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Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore in Bologna
Piazza Maggiore square, the heart of the city

Piazza Maggiore in Bologna
Convenient meeting place : Fountain of Neptune

5 stars
Piazza Maggiore is the heart of Bologna geographically and politically for more than 800 years. Historic buildings surround pink and white square. On the south side you can see St. Petronio Basilica with the same color of the square's floor. The town Hall is situated on the east side, with the construction of the mid-15th century and the more antique part of tower. Therefore, the front decoration of the town hall is divided into three styles depends on the each era. For example, the decoration at the top of the front: there are two different forms, one of which was completed during the age group of Pope, and one is pro-imperial era.

Opposite to the cathedral, the Podesta palace is located. The original part was built in 1200 but the powerful Bentivoglio family in Bologna had mostly renovated it in the 15th century. Behind, the palace of King Enzo was built after the mid-13th century, and next to the palace there is a fountain of the sea god Neptune decorated with carvings of Giambologna (Fontana del Nettuno). This fountain adds to the cool elegance air to the public square and is a meeting point for the people of Bologna. And then going up the stairs into the Town Hall, there is a Municipal Library (Biblioteca Sala Borsa). From the glass floor some Roman ruins in the basement can be seen. You can feel the long story of Bologna.

In front of the town hall, there is the Banchi palace. Relatively it's a new building compared to others in the square. Because it was built in order to hide the popular market situated behind. In summer cafes put tables in the square so here would be the best spot to relax. However, the price is a little bit higher. It is also beautiful the light up at night.

When you come here, please stand just beneath the Arengo tower (built in 1212) of the Podesta palace. The bell was used as a warning to the public. Here, please stand at one corner and try to talk to the wall. Another person on the opposite corner on the diagonal line will hear your voice from the inside of the wall. It's an aural trick but it's fun! In the past, from this place, it was possible to overlook the town hall (the center of politics), market (the center of economy), the Church of St. Peter's (the center of Catholic religion) and the Cathedral of St. Petronio (the symbol of freedom of Bologna municipality in the Middle Ages). That meant the four important elements to people: politics, economy, religion, and autonomy.

City library Sala Borsa (Biblioteca Sala Borsa)
[How to reach] From Bologna's central railway station go to the left crossroad and continue to walk straight for c.a. 15 minutes.
[Address] Piazza Nettuno, 3-40124 Bologna
[Tel.] 051-2194400
[Fax] 051-2194420
[Closed] Monday morning, Sunday, Holiday
[Opening Hours] Monday: 14:30‐20:00, Tuesday to Friday: 10:00‐20:00, Saturday: 10:00‐19:00
[Rate] Free
[Web site]