Palaces Walking Tour of Bologna, Bologna (Self Guided)

Bologna is an ancient city with beautiful architecture. In these palaces you can see art by the great masters, intricately decorated interiors and luxurious old furniture. This self-guided tour will lead you to Bologna’s most historically significant palaces.
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Palaces Walking Tour of Bologna Map

Guide Name: Palaces Walking Tour of Bologna
Guide Location: Italy » Bologna (See other walking tours in Bologna)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Author: vickyc
Palazzo Aldrovandi

1) Palazzo Aldrovandi

The Palazzo Aldovrandi is a Senatorial palace on Strada di Galliera in Bologna, built in Rococo style. Replacing an older construction, the palace we see today began in 1725 under the patronage of the Cardinal Pompeo Aldrovandi with plans commissioned from Franco Maria Angelini. After Angelini's death in 1731, the work, including the Rococo facade, ornamented with Istrian marble, continued by 1741 under Alfonso Torreggiani. The cardinal's once large art collection mainly made its way to the National Gallery of London. The library was dispersed by the middle of the 19th century. In the 19th century the Aldrovandi family had a majolic factory in a section of the palace. The interior contains the frescoes of Vittorio Maria Bigari. The grand entry staircase is particulary notable. The palace changed hands in the 19th century to the Montanari family.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Marescalchi Palace

2) Marescalchi Palace

The 16th century Marescalchi Palace is known for housing many wonderful frescoes and paintings. Floriano Ambrosini designed its beautiful façade. Inside are paintings by Tiarini, Reni and Tibaldi and a unique oval room with intricate adornments.
Caprara Palace

3) Caprara Palace

Caprara Palace, designed by Francesco Morandi, boasts an impressive stairway from 1705 and splendid frescoes. During his trip to Bologna, Napoleon resided here. Currently, it houses the Prefecture of Bologna.
Palazzo dei Notai

4) Palazzo dei Notai

Palazzo dei Notai is a palace in Bologna. Facing the Piazza Maggiore, it was built in 1381 by the city's notaries guild as their seat, under design by Berto Cavalletto and Lorenzo da Bagnomarino. Another section facing Palazzo d'Accursio was remade by Bartolomeo Fioravanti around 1437. It was again restored in 1908 by Alfonso Rubbiani. The interior has 15th century frescoes.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzo d'Accursio

5) Palazzo d'Accursio

Palazzo d'Accursio (or Palazzo Comunale) is a palace in Bologna. It is located on the Piazza Maggiore and had been the city's Town Hall until 11 November 2008. Palazzo d'Accursio is home to the Civic Art Collection, with paintings from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. It also houses the Museo Morandi, with the works by Giorgio Morandi donated to the comune by his family. In 1336 it became the seat of the Anziani ("Elder"), the highest magistrates of the commune, and then seat of the government. In the 15th century it was restored by Fioravante Fioravanti, who added, among the other feature, the Clock Tower (Torre d'Accursio).

The façade features a portcullis and a Madonna with Child, a terracotta by Niccolò dell'Arca in the upper section. Over the portal is a large bronze statue of the Bolognese Pope Gregory XIII (1580). A bronze statue of Pope Boniface VIII is now in Medieval Museum. The Hall of the Communal Council, on the first floor, is where the Bolognese Senators met, and contains a frescoed gallery ceiling by Angelo Michele Colonna and Gioacchino Pizzoli (1675–1677). The Farnese Hall, on the second floor, was rebuilt in 1665 by Cardinal Girolamo Farnese. It has fresco decoration by pupils of Francesco Albani.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palace of Podestà

6) Palace of Podestà (must see)

Palace of Podestà is located in the city’s main square, Piazza Maggiore. It dates back to the 13th century and was reconstructed in the 15th century, by designer A. Fioravanti. There is also a tall medieval tower created by Master Alberto, an engineering masterpiece built not on the ground but on the pillars of the palace’s arched vault.
Archiginnasio Palace

7) Archiginnasio Palace (must see)

The Archiginnasio of Bologna is one of the most important buildings in the city of Bologna; once the main building of the University of Bologna, it currently houses the Archiginnasio Communal Library. The construction of the Archiginnasio dates back to the 16th century, when Piazza Maggiore was drastically remodeled under papal orders. The Archiginnasio was the main building of the University of Bologna from 1563 until 1803, when it became the location for the Institute of Science. In 1838, one section of the Archiginnasio was given to the Archiginnasio Municipal Library, the largest library in Emilia-Romagna.

