After repeated aerial bombardments during World War II and later gentrification some 20th-century suburbanization, Bologna Italy still possesses an abundance of medieval, renaissance, and Baroque artistic monuments. History lives here and it is rich with beauty. Ancient fortified walls and no fewer than 20 medieval defensive towers remain and create the character in the city.
An alpine city, Bologna Italy sits at the base of the Apennine Mountains. In and of themselves the Apennines are a stunning site. Stretching 1,200 km along peninsular Italy and rising nearly 3,000 meters, this range is made up of three smaller ranges. Its peaks are sweeping and the mountains offer some of the best walking experiences in the area. Climbing upward offers a city vista showcasing miles of the city’s red clay rooftops, sprawling expanse of porticoes and 43 churches – approximately 1 for every 9,000 people in the city.
Famed for its long porticoes offering 38 km worth of shady spaces under which to wander while exploring the historic district in the warm weather city of Bologna. From portico to portico, Bologna is filled with monumental points of interest, historically, architecturally, religiously, and culturally. The Portico di San Luca links Porta Saragozza, one of a number of entries into the fortified centre, to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. The Madonna is a basilica church rising about 300 meters from the hilltop – Monte Della Guardia. The basilica is located just outside of the city and overlooks Bologna as a key landmark.
Bologna is not only historically and architecturally significant, but it is also well-known for its university which happens to be the oldest in Europe. Also it is famous for its cuisine and its prominence within the musical landscape. Bologna is home to the International Museum and Library of Music, and it has been a UNESCO City of Music since 2006. Classical, jazz, or opera, Bologna music in Bologna is considered a strong part of economics and helps to make Bologna an energetic city where music is part of all parts of life – the very fabric of city life. The city hosts various musical festivals each year. The Varignane summer music festival is a classical music event that draws internationally acclaimed musicians.
And never last on any list of things to see or do in a world-class city like Bologna, and always essential fuel for any adventurous journey is local cuisine. Famous for Bolognese sauce – a red meat sauce served over pasta – specifically and only, tagliatelle in Italy, where the sauce is called ragu. Meat and cheese are key in the cuisine of the area and cured meat, in particular, is a booming industry in Bologna, to say nothing of wine and desserts which are also delicious parts of the cuisine scene here.
Visit for the history, visit for the architecture, visit for the vistas or porticoes or churches. Whatever draws you to Bologna, the mountains will have you spellbound, the food will fill your belly and the music will fill your soul.