Piazza Maggiore

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Piazza Maggiore: Our most recommended tours and activities

  • Bologna: City Center Walking Tour

    1. Bologna: City Center Walking Tour

    Your tour starts from Piazza del Nettuno. You'll discover the Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio and the Meridian. Next visit the oldest library in the world and Piazza Santo Stefano, where you'll see the wonderful Basilica that overlooks the square. Then visit the Towers of Bologna, the Asinelli and the Garisenda, before you explore the historical market Quadrilatero to admire the historical shops and take in the scents of local food. Finally, visit Palazzo Re Enzo which overlooks the square and is the palace seat of the municipality.

    After visiting Rome, Siena and Florence our first impression when coming to Bologna wasn’t the love from the first sight ‍♀️ However, the walking tour with the brilliant guide in English-Paola, gave us a different perspective of the city. We were told so much more details and interesting facts that we read about in our guidebook. Highly recommended!!

  • Bologna: Red Bus City Tour and Local Food Tasting

    2. Bologna: Red Bus City Tour and Local Food Tasting

    Discover Bologna in comfort via an open top bus, enabling you to admire and photograph all the major attractions of the city.  Upon arriving at the meeting point, staff will welcome you onboard. Choose from an audioguide available in 10 different languages to learn more about the specific landmarks as well as the general history of the city. You will then journey across the city, capturing views of some of the most famous points of interest. Hop on and off at your leisure at some popular spots such as: • Basilica San Petronio • Palazzo dei Notai • Palazzo Comunale • Palazzo di Re Enzo • Palazzo del Podestà, • Tower of Asinelli and Garisenda • Museo Civico Archeologico • Archiginnasio • Palazzo Bevilacqua • Porta Saragozza • Palazzo Bentivoglio • Fontana del Nettuno • Teatro Comunale. After the tour, enjoy a food tour in a historical market in Bologna, where you will try local delicaci...

  • From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

    3. From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

    The Basilica of San Luca is one of the symbols of the city of Bologna. Situated on the Monte Guardia, the Sanctuary connects to the city center through the longest continuous portico in the world, made up of 666 arcades. At the meeting point, you'll receive a map and a timetable of the return train, which is available every 45 minutes. You’ll also receive a voucher for the food tasting. This tour departs every day and will help you discover the city from aboard the San Luca Express train, where the audio guides, available in 8 languages, will tell you about the city until your arrival at the Basilica of San Luca. Here, you can visit the Basilica at your own pace and decide what time to return by consulting the schedules on the map. On board, you will find a staff person, who will welcome you and respond to your information. When you return, you will get to taste of typical products i...

    I am so lucky to get to this place with a Train tour. Very well organized, the amazing road to Basilica, and the biggest bonus is the view from the top hill from the San Luca! Must see! Very appreciated to the Tour Organization! Thanks a million! :)

  • Bologna: Historical Center Exploration Game

    4. Bologna: Historical Center Exploration Game

    Be led on an exciting self-guided tour around Bologna's Old Town while playing a mobile-based quest with your friends and family. Solve clues and discover the fascinating history behind the monuments and attractions. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. Follow clues that will take you back in time to learn about the origins of some of the city's most iconic buildings and tourist sites. Here's a sneak peek at the storyline: “You’re an emerging writer from London, whose debut novel was a success. But now writers’ block has struck. The year is 1815. [...] In your despair, you’ve come to Bologna. You heard the city’s many secrets and artistic flair inspire many artists. You hope to be next...." Unlock the secret stories of the places you visit as you solve the problem and guess the answers. Learn about the seven secrets that cloak Bologna in mystery, the st...

  • Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

    5. Best of Italy: 5-Day Escorted Tour from Rome

    Over the course of five days, visit the most enchanting locations of Italy, soaking up art, culture, cuisine and the famous Italian romance. Led by a friendly guide, depart from Rome and visit Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pisa, Bologna, Padova, Venice and Montepulciano. See masterpieces from the likes of Michelangelo, Giotto, and Cimabue. Roam ancient cobbled streets, marvel at magnificent cathedrals, and taste delightful wines. This tour aims to inform and entertain you at the same time. Staying in comfy accommodation and traveling by deluxe bus, touring Italy couldn’t be easier. With 4 meals provided for you, plus an excellent itinerary and knowledgeable guides, sit back, relax and "get Italian". Day 1 Depart from Rome at 7:15 AM heading towards Assisi. Explore this tiny town dating back to the Middle Ages. Visit the Basilica of St. Francis and see works by Giotto and Cimabue. Afterward...

