Bologna – Chill and Beautiful

Why go to Bologna? They have towers that are higher and lean more than Pisa, you enjoy fantastic mountain views, it is less busy and less touristy than neighbouring Florence, and you get to see the lecture hall where human bodies were dissected! So cool!

The “Two Towers” of Bologna are called Asinelli and Garisenda. Garisenda has such a significant lean that it is closed to the public. Asinelli is 318 feet high (97 meters), and climbs 498 steps high – and I was complaining about Pisa’s tower of 284! It only costs 2 or 3 euro to climb the tower and you get some fantastic views. A definite must if you’re in the city.

Later on I took a climb up to the shrine of Santuario Madonna di San Luca. It’s a good 1.5 hour climb up the hill with steep inclines and steps. Great views from the top! On my way back I was hoping to check out the Neptune Fountain in the city centre… but it was all scafolded up! I sort of got a look at Neptune’s head through the bars, but it wasn’t the same. Ah well, lots of other cool stuff to check out. You’ll also notice in my photos the facade of the Basilica of San Petronio – it’s not done yet! They started building this church back in 1390, but no one could figure out the facade… but the inside is really cool, so check it out!

There’s one more building that you have to check out – the Archiginnasio of Bologna. It used to be part of the university in Bologna, but now it houses the public library and a museum-like area including the Anatomical Theatre and the Stabat Mater lecture hall. The Anatomical Theatre has beautifully carved statues on the ceilings, and a large slab in the middle of the room. This is where human bodies were dissected for scientific research, with a crowd of students and faculty to watch. Sort of creepy, but fascinating!

The Stabat Mater lecture hall has a traditional decor and student insignias. Check out the photos below. In this same building is the public library – this has to be the coolest public library in the world! I also have a few photos from Siena below. I forgot to put them in my previous post, so here they are.

Overall, Bologna was a blast! If you’re in Italy, definitely spend a few days here.

Cheers, Shawn

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