Posted by: Kerry & Jim | 23 August 2013

Bologna – city of colonnades

Visiting Bologna in August was probably not well planned on our part. Many of the businesses and shops were closed as August is the month most Italians go on holidays. The city centre was pretty much deserted, except for the tourists like us.

Primarily a university city (and they are also on their long break), Bologna is considered the first university in the world, established in 1088 AD. Many of the historic buildings in the city are occupied by the various faculties.

From the grounds of San Michele in Bosco which is high above the city the views open up and the size of the Basilica of San Petronio and the height of the Torri Asinelli dominate the city.

The central Piazza Maggiore is very large and is lined by historic buildings that house the cities Town Hall, Basilica and palazzo’s of shops and offices.

The towers of Asinelli and Garisenda are the leaning towers of Bologna and were constructed in the 11the century.

Colonnades line almost 40 kms of streets in Bologna and are a feature of the city. Some have beautiful ceilings and columns….and some are less decorative. Here are just a few examples.

The Cathedral of San Pietro was rebuilt in 1184 after fire had destroyed the previous site. Inside the cathedral is very ornate and it has been extended and modified several times over the centuries. During our visit the huge organ was being played – you can see the organist in the white shirt on the left of the bottom photograph.


  1. Bologna is one of my favourite cities in Italy (I have many). You must go back when it is open!

    • Yes, time permitting we will hopefully return to Bologna.

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