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Bologna seen from above in eight stages

The turreted city is the ideal destination for who does not suffer of vertigo and loves testing the panoramic view of the cell phone, therefore we conceived an itinerary for those who like views based on eight stages which represent the most charming points of our city full of history, to observe.
Set among towers and chimneys, Bologna seen from above is a timeless beauty.
The Middle Ages marked its identity indelibly and after many centuries, Bologna seen from above seems unaltered from the time of the fight against investitures, when the construction of audacious towers was representing for noble families, a clear proof of prestige.
In brief, since it’s not possible to stay with the feet on the ground, Bologna seen from above is charming and suggestive and worth to be lived. If you wish to discover the thousand facets of the city looking it from above, browse the gallery, view curiosities and mark the stages of your itinerary.

1- bologna seen from above: THE TORRE DEGLI Asinelli

97.2 metre high with 1.3° inclination, the experience of Bologna seen from above the peak of the Torre degli Asinelli is reserved to those who do not fear height nor fatigue (498 steps are challenging even for a trained person). It was erected between 1109 and 1119 as lookout out for threats coming from the east, it remained untouched despite fires (1398), earthquakes (1399, 1505 and 2012), cannon balls (1513) and lighting and during the Renaissance, it housed in its cells those who were found guilty for making noise at night. The view of Bologna is incredible and charming, the structure of the ancient Roman city is still visible today from the feet of the Torre degli Asinelli.
Photo (Bologna from the Torre degli Asinelli - photo by Tommaso Di Donato)

2- BOLOGNA SEEN FROM ABOVE: San Michele in Bosco

Another must-see stage for those who love viewing the Bolognese landscape is the panoramic terrace of San Michele in Bosco. At 15 minutes walk from the centre, a few steps from Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, the square in front of the church of San Michele in Bosco is the favourite destination of romantic people. Inattentive to couples' kisses, it will be easy to lose yourself by pointing out the profiles of towers and buildings gently framed by low boxwood hedges.

3- BOLOGNA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE HIDDEN TOWER: THE Torre Prendiparte

Among the alleys that flank the Jewish ghetto, you will suddenly come across a tower that seems coming from nowhere. With its twelve storeys, this 12th century skyscraper built by the Prendiparte family, is open to the public during private events and aperitifs. While climbing, on the third and fourth floor, it is possible to view the graffiti on the walls, traces of the ancient use of the tower as cell for religious crimes.

4- BOLOGNA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF San Petronio TERRACE

Until 2014, only a few lucky ones had the pleasure to capture Piazza Maggiore from the scaffolding set-up for the restoration of the facade of San Petronio Basilica; currently, the restoration works of San Petronio involve the apse of the church and the most fortunate ones can access the practical hoist of  piazza Galvani to reach the terrace overlooking the city from 54-metre height. The scenario that surrounds you once on the roof, allows you to dialogue with the landscape as a close friend, a truly unique experience.
Bologna seen from the terrace of San Petronio – credit of Tommaso di Donato photography

5- BOLOGNA SEEN FROM TOP OF THE Pincio

From the Pincio stairway, you can admire a raised view which is also accessible to those who prefer not to get too tired. From the top of the stairway, built only in 1896, it is possible to view Via Indipendenza that seems a Parisian boulevard at sunset.

6 – BOLOGNA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF A CHURCH TOWER

Bologna seen from the top of the 70-metre high church tower seems a tiny city made of small buildings and churches. The church tower built in 1184 and finished in 1426, houses a mid-16th century bell, weighing 33 quintals.
Photo from San Pietro church tower, photo by Francesco Malpensi – Instagram

7 – BOLOGNA SEEN FROM ABOVE, WITH THE EXCUSE OF SCIENCE: la Specola

It is possible to visit La Specola Museum located at the heart of the university District in via Zamboni 33, and enjoy a breathtaking view from its tower. La Specola tower has become one of the most important astronomic observatories thanks to the Institute of Science and the work of Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (1711). In addition to the ample view, it is possible to explore the technical evolution of astronomic observation instruments.
Photo of Bologna from La Specola tower (by twiperboileit)

8 –  bologna seen from above, between the  columns of san luca arcade

We would like adding the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca among our suggested tourist destinations thanks to the great value that it boasts for the identity of the citizens of Bologna who helped building it. The arcade is still nowadays a pilgrimage destination but became a cross-transfer point frequented by sport lovers, pedestrians and  worshippers. The true beauty opens up to the eye of a passerby when viewing the city from the peak of Colle della Guardia, set among the red vaults of the arcade. Bologna seen from the top of San Luca seems tiny and precious. Located at a few steps from Hotel Maggiore, we recommend choosing it as the last destination before dusk, when the city lights are lit and colour this treasury city of thousand colours.

9- BOLOGNA SEEN FROM THE TOP OF THE HILLS

The Parco Regionale dei Calanchi della Badessa e dei Gessi Bolognesi is a less known but charming destination for those who love nature, located on the state road that connects Colle Martino with Rastignano; this view can be enjoyed with good zooming.
Photo by Luca Savioli

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