Course  |  Italy’s Art Cities  |  Italy Online Training

Lesson 2:


The headquarters of the most ancient university in the western world, Bologna, is a city with intense cultural life and intriguing historical legacy. First an important urban centre, under the Etruscans, then the Gauls and Romans, Bologna was also a well-known medieval city within Europe. Bologna’s most important symbols are its famous porticoes: covered sidewalks lined by colonnades. Just in the centre, the porticoes extend to approximately 23.6 miles.

Another important feature of the city is its towers, offering visitors the opportunity to admire a marvellous panoramic view from above, the most important being the Towers of Garisenda and Asinelli. The towers belonged to a complex of over a hundred medieval towers, of which only about 20 remain today.

Piazza Maggiore is dominated by the Church of San Petronio which was originally meant to be a bigger construction than St Peters in Rome. Due to a lack of funds, the building remained unfinished. Piazza Maggiore also hosts three of the innumerable historic buildings of the city: Palazzo del Podestà, constructed around 1200, and the first city government seat, Palazzo Re Enzo, named after King Enzo of Sardinia, imprisoned there from 1249 until he died in 1272, and Palazzo Comunale or d’Accursio, presently Bologna’s City Hall.

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