    Our tour rep,, Clara, was exceptionally patient and knowledgeable. Nothing was too much trouble. We really enjoyed this Italian adventure......

  • Sanctuary of S. Luca with Train and Private Guide

    6. Sanctuary of S. Luca with Train and Private Guide

    The arcade that connects Porta Saragozza to the Sanctuary of San Luca is the longest in the world. Within its 3.5 kilometers there are 666 arches, each marked by a number: the first 306 connect Porta Saragozza to Meloncello Arch, while the last 360 are located in the hilly area from Meloncello to Colle della Guardia. These are spaced out by 15 chapels illustrating the mystery of the rosary. The tour starts from Piazza Maggiore with a little train ride to Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. Begin the guided tour with the Sanctuary of San Luca and its panoramic forecourt with an optional visit to the Dome of the Sanctuary to admire the panorama of the city. Enjoy the descent with a little train ride along the arcade that leads to Meloncello's Arch and then along via Saragozza. Passing through Porta Saragozza, arrive at the Collegio di Spagna and de'Carbonesi, continuing via Massimo d'Az...

  • Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

    7. Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

    The Basilica of San Petronio is the largest church in Bologna. It dominates the Piazza Maggiore and, despite being largely unfinished, it is one of the most extensive churches in Europe. Its imposing dimensions (132 meters long and 60 in width, with a height of 44.27 meters) makes it the fourth-largest church of Italy. In the Basilica of San Petronio, it is impossible not to know what time it is. In place of a clock though, the structure houses the longest sundial in the world. It measures 67 meters and crosses the floor of the church since 1657. It was Domenico Cassini who made it; a professor of astronomy, who believed that the motion of the planets depended on the sun.  With this guided tour, discover the beauty and history of this church. Afterwards, take the elevator to the magical panoramic terrace and relish in city views as far as you can see.

  • Bologna: Guided Architecture Walking Tour

    8. Bologna: Guided Architecture Walking Tour

    Start the tour at Archiginnasio Palace, which serves as the main office building for the oldest university in the world – the University of Bologna. After, walk to Piazza Maggiore, where the Basilica of San Petronio is located, known for its imposing facade. Continue to Piazza del Nettuno, which is surrounded by three important administrative buildings: Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. Afterward, continue to the base of Bologna's iconic towers, the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda Tower. Learn about the history and features of these imposing structures. Next, continue to the wooden arch of Corte Isolani and see the Oratory of Santa Cecilia. Admire the exterior of the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, before concluding the tour in the area of Quadrilatero, which is home to many markets and shops.

  • From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

    9. From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

    Take advange of this tour led by an expert guide to visit one of the most beautiful (and historically rich) cities in all of Italy. The itinerary starts with Piazza Maggiore and its civic palaces, all of medieval origin: Palazzo di Re Enzo, Palazzo of the Notaries and Palazzo dei Banchi. In the square, you'll also find the Fountain of Neptune with the precious late Renaissance sculptures by Giambologna. You'll then visit the gothic Basilica of San Petronio (on the facade, sculptures by the Sienese artist Jacopo della Quercia): inside you'll find the late gothic paintings of Cappella Bolognini and the sun-dial designed by the astronomer Cassini (17th century). Walking along the Pavaglione Portico and its elegant shops, you'll reach the 16th century Archiginnasio Palace, the old university building decorated with about 6000 student coat of arms. Inside is the 17th century Anatomical Theat...

Other Sightseeing Options in Piazza Maggiore

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What people are saying about Piazza Maggiore

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 161 reviews

After visiting Rome, Siena and Florence our first impression when coming to Bologna wasn’t the love from the first sight ‍♀️ However, the walking tour with the brilliant guide in English-Paola, gave us a different perspective of the city. We were told so much more details and interesting facts that we read about in our guidebook. Highly recommended!!

Wonderful trip up to san luca / fantastically beautiful church and the surroundings ❤️ / I'm glad we took the little train / because it just goes up / and then in the heat. Good idea and go up there around 10 am or a little later / because the church closes early / siesta ❤️And the 2 cutest guides. Can only be recommended

Wonderful experience with a very experienced and qualified Bolognese guide but above all with great passion for his work and for this beautiful city. Highly recommended

Good and clear tour. We were only in Bologna for 1 day because of the transit and thanks to this tour we were able to see all the highlights.

Great tour! Felt little bit like a escape room, just in the city. Very sweet story and nice quests! Would definitely do it again! xoxo