Right at the heart of Bologna city centre, your tour of the city will be leaving from one of the symbols of the town itself, outstanding Renaissance God Neptune Fountain. I will be revealing you its many secrets, and how come a statue of the God of the sea ended up right in the middle of Bologna, the city being quite far from the sea itself. Prepare to be having fun discovering the tricks undertaken by its sculptor Giambologna in order to be making fool of the Popes, Lords of the town when the Fountain was built!
Elegant open air-drawing room of the city, surrounded by majestic architecture, the Main Square is the best spot all across the town to be spying on Bologna people, here gathering and having a chat. This is where you will find imposing, medieval City Hall Palace, seat of the proud government of the city for over eight-hundred years, as well as gothic St. Petronius Basilica, one of the largest churches throughout Europe, originally intended to be larger and longer then St. Peter Basilica in Rome, no less. On the inside, you will be amazed by a forest of impressive, tall cloister pillars, gothic frescos and stunning stained glass windows, overlooking the longest and largest calendar all across the world, designed by astronomer Cassini on the floor of the Basilica itself for the most complex science and physics experiments.
Fair to say Bologna wouldn’t be the same without its world-famous University: this is where university system was conceived over one thousand years ago, later to be exported all across the world. And we are awfully proud of that! We shall be reaching Renaissance Archiginnasio Palace, the very first campus building of history. The building was originally meant to be hosting law and liberal arts students, but only one of the 22 classrooms is still perfectly preserved, the all-wooden built Anatomical Theatre, for medicine to be taught. And this is where you will follow me, discovering the ancient rituals and daily life of Bologna University students, and how they shaped the history of knowledge
Following stop will be the narrow medieval alleys of the so-called Middle Market area, kingdom of beautiful delicatessen shops featuring dangerously delicious Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sausages and handmade pasta: all the foodstuffs the city is renown for. This is Bologna, the fat one, at its best. I will be introducing you to mysterious Battuti brotherhood, having being inspiring Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code: we shall be visiting their church, Santa Maria della Vita Basilica, where touching Mourning over Dead Christ terracotta group by Niccolò dell’Arca is located.
And finally, at the border of market area, we will be reaching the Two Towers: been mentioned by Dante in his Inferno, one-thousand years old Asinelli and Garisenda towers are the definitive, truest symbol of the town. They are only a couple of the many towers that topped the sky of Bologna in 12th and 13th century, and have been admired ever since. Prepare yourself to bend over, in order to be enjoying the best view of them!