Basilica di Santo Stefano

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Basilica di Santo Stefano: 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.

Bologna: 2-Hour Private Guided Walking Tour

2. Bologna: 2-Hour Private Guided Walking Tour

Take advange of this tour lead by an expert guide to visit one of the most beautiful (and rich in history) cities of the whole Italy. The itinerary starts with Piazza Maggiore and its civic palaces, all of medieval origins: Palazzo di Re Enzo, Palazzo of the Notaries, Palazzo dei Banchi. In the square is also the Fountain of Neptune, with the precious late Renaissance sculptures by Giambologna; you'll then visit the gothic Basilica of San Petronio (on the façade, sculptures by the Sienese artist Jacopo della Quercia): inside, the precious late gothic paintings of the Cappella Bolognini and the sun-dial designed by the astronomer Cassini (XVII 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 6.000 coats of arms of students. Inside is the 17th century Anatomical Theater, where dissections were held, enriched of statues of doctors and sculptures of anatomy. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo, the old market, and its fabulous food shops you'll get to the lovely Square of Santo Stefano, with the complex of Santo Stefano also called the “Jerusalem of Bologna” or “The Seven Churches”, a group of small Romanesque churches.

Bologna: Private Santo Stefano Tour with Food Tasting

3. Bologna: Private Santo Stefano Tour with Food Tasting

Discover the seven churches of the Santo Stefano basilica. Some say it was built in 430 AD with the seven churches representing the places where the Passion of Christ had taken place. Learn how others believe it was commissioned by Saint Petronio, built on top of the ruins of a pagan temple. Explore the churches of the Crucifix, of the Calvary, and of Saints Vitale and Agricola. Wander through Pilato's courtyard, remarkable for the marble basis. Make sure to take notice of the large amount of  paintings, sculptures, and other works of arts but not from different periods in time. At the end of your visit, take a look inside the amazing Corte Isolani and discover all the secrets that are kept inside it.

3-Hour Bologna Segway PT Authorized Tour

4. 3-Hour Bologna Segway PT Authorized Tour

There is no better way to experience the vibrant atmosphere of Bologna than on a Segway tour amid the beautiful arcades and hidden cloisters of the city. The tour begins in Piazza Minghetti - the historical center of the city - where you will have an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the Segway. A rather unusual but intriguing itinerary runs through Via De’ Toschi, leading you through the alleys of the medieval market (Via Clavature and Via Sampieri). The tour continues straight along one of the most peaceful streets, Via Santo Stefano, home of the Basilica di Santo Stefano complex. This complex includes 7 Romanesque and Gothic churches, as well as an artistic representation of the period when Bologna was raised to a Commune. The route then follows the street back towards the renowned “leaning towers” and continues on to the heart of the ancient Jewish ghetto. Proceeding down Via Zamboni, you will return to Piazza della Mercanzia where you will again see the two towers (Asinelli and Garisenda) but this time viewing them against the Loggia della Mercanzia. From Piazza della Mercanzia, you will wind your way back through the medieval market area, before reaching Piazza Maggiore, the largest square featuring a fountain depicting Neptune.

Bologna: Private and Personalised Walking Tour

5. Bologna: Private and Personalised Walking Tour

This experience is essential to anyone who is serious about exploring the best of Bologna. With your savvy local host you can rediscover the original charm and lively character of this extremely vibrant city. You could start the day with a short and strong espresso in one of the bars under the “portici," just how the locals like it. Walk up one of the main streets and past one of the most important theatres to end up at the Montagnola Market. Explore the narrow streets of the Jewish ghetto, where you can admire the tiny windows typical of the houses in this part of the city and come out right under the two towers, which are the icons of Bologna. Stop for a quick pizza by the slice in one of the places which normally get busy with the students from the university, which is the oldest university in the world. Take the afternoon to breathe in the culture and discover the Santo Stefano area, where contemporary and ancient art meet. There are many hidden gems which the locals love and are difficult to find on a map. If the weather allows, treat yourself to a refreshing gelato. Pop in to some of the nicest independent antique shops to see unique items and discover curiosities, then join one of the many local favorite bars for aperitivo and sip a nice glass of Prosecco while you get recommendations for restaurants and maybe note down a couple of traditional recipes. Book this meet-up with a Bolognese and you will be contacted within 24-hours with questions about your preferences and interests. You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Replicate the experience of spending time in a city with a friend who lives there as the best travel moments come from going beneath the surface of a destination and discovering it through local lens.  Based on the things that you would like to see and do, a personalized and bespoke itinerary will be built just for you. Please note that this will be outlined but flexible. During the exploration, if you feel like changing direction, or if your local host believes that you'd enjoy a sight or different experience, they will suggest and discuss with you changes to the itinerary. You will be able to arrange a meeting point and time with your host in the most convenient place for you.  Enjoy discovering amazing spots in Bologna that you don't know about and are difficult to find in any guidebook or on the internet as they are lesser-known to the crowd but loved by locals. Let your private local host show you the Bologna you will love.

From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

6. 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 Theatre, where dissections were held, enriched by statues of doctors and sculptures of anatomy. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo, the old market, and its fabulous food shops, you'll get to the lovely Square of Santo Stefano with the complex of Santo Stefano also called the “Jerusalem of Bologna” or “The Seven Churches,” a group of small Romanesque churches. And if you love photography, get ready to take some beautiful pictures.

Other Sightseeing Options in Basilica di Santo Stefano

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What people are saying about Basilica di Santo Stefano

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 230 reviews

I have been to Bologna many times, but visiting it with a guide is truly an experience to do. The next time I return I will use the guide service again, for different and more specific routes.

Very enjoyable walking tour of the centre of Bologna. It lasts about two hours with the first hour focussed mainly on the main square.. very easy pace and not too far a walk.

Very informative! Really recommended for anyone who wants to get to know Bologna! Very personable, humorous tour guide! Gladly again!

Our guide was excellent, really great explanations and made Bol8gna sound an exciting part of Italian history.!

A very good guide - as knowledgeable as she was friendly!