If the route of your trip runs through central or northern Italy, at least for a day drop in Bologna - the main city of the province of the same name and the region of Emilia-Romagna.
Among other Italian provinces, perhaps only Bologna can “boast” of the number of nicknames that the Italians endowed with lovingly. Some, for the abundance of red roofs and brick buildings, call Bologna "red", others, because of the huge number of students - the "scientist", and still others called it - "fat". After all, the city became famous for its delicacies far beyond the borders of Italy. Parma ham, parmesan, all kinds of pastas and pale pink mortadella sausage, is not an exhaustive list of Bologna culinary masterpieces.
A detailed excursion program in Bologna can be compiled on this page, but we will talk about those places that you can explore in Bologna on your own.
Number 8. Museums of Bologna (Il Museo Archeologico Civico)
Of the museums, the City Archaeological Museum (Via dell'Archigennasio), located in the Galvani Palace in the heart of the city, deserves the most attention.
The collection of the Archaeological Museum of Bologna is rich in the most ancient finds collected as a result of excavations. Many of them indicate that ancient settlements in the city have existed since the Paleolithic.
Bologna - the main city of the Emilia-Romagna region
The oldest in the Archaeological Museum of Bologna is a collection of objects from the Lower Paleolithic era, which is about 700 thousand years old.
The Etruscan collection is very rich, numbering about four thousand exhibits, whose age is more than 2.5 thousand years. Among them are funeral urns, bronze ornaments, pottery, weapons, etc.
In the halls of the Archaeological Museum housed the Egyptian collection, which is one of the largest and most significant in Europe. First of all, these are the posthumous masks of the pharaohs, who are more than 3.5 thousand years old, sculptures, vases, medals, burial steles, etc.
The attention of visitors is attracted by ancient Greek and Roman exhibits, among which you can see portraits of noble families, copies of Roman sculptures, numerous tablets, statues and household items.
Lovers of coin art are of great interest to the numismatic collection, numbering about one hundred thousand coins, medals and stamps made by Italian, Greek and other mints.
Museum of the Middle Ages Bologna (Museo Civico Medievale) is housed in the Palazzo Gizilardi, built in the 15th century on the ruins of an ancient palace.
History buffs will be interested to see numerous bronze, glass and ivory items made by famous Italian masters.
In the halls of the Museum you can admire the luxurious household items belonging to the Bentivoglio family and its courtiers, ruling in the second half of the 15th century.
The Museum of the Middle Ages is located near Piazza Maggiore
Renaissance and Baroque exhibits are also noteworthy.
Among the most interesting: a model of the statue of Neptune, made by the Florentine sculptor-mannerist Giamboloña for the city fountain, a bronze bust of Pope Gregory XV, works by Lorenzo Bernini, Triptych "Madonna and Child with Saints" Jacopo della Quercia and many works of other famous Italian masters.
Number 7. National Pinacoteca (Pinacoteca nazionale di Вologna)
Fine art lovers will also not be disappointed. Here, on Via Belle Arti 56, in the former building of the Jesuit Order, erected by Alfonso Torreggiani, is located National Gallery of Bologna (Pinacoteca Nazionale) - one of the best art museums in Italy.
The beginning of her meeting in the XVIII century was laid by Cardinal Prospero Lambertini - the future Pope.
The first exhibits of the National Gallery were altar paintings and Byzantine icons of the XIII century. Later, the collection was supplemented by paintings collected from local churches.
National Gallery of Bologna
At the time of Napoleon, the Bologna Pinacoteca lost a significant part of its collection, however, after its overthrow, most of the paintings exported by the French were returned and took their usual place in the Gallery.
Today, the collection of the National Gallery has over two thousand paintings. It is based on the work of representatives of the Bologna art school, as well as the work of Giotto, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Rubens, Vincent van Gogh and others.
The National Pinacoteca of Bologna is considered one of the best art museums in Italy.
No. 6. University of Bologna (Universita di Bologna)
Speaking about the sights of the city, one cannot fail to mention the famous University of Bologna - Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, - the oldest university in Europe.
Although the exact date of its foundation is not known for certain, in the 19th century a commission of historians led by Josue Carducci agreed to consider 1088 as the year of birth of the University of Bologna. This is the year of foundation of the law school, or, as it was called at that time, the "school of liberal arts." In addition to grammar, logic and rhetoric, its students paid serious attention to the study of Roman law, which, after graduation, was successfully put into practice.
From the first years of its existence, the university has become one of the most popular educational institutions not only in Italy, but also in Europe. Today's students of Bologna University are proud of their membership in the student fraternity, because within its walls such famous personalities as Giovanni Boccaccio, Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Nikolai Copernicus, Paracelsus and many others "gnawed" on the granite of science.
Among the current graduates there are also many names that have received recognition not only in the scientific world, but also in literature: Carlo Goldoni, Josue Carducci, Umberto Eco, can not be counted all. That is why Bologna is called “La Dotta”, which means “scientist”.
Graduates of the University of Bologna were Copernicus, Goldoni and others.
Today, as in ancient centuries, the main emphasis at the University is placed on the study of legal sciences. However, in addition to jurisprudence, you can get a prestigious education in the field of economics, philosophy, medicine, chemistry, architecture, art, etc. As in the Dante era, Bologna is considered a city of students and youth, and during the sessions its population grows, almost double .
The university received its own building only in 1563. Until that moment, the function of the audience was performed by city squares, parks, as well as apartments of students themselves and their teachers.
Today, the Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio houses a library. If you are curious, go into the courtyard, where under the arches of the galleries there are coats of arms of university rectors who "ruled" in this temple of science until 1797 (then Napoleon destroyed all social insignia), as well as coats of arms of distinguished students.
In the same building is the ancient anatomical theater (Teatro Anatomico), which is a multi-tiered audience where everything is made of wood and decorated with statues, and in the center there is a marble table on which corpses were prepared in the cold season (for obvious reasons). Moreover, anyone could watch the process. It is worth noting that University of Bologna was one of the first educational institutions in which, in order to study medicine, anatomical theater was used to open corpses.
No. 5. Church of San Giacomo Maggiore (San Giacomo Maggiore)
Among the huge number of churches in Bologna, the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, founded by the Order of the Hermits of St. Augustine in 1267, is especially noteworthy.
It is worth paying attention to the magnificent northern portal of the church, as well as to the interior decoration, which is decorated with frescoes and paintings by famous Italian artists of the 15th century. And today on the walls of the temple you can see the well-preserved works of Francesco Francha, Lorenzo Costa and Amiko Aspertini.
The walls of the Capella Bentivoglio painted by Lorenzo Costa
The visitors are attracted by the Capella Bentivoglio, built in 1445 as a mausoleum for the former ruler of Bologna, Anton Galeazzo Bentivoglio and his family. The chapel is made in red and blue, which fully corresponds to the heraldic colors of the genus Bentivoglio. And portraits of the famous family, painted by Lorenzo Costa, are surrounded by the faces of the saints and the Madonna.
To be continued…