«... The Italians fail to properly appreciate the beauty of Bologna: ardent, fantastic, curvaceous and plastic with its fourteen- and fifteen-century terracotta architecture, with the grace of its loggias, its balconies, gothic mullioned windows with two lights and its ornate mouldings. What a spectacle it must have been in the sixteenth century, all red and gaily painted!»
Visiting Bologna for the first time you’ll be fascinated by the unique charm produced by the melting of architecture, history, and the special atmosphere of the medieval city.
Take a walk in the city centre, where you’ll admire vestiges of important structures from the Roman period, remnants of the original medieval walls that used to surround the city, not to mention the many time-honoured vaults, arches and corbels with hundred of towers you can see leaning from the red roofs when walking across the streets. And because of the its terracotta roofs Bologna is either known as "the Red".
But mostly Bologna is the city of porticos. The kilometres of arcades provide shelters during the rainy winters and incentive socialize and shop beneath their congenial embrace. The native Bolognese love to promenade, meet and chat beneath their porticos where the ancient founders of the Alma Mater Studiorum used to meet and have public discussions.
To wholly experience Bologna, through art, shopping and gastronomy and take a little souvenir with you we suggest to spend some time in Piazza Maggiore, then visit the fascinating streets just off the central square, where you can find small delicatessen old shops as well as renown haute couture ateliers.
And the appeal of the city is well alive in the evening too. Bologna offers a wide choice of entertainments: theatres, concerts, cinemas and, mostly, hundreds clubs and restaurants to meet any taste, from traditional pubs to trendy wine bars and disco-dinners, to live the Bolognese night all trough.
Lying in the middle of the Po Valley, Ferrara still has the atmosphere of the past, which harmoniously blends with the lively atmosphere of the present.
Ferrara's grand Renaissance, the Estense age, have left indelible signs of splendour everywhere: churches, palaces, galleries. A city to experience and where to relax walking around shops and cafeterias or to discover by bike.
Worth seeing: the monumental walls, the Cathedral, the Estense Castle, the Schifanoia Palace, the City Theatre.
Since1995, UNESCO has included the historical centre of Ferrara in the list of World Heritage Sites as a wonderful intact Renaissance town.
Home to Andrea Mantegna and to the Gonzaga court, the town of Mantua is rich in art and history. A fascinating historic town to be admired for the Renaissance architecture and to be discovered not only in its most famous places. Mantua is worth a journey even only for the genuine taste of its wines and the food.
Worth seeing: the San Giorgio Castle, the Ducal Palace, the Basilica di Sant'Andrea, Palazzo Te, Mantegna's House, the San Pietro Cathedral, Piazza Erbe with the adjoining Clock Tower and the Rotonda di San Lorenzo (the oldest church in Mantua).
How to get to Mantova
Mantova is about 120 km far from Bologna
by car: Motorway A1 Bologna-Milano to Modena >> Brenner Motorway A22 >> Mantova Nord Exit
by coach: Bus Station APAM Mantova - tel. 0376 230346
by train: Mantova Railway Station
Rimini is not only fifteen kilometres of renowned beaches, but also 2000 years of history, art and culture. The city, home to Federico Fellini, shows the signs of the civilisation from the Romans, with the Arch of Augustus, the Tiberio Bridge and the Amphitheatre to the Renaissance, with the Malatestian Temple and the Sismondo Castle.
Only 32 km. far from Rimini, rising out of a rocky cliff, stands San Leo, capital of the Montefeltro Region. San Leo offers a suggestive atmosphere of history, art and serenity.
The Arch welcomes you at the entrance and then there's the main place with Palazzo Nardini, the Medicean Palace and the Romanic Church, on the left the Dome and only a few steps forward the panoramic garden; on the other side of the place the street leads to the Fort where to visit interesting arms and old medical tools collections, the torture tools Museum and the Cagliostro prison. I.A.T. Tourist Information Office San Leo
Piazza Dante Alighieri 14 - San Leo
Tel. +39 0541 916306
In front of San Leo, on the Titano Mountain, lies San Marino: the oldest independent republic in the world. A number of architectural and artistic beauties joined with the warm welcome of the Sammarinesi, the people of San Marino, make this ancient republic a fascinating place visited by thousands of tourists every year. Worth seeing: the Fortress Guardsmen Exchange, the Tower, the Government Palace, the Basilica del Santo, the San Francesco Church, the Cappuccini Church and also the Handicraft Exhibit, the Wax Museum and the Rarity Museum.
San Marino Tourist Desk
Contrada Omagano 20 - San Marino Republic
Tel. +39 0549 882914
How to get to Rimini, San Leo and San Marino
Rimini, San Leo and San Marino are about 120 Km far from Bologna
by car: Motorway A14 Bologna - Ancona >> Rimini Nord Exit
Home to Shakespeare's characters Romeo and Juliet, Verona made and makes visitors fall in love with her. Verona is also the city of the Arena, world famous house for the lyric opera. Veronese gastronomic delights and fine wines are world renowned too. Verona has been included by UNESCO in the list of World Heritage Sites.
Worth seeing: the Arena, Piazza delle Erbe (open air market surrounded by historical buildings, once site of the Roman Forum), the Arche Scaligere, Piazza Bra, the San Giorgio Maggiore Church and, of course, Juliet's House.
Worldwide famous and loved, Florence needs no introduction. The artistic treasures and architectural masterpieces attract numbers of visitors every year. In addition to the beauty of the historical centre the hills around Florence offer a unique charming landscape, with villas, churches and evocative small villages.
Worth seeing: The Dome, Piazza della Signoria, Palazzo Vecchio, the Santa Maria Novella Church and the Uffizi Museum.
How to get to Firenze
Firenze is about 100 Km far from Bologna
by car: Motorway A1 Bologna - Firenze
by train: Santa Maria Novella Railway Station (in the city centre) - Campo di Marte Railway Station.
Venice is one of the most famous Italian cities. If you haven't been there before, you must take the chance to visit the enchanting city on the water, not so far from Bologna.
Worth seeing: San Marco Place, the Basilica of San Marco, Palazzo Ducale, the Rialto Bridge, the Canal Grande with the view of its palaces, the Ca' D'Oro, the San Donato Church in the island of Murano and the Lace Museum in the Island of Burano.