It houses important historical, philosophical, political, literary, artistic, biographical and bibliographical texts as well as an extensive section dedicated to Bologna's culture. The library holds around 35,000 manuscripts and incunabula, among other objects. Upon entering, visitors are asked to hand over all bags and writing materials which can be picked up when leaving. The building is made up of two levels with a lower portico and inner courtyard that surround the former church of Santa Maria dei Bulgari. The upper level houses the study rooms of the legisti, and the artisti. The upper level still houses the Anatomical theater of the Archiginnasio, which was built in 1637 by Antonio Levanti.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palazzi dei Pepoli

8) Palazzi dei Pepoli

Palazzi dei Pepoli is made up of two historical palaces built at different times. It houses several works by famous artists, including frescoes, paintings of the Pepoli family and luxurious furniture.
Palazzo Della Mercanzia

9) Palazzo Della Mercanzia (must see)

The Gothic Palazzo Della Mercanzia, dating back to 1384, was made from clay brick and marble. It contains statues of the patron saints of Bologna, a statue of Justice and beautiful paintings by famous artists. Heavily damaged during World War II, it underwent reconstruction to restore its former beauty.
Palazzo Bolognini

10) Palazzo Bolognini

Palazzo Bolognini is one of the city’s most beautiful palaces. Its construction began in 1517 and was completed 1602. The sculpture of the façade, by Alfonso Lombardi and Niccolò da Volterra, is especially impressive.
Palazzo Fantuzzi

11) Palazzo Fantuzzi

The Renaissance Palazzo Fantuzzi, built in 1517, was an occasional residence of King James III and VIII. It boasts a magnificent façade decorated with elephants made in the Tosco-Roman tradition. Inside, there many fine frescoes and sculptures that are well worth seeing.

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.
Nightlife Walking Tour in Bologna

Nightlife Walking Tour in Bologna

Bologna has a vibrant nightlife, where you will find many diverse nightclubs, discos and live music venues. The most popular place for a night out is the student quarter, Old Town and the streets around the main square. Take this self-guided tour to enjoy Bologna’s exciting nightlife.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 km
Bologna Art Galleries Walking Tour

Bologna Art Galleries Walking Tour

Italy has given the world some of the most talented artistic masters throughout history. Bologna has a fantastic art heritage, one of the most extensive in Italy. Its galleries display priceless patrimonial and contemporary art. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most famous art galleries in Bologna.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Kids Walking Tour of Bologna

Kids Walking Tour of Bologna

Bologna is such a beautiful city, with many fascinating buildings, art galleries and museums that are interesting for both adults and kids. It also has wonderful parks and amazing toy shops children will love. This self-guided tour will lead you to Bologna’s best attractions for kids.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.0 km
Shopping Areas Tour in Bologna

Shopping Areas Tour in Bologna

Bologna offers a wide selection of shopping, having streets lined with small shops and markets. Shops follow an unusual schedule, being closed on Thursday afternoon and on Sunday. This self-guided tour will lead you to Bologna’s most interesting shops and shopping streets.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 km
Southern Bologna Walking Tour

Southern Bologna Walking Tour

Southern Bologna boasts many great attractions, such as the Sanctuary of the Madonna of Saint Luca, museums and palaces with magnificent architecture. Take this self-guided tour and explore the most interesting sites in the south of Bologna.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.5 km
Western Bologna Walking Tour

Western Bologna Walking Tour

The western part of Bologna has several historical sites, such as the old city gate, Old Town, several old churches, as well as art galleries and museums. This self-guided tour will lead you to the most interesting places in Bologna’s west end.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Bologna for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Bologna has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Bologna, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.