Car lovers will have to take a daytrip along the road to nearby Modena to visit three museums devoted to Italy’s famous luxury fast cars. The Ducati Museum, Lamborghini, and Ferrari Museums all offer guided tours explaining the history of these famous cars and how they’re designed and built. The Ferrari Museum is the older and most comprehensive. None of the museums gives out free samples, unfortunately.
This 1563 fountain, built by Tommaso Laureti of Palermo is one of Bologna’s most popular symbols. The fountain’s main feature is a huge broze sculpture of the sea god Neptune on a pedestal supported by four lactating Nereids. You’ll find it in the Piazza Nettuno, next to the Piazza Maggiore. It’s also a pleasant place to sit and watch the daily parade.
Bologna has dozens of museums and galleries and you could spend a week exploring them all. But the two museums that shouldn’t be missed are the Archaeological Museum and the National Picture Gallery. The Archaeological Museum focuses on antiquities from ancient Egypt, Etruscan civilization, and Roman times. The National Picture Gallery houses the region’s most important art from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Highlights include works by Giotto, Raffael, Parmigianino Perugino, Titian and Tintoretto.
Since the 13th century, the Piazza Maggiore has been the heart of Bologna. Framed by the seats of political and religious power in the City Hall Building and the Basilica of San Petronio, it is the largest square in the city (hence the name) and thus a great place to sit and watch the city go by. The buildings on the square are worth exploring for their exquisite 14th-century architecture, particularly the marble statue finishes on the exterior of the Basilica.
Bologna’s glass-covered walkways stretch for more than 23 miles, making it possible to comfortably walk through the city despite rain, snow, or heat. Originally built under civic order to house temporary visitors, the arcades have evolved in makeshift shopping malls.