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Bologna and surroundings
- Piazza Santo Stefano 0,3 km
- MONUMENTS - View all
- Bologna Central Station 1,3 km
Bologna is today a large road, airport and railway hub thanks to its privileged geographic location. Every year international trade fairs take place in town. Bologna is today not only a city connecting other towns, but also a tourist resort due to its heritage of historic and artistic monuments. The Bologna "G. Marconi" Airport especially is one of the most modern airports in Europe equipped with state-of-the-art airport technology caring for the environment and passenger safety. The urban, architectural and artistic wealth of Bologna turns it into a globally renowned city. Other important traditions are gastronomy, celebrated all around the world, and friendly hospitality. Bologna was founded by the Etruscans with the name of Felsina and it was already recognised as an urban centre. In the second Century it was conquered by the Romans, who built the famous Via Emilia (a road that still today links the whole region of Emilia Romagna). In 1088 the university of Bologna became the first university in the Western world attracting scholars and scientists from all over Europe. An expanding city, growing population and the need for larger areas for housing led to the building of the famous Porticoes, an architectural solution to enlarge upper floors while keeping the pedestrian passage always at sea level. Today these porticoes are a striking feature of Bologna’s distinctive architecture. The whole town’s historical centre remains today as it was in Medieval times. The city’s emblematic monuments are without any doubt the Two towers built in 1100 that rise high in the cityscape. The main Gothic churches were built during the 13th and 14th centuries. For example, San Domenico (Dominican order), San Francesco (Franciscan order), San Giacomo (Augustian order), Santa Maria dei Servi (Servite order), San Martino (Carmelite order). Other buildings constructed in this period are the palazzo del Podestà (Podesta Palace) and palazzo di Re Enzo (Palace of King Enzio) and the Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall), which together with the San Petronio Basilica make up the centre of the well-known Piazza Maggiore