When it comes to Bologna, it is important to review his three main characteristics: Bologna is called “the wise” (has the oldest university in the world), the “fat” (for its cuisine),and the “Red” (the color of ceilings and walls).
However, we can visit this beautiful city considering three different dimensions: the sky, the urban planning, the underground.
1) Bologna skyward
Another definition of Bologna is the city of the towers “because like in the Middle Ages (between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries) the noble families of Bologna built over a hundred towers as symbols of status,power,prestige and defense. Today most of these towers are lost but you can still visit some of them while you can find the vestiges of others in the interior of some buildings and in the basements. Right now the towers with the best preservation (and some are accessible to tourists) are:
– Tower Asinelli, high over a hundred 100 meters
– The Altabella tower;
– Prendiparte Tower.
2) Bologna town planning
The streets of the historic downtown of Bologna are not at right angle, because they extend radially from different parts of the city. A complicated map, descended from the progressive growth of Bologna since the Middle Ages, and that makes the visit of the tourist a “great adventure”.
Buildings, churches, museums, and charming little unknown villages (eg, the old Jewish neighborhood, with its shops) are certainly not lacking. The advice is to visit Bologna by walk even if it rains, it’s not a problem, since the city is famous for its long arcades (there are many, apparently, nearly 42 km).
3) underground Bologna
Bologna is also an hidden underground city. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century was the European capital of silk … and had many mills: These mills were operating by a wide network of drains (Savena,Aposa,Ravone, …) that later have been covered by existing roads.
Today it is possible, on summer, take a guided tour of Bologna sewers, or sometime if you go down the street Piella and find a window,if you open it up and see a canal,cool, it feels like being in Venice!