Bologna is the capital of the Emilia Romagna region, a town with 400.000 inhabitants, located at the boundary with the Padana Plain. It is considered by many to be one of the most attractive cities in Italy thanks to its unique character and charm.
The beautiful city centre in Bologna is well preserved and maintained and is a credit to the city's policy of preservation. With unified architecture and marbled pavements, the city can be easily explored on foot. Fontana Nettuno, located in Piazza Maggiore is one of the symbols of Bologna. This beautiful fountain, dedicated to the sea god was built between 1564 and 1566. Near the fountain you can see the Palazzo del Comune (town hall) built in the 13th and 14th centuries and its bell tower (1444) with a magnificent carillon clock. Three important works of art are on the façade of the palace: the Madonna di Piazza by Nicolò dell'Arca, the statue of Pope Gregory XIII and an eagle attributed to Michelagelo. The treausures inside the building include the marvelous Museo Morandi.
Piazza Maggiore square 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, but the church was built over several centuries.
The Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio instead is the seat of the “Biblioteca Comunale” with its 700,000 books, rare manuscripts and codexes. It is the most important public library in Italy. It was the first headquaters of the University of Bologna in the 16th century.
The Towers are considered to be the symbols of Bologna. The Torre degli Asinelli, which belonged to an important local family, was built at the beginning of the 12th century. The taller of the two towers reaches 98 meters. It is open to the public and has a total of 498 steps to be climbed. The Torre della Garisenda dates back to the 11th century. It was lowered around 1360 for fear it would collapse.
Not far away is thePiazza della Mercanzia, famous for its outstanding Loggia dei Mercanti.