Delve into the architectural splendor of Bologna on a walking tour of its historical squares, churches and the former seat of the university, which was founded in 1088.
Depart from the pier and enjoy a scenic seventy-five minute drive west into the heartland of the Emilia-Romagna region, where you’ll find its energetic capital of Bologna. Regarded as one of Italy’s most beautiful cities, it’s dominated by spectacular architecture from the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Despite its size, Bologna is easy to negotiate on foot, a benefit your walking tour confirms. It begins in lovely Piazza Maggiore, an expansive pedestrian square that marks the oldest part of the city. Constructed to serve as Bologna’s symbolic and physical heart, the square is surrounded by magnificent medieval buildings such as the Palazzo del Podesta. Another landmark here is the Fountain of Neptune, which was built in 1556 by order of the pope as part of his beautification program.
Nearby, you’ll see the San Petronio Basilica, Europe’s sixth-largest church. This amazing structure would have been Italy’s largest cathedral if the pope hadn’t halted construction so it wouldn’t eclipse the size of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome. The Palazzo del Archiginnasio, once the seat Bologna’s university, was built next door to fill the space that the basilica would have occupied if it had followed the original plans. It contains a fascinating 17th-century theater where cadavers were publically dissected to further anatomical knowledge. Following your guided tour of Bologna, you’ll have a brief amount of free time before rejoining your coach and traveling back to the pier in Ravenna.
Please note: This tour includes just over 2-hours of walking/standing plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be some steps and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned only to participate to the extent of their personal stamina and ability and may make arrangements with the guide to not participate in some of the walking portions of the tour. Weather appropriate clothing (conservative dress please for entering the religious sites); sun cap; sunglasses; a bottle of water from the ship; and flat comfortable walking shoes are recommended.