AMO ITALY Travel Guide

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Colonnade and Mercanzia Palace (Palazzo della Mercanzia e Portico)

Colonnade and Mercanzia Palace in Bologna
Mercanzia Square

Colonnade in Bologna
The rare wooden portico can be found in Strada Maggiore

4 stars
Since near the square Mercanzia near it's concentrated characteristic porticos, you can try to stroll there. Immediately the Mercanzia Palace will attract your attention. It was built in the 14th century as a customs office. When they had disputes about trading, the judge used to face to the square from the balcony in the middle to pronounce a sentence. Still now it's used as the Chamber of Commerce. Next, you can find the tower of Alberici of the 12th century. On the first floor of the tower it's located the original entrance of the store opened in 1273.

Bologna city has a long long arcade called Portico, in total 38 km just inside the walls. On rainy days it's very convenient for walking without an umbrella. Medieval craftsmen to produce the goods and to sell their items used these places. At first, this architecture was born in order to get more spaces to rent rooms to students of University. The first example of bulge can be seen on the street of Cravatore. Later, more wooden porticos were built to ensure more spaces on the upper floor.

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From 1500 until 1600, it was obligated to exchange wooden portico to the brick portico. Therefore, it's very rare to find the wooden portico sill now. For example, please go to see the wooden portico of 9-meter high in Strada Maggiore (13th century). The building was designed to pass under the portico riding on horse. Look well, you can find an arrow at that time on the ceiling.


Mercanzia Palace (Palazzo della Mercanzia)
[Address] Piazza della Mercanzia, 4-40125 Bologna
[How to reach] Next to the Two Leaning Towers.
[Tel.] 051-6093111
[Fax] 051-6093451

Walls and Gates (Mura e Porte)

Walls and Gates in Bologna
Portico of 3.7km length from the gate of Saragozza to the St. Luke Church.

4 stars
The walls had surrounded the old city for the purpose of defense. With increase of the population, the walls had been rebuilt triply. Some theories say that the oldest one could go back to the 4th century. These walls took the name of plaster material and are called "Selenite walls".

Then later, the walls of 3.5 km length called "wall of 1000" were built in the 11th century. There were 17 gates at that time but now only four gates are left. They are located in the middle of each street Via San Vitale, Via Castiglione, and Via Pierra.

In the 13th century the walls of 7.6km length were established with 12 gates. Unfortunately to build a ring road the walls were demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, however still now there are original nine gates. To see all of these walls it takes a lot of time but if you would like to see all of walls, it would be convenient to ride a bus number 32 or 33 from central station. You can go around the ring road.