#7 the heart of Bologna ~ Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore ~ Reason #7 why I love Bologna.

Piazza Maggiore is the largest piazza in Bologna. This piazza houses both the Basilica di San Petronio (church of San Petronio) and the Palazzo del Commune (city hall), as well as beautiful buildings with cafes, shops, and museums. These buildings were all built between twelve hundred and fourteen hundred.



The Basilica di San Petronio is one of the biggest churches in the world. It was intended to be bigger than St. Peter’s Basilica until the Pope at the time put a stop to it. The top half of the outside of this church was never finished. For more photos of this church, click here.


The Palazzo Communale not only houses the town hall offices, it also houses a couple museums, a place where you can get free internet access, a beautiful courtyard, and a cool stairway.


Doorway leading to the free internet


Cool stairway inside the Palazzo Communale (see Rar’s Everything Bologna link for info on this stairway)


Piazza del Nettuno is located adjacent to Piazza Maggiore. This piazza houses the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio, the Fontana del Nettuno (Neptune Fountain), and the Palazzo de Re Enzo.


The Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio is the most important public library in Italy.


Inside the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio.


The Fontana del Nettuno has quite an interesting story (see the Everything
Bologna link at the end of this post for the story about this fountain).


The Palazzo de Re Enzo (King Enzo’s Palace) where poor Enzo (a Sicilian king) was imprisoned for 20 years.


For more on Piazza Maggiore, check out Rar’s Everything Bologna.

*majority of photos are from 2008 trip to Italy

11 thoughts on “#7 the heart of Bologna ~ Piazza Maggiore

  1. #7?? wow, when did that happen??! I am not even reading this right now…I want to wait until I can go back to the last one I read and savour this tour of Bologna. Just stopped by to say hello for now! Not sure what’s going on around my world that I am so rushed and hectic these days, but barely keeping up with the writing challenge, and then have no time to read my fave blogs! So am missing you guys…anyway, must be off to work :( (Actually not at all complaining…is a blessing to have a decent, stable job, especially these days.) Have a great day :)


  2. Hi Girasoli, Great photos! Was that big screen in the middle for? Was there an outdoor movie showing? Pretty cool. I have really enjoyed reading all about Bologna and I am really hoping to visit there some day soon, just based upon all the great things you’ve shared with us about your experiences.
    Thanks so much Girasoli. Have a great day!


  3. Eden, thanks. Yes I would definitely recommend putting it on your list.
    candi, thanks. The fountain is very cool. It is all lit up at night.
    dana, that is so sweet of you. I am still lacking in details, but the pictures tell a lot. I find that the guide books are lacking for many places in Italy.
    Deborah, I am surprised you have never been to Bologna. The interior of the church is amazing. I wish I could have taken photos.
    Anne, I am really behind also. Looking forward to March to slow down a little and catch up.
    Kathy, they played movies for free almost every night last summer (think for two months, but it might have only been one month).
    maryann, thanks. It was my pleasure.
    Chiocciola, yes you are correct. I took that photo two years ago when there was some sort of Charlie Chaplin thing happening. It was so beautiful inside the library building.


  4. Thanks, Girasoli, for this wonderful tour of Bologna. Your photos are fantastic, as always.
    It all looks so beautiful, I can’t wait to see Bologna for myself! I’ll definitely be looking for the free Internet, and the glass floors in the Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio to see the ruins below.
    I agree with Dana — your travelogue rivals any guidebook (in fact, it’s so much better than my Cadogan guide which is remarkably photo free!)


  5. sandra, I appreciate your kind comments. I can’t wait til you get to experience Bologna for yourself! Since doing these posts, I have been thinking of returning to Bologna again if I go back to Italy this summer.


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