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Notable Porticoes in Bologna

By Viator, July 2018

5 9 Reviews | Add your review

The sidewalks of a city are rarely going to be one of its main attractions, but in Bologna the fact that more than 38 kilometers of sidewalks in the historic center are covered by porticoes makes them worthy of note. In fact, there are guided tours in Bologna dedicated solely to the city’s porticoes.

Originally, porticoes were nothing more than a byproduct of expanding the living space on the main floor of a building by building out into the space over the street below. Those expansions had to be propped up - and, just like that, there were porticoes being built all over the city. Eventually, Bologna city officials began to put rules in place about the construction of the porticoes, so today they appear as if they were intended to be part of the cityscape all along.

Bologna’s porticoes protect from all sorts of weather — cold rain and sweltering sun — and many of them are decorative as well as functional. There is often tilework on the sidewalk and frescoes on the ceilings, so it pays to look up and down while you’re walking through the city. There are more than 45 kilometers of porticoes throughout the entire city (more than 38 kilometers in the historic center alone), and the world’s longest portico is in Bologna, as well. It stretches nearly four kilometers, from the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca church to the Porta Saragozza city gate.

While Bologna itself is a UNESCO “City of Music,” the porticoes have been on UNESCO’s “tentative” list for World Heritage Site consideration since 2006. UNESCO notes the long-standing use of the porticoes — more than 1,000 years — and their architectural, religious, and cultural significance. Take a private walking tour of Bologna’s porticoes to further understand how important they are to the identity of the city.

Tours & Tickets

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A Bolognese Feast for Foodies, Bologna, null
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Location: Bologna, Italy
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2-Hour Historic Bike Tour of Bologna, Bologna, Food Tours
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2-Hour Historic Bike Tour of Bologna

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Set off on your adventure to discover Bologna? Bologna by bike is the perfect solution to immerse yourself into the great history of Bologna, the heart of ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
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Bologna Private Walking Tour, Bologna, Bike & Mountain Bike Tours
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Bologna Private Walking Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

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Bologna : a walk into history, Bologna, Walking Tours
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Bologna : a walk into history

Bologna is the city where the first university of the Western world was founded. It is known as the city of music, culture and food. In this tour you will ...  Read more

Location: Bologna, Italy
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $128.92
Bologna cultural walking tour, Bologna, Private Sightseeing Tours
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Bologna cultural walking tour

Meet clients under the Vault of Palazzo del Podestà. Introduction of the tour to the participants. Walking tour outside and inside the most important and ...  Read more

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Duration: 2 to 3 hrs

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Self-guided tour: The oldest University in the world, Bologna, Cultural Tours
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Self-guided tour: The oldest University in the world

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Walk Like Locals in Bologna, Bologna, Self-guided Tours & Rentals
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Food Tasting Walking tour of Bologna, Bologna, City Tours
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Food Tasting Walking tour of Bologna

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Bolgna: Day Trip to Modena, Bologna, Cultural Tours
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Bolgna: Day Trip to Modena

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Location: Bologna, Italy
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DAY TRIP TO MODENA, Bologna, Day Trips
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DAY TRIP TO MODENA

Only a thirty minute train ride from Bologna is the historic town of Modena, which you'll soon discover has much more going for it than being the home of ...  Read more

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Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $125.02

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