Top 7 things to do in Bologna

There’s plenty to do in Bologna, so make sure you set the alarm and pack your comfy shoes to make the most of the city. The list below can be squidged into one day, or if you have two days to play with, elongate the coffee breaks, linger over lunch, and take a peek in some of Bologna’s lovely shops.

The Archiginnasio
Piazza Galvani, 1b, 40124 Bologna
Perhaps Bologna is best known for boasting the oldest university in the Western world, and a visit to the Archiginnasio offers an insight into the prestige that the university has held for almost a thousand years since it opened in 1088. The fee to enter the Teatro Anatomico is well worth seeing the inside of this ancient room, where previously bodies donated to science were dissected to educate medical students. Look up throughout your visit to see the magnificent crests of benefactors including the Medici.

Basilica di San Petronio
Piazza Galvani, 5, 40124 Bologna
Is one of several must-see churches in Bologna, this one features a particularly alarming vision of Dante Alighieri’s Lucifer.

Basilica di San Domenico 
Piazza S. Domenico, 12, 40124 Bologna
Boasts an exquisitely carved shrine to the saint contained within, and which Michelangelo himself had a hand in bringing to life.

The Archiginnasio
Piazza Galvani, 1b, 40124 Bologna
Perhaps Bologna is best known for boasting the oldest university in the Western world, and a visit to the Archiginnasio offers an insight into the prestige that the university has held for almost a thousand years since it opened in 1088. The fee to enter the Teatro Anatomico is well worth seeing the inside of this ancient room, where previously bodies donated to science were dissected to educate medical students. Look up throughout your visit to see the magnificent crests of benefactors including the Medici.

Santa Maria della Vita
Via Clavature, 10, 40124 Bologna
Is a must visit to see Niccolo Dell’Arca’s original terracotta creation of the lamentation of the Christ.

Walk!
Around town
Bologna holds wonderful sights, both typically Italian postcard perfect, and very local insights into this fascinating city. Wander by foot between the sights listed here, have your camera on hand, and don’t be afraid to stumble off the beaten track: Bologna centre is compact and friendly, you’re unlikely to get lost.

Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna 
Via delle Belle Arti, 56, 40126 Bologna
Is perfect for a cheap cultural top up. When we were in town a Hopper exhibition was on show. Be sure to drop by and see what’s on when you’re in town, or wander around the rather wonderful permanent collection.

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