Science, art and delicious cuisine

Bologna, a capital of Emilia-Romagna province has a lot of nicknames – “scientific Bologna”, “city of hundred towers”, “city of galleries” and “fat Bologna”. It’s a unique city keeping the monuments of different epochs.

Originally Bologna was an Etruscan town with the name Felsina. When the Romans captured the city in 189 it received the name Bolonia and step by step became one the important centers of the Empire. Nero paid special attention to the city and during his rule a lot of new buildings were raised. From the 11th century Bologna experienced a significant economic rise. It was part of the Lega Lombarda under Federico Barbarossa.

In the Middle Ages Bologna became an educational and scientific center of Europe due to its University – the first in Europe. Among its famous students are Dante Alighieri, Petrarca and Boccaccio.

During the Napoleonic period Bologna became the capital of the Repubblica Cispadana and it was a period of flourishing. The city has also played an important role in the Risorgimento, the Italian movement for independence and unification. Finally, in 1859 the city voted joined Piedmont and became a part of united Italy.

Bologna is widely known for its food – gourmets come here to taste the most famous local delicacies such as pasta, Parmesan cheese, Bolognese veal cutlet and mortadella – notorious Bolognese sausage.

Elegant arcades otherwise called porticos adorn the city and have become the symbols of Bologna. Common length of these porticos is about 35 kilometers. They protect from rain, snow of sizzling sun.

Another symbols of the city are two falling towers – Asinelli (98 meters height) and Garizenda (48 meters height). Asinelli tower was built in XII century. The second tower was constructed a few years later but bended very soon because of the strong storm.

Bologna is an important center for fairs and exhibitions – its Fiera District (exhibitions) is considered to be the 2nd in Italy and the 4th in Europe. Among important events held in Bologna are Motorshow (probably the best in the world), Saie, Saiedue and Cersaie, (buildings), Cosmoprof (beauty culture, named the most important of its kind in all the World), Lineapelle and a lot of others.

Like in the whole Italy Catholicism plays an important role in the city and several magnificent Catholic Cathedral emphasize this fact quite clear.

Basilica di San Petronio received its name after the city’s patron saint. The construction began in 1392 but, for political reasons, was never finished.

The Basilica di Santo Stefano presents a group of four churches remaining from an original seven.

Basilica Santuario della Madonna di San Luca is a hill-top sanctuary visible from most parts of Bologna. It was built in the 18th century and is connected to the city walls by the world’s longest portico, or covered walkway, made up of 666 (!) arches.