Bologna, with its porticoes, monuments and towers, was defined by UNESCO as the best preserved medieval centre in the world. Of Etruscan origin, the city has been a major urban centre for centuries, first under the Etruscans, then under the Romans (Bononia), then again in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality and signoria, when it was among the largest European cities by population.
In 2000 Bologna was declared European capital of culture, in 2006 was elected UNESCO “City of Music” and became part of the Creative Cities Network, in 2021 its porticoes were declared UNESCO world heritage.
Piazza Maggiore is the ancient heart of Bologna. Its medieval buildings, witnesses of its vibrant public life and intense economic activity, combine with the latest functional places, while retaining their charm. A network of unique porticoed streets, that make the city unique, branches off from here. The porticoes of Bologna stretch out from the city center over 40 kilometers.
Walking under the porticoes, protected from the sun and the rain, it is possible to reach easily many important museums, galleries and religious buildings, which hold an unexpected patrimony of works of art.
The University of Bologna is the oldest in Europe (AD 1088). The evidence of its prestigious history is spread out in many city places not to be missed.
A completely unexpected surprise are the canals that date back to the twelfth century.
Have a look at these videos on Bologna:
The very heart of Italy | Bologna & Modena
Useful Information (incl. maps)
For tourist information about the city of Bologna please consult the website Bologna Welcome.