Europe Travel


I knew Bologna will be on my list of places to see in Italy, mainly because of its university. It is the oldest in the world, while Oxford is the oldest in the English-speaking world and 3rd oldest overall. Besides this very specific reason, Bologna has a lot to offer to people who otherwise might be less interested about this.

 Bologna from above

Bologna is beautiful and while we’ve only been there for a day, we did see quite a few places. This view of Bologna is from one of the leaning towers. It’s quite a long climb, so do bear that in mind, just shy of 500 steps and wooden ones, not all even and the drop is quite visible around it.

Bologna from above

Bologna seen from the tower

Stairs of the tower

These are the infamous aforementioned stairs.

Asinelli & Garisenda Towers

Asinelli & Garisenda Towers date back to the 12th century, which is impressive. One of them was struck by lightning and survived, besides all the wars that took place in the last 900 years of when they were built.

coffee and croissants

Just besides the tower is a lovely cafe/bistro which serves vegan croissants. I can’t remember the name, but it is just besides the towers.

Anatomical theatre

This is the Anatomical theatre of the Archiginnasio. Once it was used by the university, now it is a museum. This building is from the 17th century and it’s just stunning. The building was destructed during WWII, but was rebuilt using all the original pieces that were recovered from the debris.


Look at that gorgeous ceiling.

Detail of painting

On the walls there are plaques like this one, painted. It’s so impressive.

Anatomical theatre - Cattedra degli Spellati

Cattedra degli Spellati is where the students would learn about anatomy.

dissection table

This is the dissection table, a beautiful white marble top.

Sala Stabat Mater

The hall of the Stabat Mater is a reading room but the library was closed to the public as it is used by the students. In the next picture you can see how it looks.


Bologna University

This is one of the buildings of the Bologna University.

Bust of Dante Alighieri


The Basilica of San Petronio

The Basilica of San Petronio is in Piazza Maggiore and another must-see attraction. It was designed to be the largest church in the world, in the 14th century. Now it’s still impressive, as the 7th largest in the world. It is open to the public for a small fee, so well worth visiting.

The Basilica of San Petronio - interior

 The Basilica of San Petronio - interior

Fountain of Neptune

Fountain of Neptune is from mid-16th century. There are a few copies of it around the world.

Palazzo di Re Enzo

Palazzo di Re Enzo, 13th century castle, now a museum where different events are hosted.


Bologna street


Roman artefacts

5 Comment

  1. I would probably give those wooden stairs in the tower a miss, although a few years ago I might have seen them as a challenge to be accepted – The coffee and pastry is much more like my idea of a challenge these days, even though the view may not be quite as spectacular!

    The library and the Basilica would be my two ‘want to see’ places, although your pictures make it all look amazing and they definitely ‘paint a thousand words’, without any additional commentary necessary.

    Great Post! 🙂

    1. Thank you. Bologna is a lovely place to visit. I would have liked to spend a bit more time. When we went some museums were closed, but I imagine they are good, as most museums are in Italy. The towers can be admired from below. :))

  2. I did not expect the dissection table to be such a gorgeous slab of marble! Was it just used for autopsy or also for surgery?

    Those stairs look killer, but the view looks to be worth the climb. I love all the uniform red-tiled rooftops in that part of the world.
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    1. Marble was used widely for dissection tables because it was easier to keep cold and thus helping preserving the body longer. A bit gruesome, I know, but interesting bit of history.
      I don’t know what exactly were doing in Bologna, but in Liverpool, in the 19th century, were showing special cases too. The details in the museum were not extensive.

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