Classic Tours

Bologna - Classic Tour

Bologna’s old centre is one of the best preserved in Europe. This walking tour through fascinating squares, large pedestrian areas, and welcoming arcades, also includes visits to churches and palazzi, all of which are free of charge.

Vinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo SliderVinaora Nivo Slider

HALF DAY (up to 2.5 HOURS)
RECOMMENDED FOR: Groups, T.O., Individuals, Schools
WHEN: all year long

The itinerary starts with Piazza Maggiore, the heart of the city, and its civic palaces, all of medieval origins: Palazzo di Re Enzo, which takes its name from the captivity (XIII century) of Enzo, king of Sardinia and son of the Emperor Frederick II of Swabia; Palazzo Comunale, the City Hall, (interior: the remains of the Roman Forum; the Farnese Room in the Legates Apartment, XVII century); Palazzo del Podestà (XIII century), the Town’s Court, rebuilt under the patronage of the Bentivoglio family, the city’s Lords during the XV century; Palazzo of the Notaries, seat of one of the most powerful guilds in the Middle Ages. Palazzo dei Banchi, the money changers’ seat (XVI century). In the square is also the Fountain of Neptune, with the precious late Renaissance sculptures by Giambologna; we will visit then the gothic Basilica of San Petronio (on the façade, sculptures by the Sienese artist Jacopo della Quercia): inside, the precious late gothic paintings of the Cappella Bolognini and the sun-dial designed by the astronomer Cassini (XVII century). 

Walking along the Pavaglione Portico and its elegant shops, we reach the 16th century Archiginnasio Palace, the old University building, decorated with about 6.000 coats of arms of students. Inside is the 17th century Anatomical Theatre, where dissections were held, enriched of statues of doctors and sculptures of anatomy. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo, the old market, and its fabulous food shops, we reach the lovely Square of Santo Stefano, with the complex of Santo Stefano also called the “Jerusalem of Bologna” or “The Seven Churches”, a group of small Romanesque churches. Then piazza della Mercanzia, with the gothic Palazzo della Mercanzia and some 13th century buildings with wooden porticoes. Our visit ends at the foot of the Two Towers, the symbol of the city.

RECOMMENDED FOR: Groups, T.O., Individuals, Schools
WHEN: al year long

In addition to the half-day itinerary, we can visit the University district along Via Zamboni, where we can visit the Oratorio di Santa Cecilia and see its Renaissance frescoes by Francia, Costa, Aspertini. Then, walking through the former Jewish ghetto, we discover the history of this important community. Finally, we visit the Basilica of San Domenico with the Arca, the tomb of the founder of the Dominican order, who died in Bologna in 1221. This monument is a masterpiece built in the course of the centuries, with sculptures by Nicola Pisano, Nicolò dell’Arca, and Michelangelo.

Or: A visit of one of the most interesting museums of Bologna:

Museo Medievale and the collections of Medieval Monuments of the University’s professors.

Pinacoteca Nazionale and the best of Bolognese painting from the 14th to the 18th centuries: Vitale da Bologna, i Carracci, Guido Reni, Guercino, G.M. Crespi.

Museo della Musica: precious collections of music instruments, music scores and books, musician’s portraits.

Musei di Palazzo Poggi: the scientific collections of the University on show in the beautiful rooms of the late Renaissance Palazzo Poggi. 

Anatomical Theater & Stabat Mater Hall: € 3.00, free admission for schools.
Bolognini Chapel inside S. Petronio: € 3.00 (frescoes are partially visible from outside)
S. Domenico Chapel and Choir: € 1.00.
The Mourning on Dead Christ inside the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita: € 3.00, reduced admission for schools and groups of at leat 15 people: € 1.00.
Headsets: Tour Sound rents headsets for guided tours at the following prices: € 1.50 per person (half-day tour), € 2.00 per person (full-day tour). The same prices are applied to schools. Headsets are delivered at the meeting point and collected at the end of the tour. 
Inside S. Petronio Basilica groups with guides are required to hire headsets.
Museo Civico Medievale: € 5.00 full ticket, € 3.00 reduced ticket for groups, University students and over 65, free admission for under 18.
Pinacoteca Nazionale: € 4.00 full ticket, € 2.00 from 18 to 25 years, free admission for under 18 (free admission on the first Sunday of each month). 
Musei Universitari di Palazzo Poggi: € 3.00 full ticket, € 1 reduced ticket for students, disabled, over 65, free admission for University of Bologna students, children under 6.
Read 3605 times


Le Guide d'Arte

Association of Licensed Tourist Guides of Bologna and the Emilia Romagna region.

  • Address: Via del Monte, 5
    40126 - Italy
  • Tel./Fax: +39 051 275 0254
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
You are here: Home Itineraries Bologna Classic Tour