Bologna is one of my favourite places in Italy. We called in for a day on our way back from Lake Como. As usual, we stayed at the hotel Drapperie in Via Drapperie. You just can’t beat the location in the centre of the market area in the heart of Bologna.
We took the walking tour which starts at the information centre. Our excellent guide, Simona, had amazing knowledge of the city and its history. It always makes the sights seem more interesting if you know a little about what you are looking at.
We started at Neptunes’s fountain in the square of the same name and wandered through Piazza Maggiore, past the D’Accursio Palace and into the Basilica of Saint Petronius. The locals just call Piazza Maggiore – La Piazza – the square- because they feel it doesn’t need an adjective. Here is an exerpt from a book on Bologna – “The square is the heart of Bologna because here we can find the roots of the past and those of ancient times which have given us the opportunity of existing and of existing just the way we are now”. Work that one out.
Bologna is a university town and claims the first university in Europe. Part of the tour takes in the Anatomy room in the old Medical university. Students of anatomy gathered here to watch bodies being dissected. When bodies weren’t available they studied wax models, which can be seen in another building. It became quite popular for members of the public to watch the goings on as well as the students. The room is entirely made of wood and beautifully carved. It was almost destroyed by bombs in the Second World War and what we see today is a careful reconstruction.
Simona took us through the market streets - Via Pescherie and Via Drapperie – my favourite streets in Bologna and pointed out the shops she thinks are the best. I don’t know how you could choose.
I can’t recommend the walking tour enough. The groups are usually not too large and our guide spoke very good English, Italian and German. It takes about 2 hours. On another tour we also saw St Stephen’s Basilica, also known as the Seven Churches, which is fascinating.
The tours take place on – Monday 11.00am, Tuesday 3.00pm winter and 4.00pm summer, Wednesday 10.15am, Thursday 3.00pm winter and 4.00pm summer, Friday 11.00am, Saturday 10.15am and Sunday10.15am.
For more information, and to check that the times have not changed call 051 2750254 or email email@example.com The cost is euro 13 per person and it is not necessary to book, just be at the information centre in Piazza Maggiore 10 minutes before the tours begin.