Travel/ Bologna, alchemy of art and culture
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Bologna, a city in the heart of Emilia-Romagna region, is too beautiful to be only described because it would be deprived of its magical esthetic. Bologna deserves to be lived, breathed and admired through an enchanted trip between art and history that has no equal.

Home to the oldest University of the Occidental World, the prestigious Alma Mater founded in 1088, Bologna is a city with an intense cultural life and a very rich historical heritage. It was an important urban center under the Etruscans, then under the Gauls and lastly under the Romans. During the Medieval period, Bologna was also the most important European urban center. In 2000 it was proclaimed the European capital of culture, while in 2006 UNESCO named it as “creative city of music”.

One of the typical symbols of the city is the distinctive porches, built during a long period of time that goes from 11th century to the 20th century. The Isolani’s home, on the Strada Maggiore that is one of the eight left in wood. On the same street, the largest porch of the city, the Santa Maria dei Servi’s quadriporticus is located. The highest porch is the Archbishops Palace’s loggia on Via Altabella, that is almost 10 meters high. However, the longest and most famous porch starts on Via Saragozza until the Madonna di San Luca’s sanctuary.

Another emblem of Bologna are its towers, that offer tourists the opportunity to admire a wonderful skyline. Among the most important ones, there are Garisenda and Asinelli’s. Towers at the entrance point of the city that once belonged to a complex of hundreds of Medieval towers but only twenty currently survive.

Among the other towers, we should mention the beautiful Accursi or Clock tower, that overlooks the Piazza Maggiore with its huge mechanical clock and Azzoguidi Tower, on Via Albatella, that belongs to the so called “Medieval skyscrapers’ triad” of Bologna with Prendiparte and Galluzzi towers.

Among the historical buildings, tourists are spoiled for choices. Piazza Maggiore hosts three of them: the first is Palazzo del Podestà, built around 1200 and it was the first Government building of the city that offers an interesting experience: for a particular acoustic effect, visitors can whisper can still be heard from opposite corners of a room.

The second building, Palazzo Re Enzo, was built next to the previous in 1244-46 and used to host for nearly twenty-three years the so called “prisoner king”, king Enzo of Sardinia, Federico II’s son.

Lastly, Palazzo Comunale or d’Accursio serves as Bologna’s City Hall.

You shouldn’t skip the visit to the Pinacoteca Nazionale, that hosts a lot of important works from artists such as Giotto and Raffaello.

In brief, a city where you can touch by hand the spirit of cordiality and the hospitality immersed in an endless cultural vivacity. Discover it with

Gerardo Soglia