Bologna is a large city in Northern Italy, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, known as a city of towers, universities and excellent culinary specialists. But this is today, and in the VI century BC on the site of modern Bologna, there was a settlement of the Etruscans, called Felsina. Due to the fact that the settlement was at the intersection of trade routes, its main population was traders and artisans.
A couple of centuries later, Felsina was conquered and then destroyed by a Celtic tribe of battles, but at the beginning of the II century BC the Celts were expelled by the Romans, who founded the colony of Bonnonius on the site of the former Felsina.
There are two versions of the origin of the name of the city: according to one, Bologna got its name from the Celtic word "bona" - "city", according to the second - the city is named after the tribe of fights, which in Celtic means "shepherds" or "warriors".
Bologna - one of the largest cities in Italy
During the prosperity of the Roman Empire, Bologna was considered one of the richest cities in the country, during this period magnificent temples, a theater, a stadium, and numerous baths were built.
During the crisis of the empire, Bologna fell into decline, but in the V century, during the time of Bishop Petronius, the city again experienced its heyday. During its existence, Bologna visited the Ravenna Exarchate, the Lombard Kingdom, and the Papal States, in the 18th century it was conquered by the French and incorporated into the Cisalpine Republic, and then returned to the papal throne.
The city joined the United Kingdom of Italy along with the Emilia-Romagna region in 1860. Modern Bologna is one of the largest cities in Italy, second only to Venice in the number and preservation of historical and architectural monuments.
Climate and weather
The climate in Bologna is continental, there is no marine influence at all. The weather is rainy and wet throughout the year, but the largest amount of precipitation falls on the cold. It is quite cold in winter, although the temperature rarely drops below zero, and in summer it is hot and stuffy due to high humidity.
The most favorable time for a trip to Bologna is from April to October, during this period the average temperature is + 20 + 23 ° C, but in July and August it can be quite hot - about + 30 ° C.
Piazza Maggiore - the real focus of attractions
How to get there
Getting to Bologna is easy - the city has its own airport, Guglielmo Marconi, which accepts flights from almost all of Europe. The airport is located very conveniently - only seven kilometers from the city center.
The successful geographical position of the city made it one of the most important railway junctions connecting the northern and southern parts of the country, so you can get here by train from any major city in Italy. From Rome to Bologna, the fast train takes a little more than two hours, from Milan - about an hour, from Florence - about 1.5 hours.
The easiest way to buy train tickets to Bologna from other cities in Italy is to do it online through the popular Omio service. To purchase tickets you only need a bank card and knowledge of travel dates. The service works in Russian, and ticket prices are the same as at the box office at the station.
Hotels in Bologna
There are several hundred hotels and other accommodation options in Bologna. Here there are elite five-star apartments located in the historical center of the city, more modest three-star hotels, and budget hostels in which students prefer to stay.
Tourists can easily choose a hotel for every taste and budget, the only caveat is that if the dates of the trip fall on holidays, then, despite all the seeming variety, it is better to book the hotel long before departure.
By the way, the best selection of hotels in the center of Bologna for every taste and budget can be found on the link below.
What to see in and around Bologna
The capital of Emilia-Romagna is so interesting that the question "What to see in Bologna?" difficult to answer unambiguously. Bologna includes magnificent parks and gardens, unique architecture, magnificent cathedrals, noteworthy museums, and excellent restaurants and shops.
Neptune's famous fountain in Piazza Maggiore
The main historical sights of the city are located in the center - this is the famous Piazza Maggiore, surrounded by magnificent buildings: the Basilica of St. Petronio, the Palazzo del Podesta, the Palazzo Enzo and the Palazzo Communal. On Piazza Maggiore is the famous Neptune Fountain - a picturesque sculptural composition by Florentine sculptor Giamboloni.
Azinelli Tower is 97 m high; Garisenda is half lower
The Leaning Towers - Garisenda and Asinelli, which are among the main attractions of Bologna, are located near the central square in Piazza della Merkansiya. The height of the highest tower - Azinelli - is 97 meters; to the observation deck, which offers panoramic views of the city, and in good weather - and the sea, there are stairs of 498 steps. The Garisenda Tower is much lower - only 48 meters.
Along with the towers, the arches galleries give a unique look to the city, the total length of which is about 40 kilometers. The construction of covered galleries is justified by the special climate of Bologna - arches are designed to protect residents and visitors from the scorching sun in the summer and rain in the fall and winter. In the Middle Ages, the roofs of the galleries were wooden, later - stone; to this day, only one arch made of wood has survived on Maggiore street.
The year of foundation of the university is 1088.
Another famous attraction is the university. Bologna University is the oldest educational institution in Europe, 1088 is considered the year of its foundation - it was then that a law school was opened here, in which grammar, rhetoric, logic, Roman law were studied.
At different times, Francesco Petrarca, Giovanni Boccaccio, Nikolai Copernicus, Umberto Eco studied at the University of Bologna. The university building houses a library, as well as the ancient Anatomical Theater.
Religious sights are also interesting - the Monastery of San Stefano, copying the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in Jerusalem, the Basilica of St. Domenico, in the creation of which participated Nikollo Del Arch, Guido Reni, Michelangelo, the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, decorated with paintings and frescoes of famous Italian artists.
The monastery of San Stefano was erected in Bologna in the 5th century.
It is worth paying attention to the museums of Bologna - the Archaeological Museum of the Middle Ages. The expositions of museums contain many remarkable exhibits that will be interesting to history buffs.
However, we will not repeat. In more detail the sights of Bologna, which are certainly worth a look, BlogoItaliano dedicated a separate article.
Photos by: asgeirpedersen.no, arcaitalianschool.com, kalpana.it, globopix.net, airdolomiti.eu, colorcoat-online.com, its-amroni.blogspot.com.