Saint Petronio

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Saint Petronio: 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: 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 delicacies.

Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery Exploration Game

3. Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery Exploration Game

Discover Bologna’s hidden secrets by following clues and solving puzzles on this murder mystery exploration game played on your phone. Discover new places and amazing stories with an app as your guide. Start at Porta Galliera. From there, simply follow the game route and instructions. Explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from any location where you paused it. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and directions on your phone will guide you to the next stop. Explore Via dell'Indipendenza and Santa Maria della Vita along with lesser-known places. Discover the city’s most famous marketplace. As you explore, learn about the stories behind the city, including the puzzling history of the Old University, founded in 1088 by an organized guild of students. Choose to play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups to compete against each other and race to the final stop of the game. Enjoy an experience that’s the perfect mix between a tour, outdoor escape game, and treasure hunt. The entire game will take around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

Bologna: Private Santo Stefano Tour with Food Tasting

4. 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.

Bologna: Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

5. Bologna: Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Discover the wonders of the historic churches of Bologna through this 3-hour tour. After meeting your guide at the meeting point, head to your first stop, the Basilica of San Petronio, which is the main church of the city. Outside, admire the unfinished facade of this Gothic masterpiece then head inside to discover the statue of Pope Julius II, made by Michelangelo. Next, continue through Bologna's wandering streets to reach the Basilica of San Domenico, the main seat of the order of preaching friars. In the church, discover the Ark of St. Dominic and the remains of St. Dominic, founder of the order. Finally, head to a hill located just outside the city limits, where you can admire the San Michele in Bosco complex. From the churchyard, you can admire panoramic views over the city and surrounding countryside, for the perfect end to your tour.

Bologna: Musical History Walking Tour in - Small Group

6. Bologna: Musical History Walking Tour in - Small Group

Join this walk to discover the relations between the city of Bologna and its influence on musical history within Europe. The journey will be marked by historical musical facts and tales about Bologna. Visit Piazza Rossini where the Giovan Battista Martini Conservatory lies. See Piazza Verdi and its City Theatre, Caratti Building, and Archiginnasio Building. You will also have the chance to admire the ancient organ within the stunning San Petronio Basilica. Finally, you will finish the tour at the Walk of Fame at Quadrilatero.

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.

Milan: Private Day Trip to Bologna with Sightseeing Tour

9. Milan: Private Day Trip to Bologna with Sightseeing Tour

Explore the monuments and charming corners of the medieval town of Bologna on this full-day tour from Milan. See sights like the Basilica of San Petronio, the Fountain of Neptune, and the first University of Bologna on a guided tour. Have some free time where you can try some local cuisine. Be picked up from your destination in Milan and travel aboard a car for groups of up to 3, a van for groups up to 6, and a bus for groups of up to 19. Relax on the scenic drive to Bologna. Meet your guide and begin your tour. Visit Piazza Maggiore square at the historical and geographical center of Bologna. Take in its medieval style and see the the Basilica of San Petronio which was built in1390 and where the coronation of Charles V took place. View the Fountain of Neptune which was created in 1563 by Tommaso Lauretti. Discover the first University of Bologna, which is considered the oldest university in the world that is still functioning. It is believed to have been founded in 1088 by Irnerius. It attracts many students from Italy and all over the world which lends a vibrancy to the city. Go by the Quadrilateral market, the Asinelli and Garisenda towers, the Archiginnasio Palace, and the Romanesque architecture of the Basilica di San Domenico. Spend some free time exploring the city at your own pace and have the chance to purchase some delicious local cuisine. Return to your meeting point in Milan at the end of your tour.

From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

10. 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 Saint Petronio

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What people are saying about Saint Petronio

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 210 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.

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

The trip was good and long enough. We got a good overview of what we wanted to do during the week.

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