Piazza Maggiore (Main Square), Bologna

Piazza Maggiore (Main Square), Bologna (must see)

On a sunny day, there's no better place to be than soaking up the atmosphere at café tables in Bologna's Main Square, known as "Piazza Maggiore", or lounging on the steps under the arcades. This historic square, one of the oldest in Italy, underwent expansion in the 14th century and saw the addition of many grand buildings in the 16th century.

At its heart stands the impressive yet incomplete Basilica of San Petronio, a beloved landmark among locals. Nearby, you'll find notable structures such as the Municipal Palace, Notaries' Palace, Podesta Palace, and the Palace of the Banks. Adorning the center of the square is Giambologna's renowned statue of Neptune.

The slightly raised platform in the middle, familiarly known as the "crescentone" after the local flat bread "crescente" it resembles, holds historical significance. Damaged by Allied tanks during the liberation of Bologna in 1945, it serves as a commemoration of that historic day. In July and August, the space transforms into one of Italy's largest outdoor cinemas during the Under the Stars of Cinema ("Sotto le stelle del Cinema") film festival, with over 3,000 chairs arranged on the "crescentone", solidifying its status as the cultural heart of the city.

Tip:
For visitors seeking convenience, the excellent tourist office on the square offers the Bologna Welcome Card, providing excellent value by offering free admission to many city museums and attractions, as well as discounts for shops, restaurants, and events.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Bologna. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Piazza Maggiore (Main Square) on Map

Sight Name: Piazza Maggiore (Main Square)
Sight Location: Bologna, Italy (See walking tours in Bologna)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bologna, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Bologna

Create Your Own Walk in Bologna

Creating your own self-guided walk in Bologna is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Bologna Introduction Walking Tour

Bologna Introduction Walking Tour

Bologna is the Emilia-Romagna region's capital. This large northern city is the seventh most populous city in Italy and has been a vital cultural center for millennia.

Archeological discoveries indicate the area has been settled since the third millennium BC. First, the Etruscans settled the area, then the Celts, and then the Romans. During the Middle Ages, Bologna was a free municipality...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Historical Churches

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 Km or 1.4 Miles
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Bologna Palaces

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Bologna's Shopping Areas

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Shopping here is particularly pleasant on weekends when Zone...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 Km or 0.5 Miles