologna. Recently they were reopened the views on the decks of Oberdan and Malcontenti streets, which flank the window via Piella.

Bologna is also rich in parks and green areas where it is a pleasure to walk around and spend days in close contact with nature. Among these we find: the Giardini Margherita, the most known and popular public parks of Bologna, a short walk from the historic center, between the streets Castiglione and Murri; the Montagnola Park, the oldest city garden, for centuries an ideal place for walking and for theater events, games and sports competitions; the Botanical Garden, one of the oldest in Italy, with a natural heritage which comprises over two thousand species, from medicines to exotic spices; and Villa Spada Park, with clumps of trees and lawns that alternate along the slope that descends from Casaglia hill to  Zaragoza street.

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