The growth of the city is easy to imagine when you view the remains of the different rings of walls which surrounded the municipality, long ago. Now, they are simply incorporated into the different buildings which abut them. The Chiesa di San Donato is located in the small, but charming, Piazetta Achille Ardigo, at the entrance to the city’s old Jewish ghetto. On nice days, you can expect to find the small outdoor space filled with cafe tables, where locals sit and enjoy a coffee, or an aperitivo. I found the facade of the church to be quite beautiful, with its fading frescoes. The Palazzo della Mercanzia was built in 1348. It has always been the location from which the city’s trading and commerce was run – even today, the Chamber of Commerce is housed here. The small, stone balcony in the photo above, was where the various judges would appear to give the populace their verdicts on whatever cases were before them.I decided to purchase a “Bologna Welcome Card”. The cost was E30.00, but it included free admission to 15 of the city’s major museums/attractions, plus discounted admission to others, as well as discounts in shops, etc. It is a wise investment for anyone intending to stay in the city for a few days, as most of what you will want to do is included in the card, and you will end up saving money.My first stop was Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande, and the Quadreria Zambeccari. This palazzo, dating from the 1600’s, was built by the Pepoli family, directly across the street from their other palazzo, which was built in the medieval period. Inside of this beautiful building is a collection of masterpieces by some of the area’s most noted artists. Not only is the art displayed worth visiting, but the frescoes on the ceilings, and walls, were stunning!After my stop in Palazzo Pepoli Campogrande, I crossed the street to visit Palazzo Pepoli Vecchia and the Museo della Storia di Bologna. This is a museum which tells the tale of the history of the city of Bologna, from Etruscan to modern times. Palazzo Davia-Bargellini, on Strada Maggiore, is the home to the Museo Civico d’Arte Industriale e Galleria Davia Bargellini – The Civic Museum of Industrial Art & the Davia Bargellini Gallery.
Next up: More from Bologna, including a visit to the 7 Churches, and the Museo Civico Medievale.
Note: this blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations which may appear.