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Bologna Italy Things to Do in Bologna Tours Hotels

Bologna offers a fascinating mix of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque monuments, shaping the city into the “masterpiece” that it is today. Medieval palaces, exquisite churches, and wonderful buildings adorn the city of Bologna, making it a truly remarkable urban museum.

Bologna Highlights

• Rich history
• Historical landmarks
• Authentic cuisine

Bologna History

Settled by a tribe from Gaul in the 4th century BC, the area of Bologna remained in Celtic hands until 196 BC, when the city was conquered by Romans. Never really warming to Roman rule, the Celts helped Hannibal in his conquest of Italy, but with the demise of Hannibal’s army, Rome quickly integrated the local population into Roman rule and culture. Under Roman rule the infrastructure of the city was considerably expanded, and Bologna began to excel in trade, banking, and the arts. Rebuilt in the 1st century AD by Emperor Nero after a fire decimated the city, Bologna started to decline and was mainly used as a military base, by the current rulers. Although land-locked, in the coming centuries Bologna began to develop very quickly due to the extensive canal system that allowed commercial ships access to the inland. By the end of the 13th century AD, Bologna was a bustling commercial city, with great wealth and power. As with many Italian cities of great importance and wealth, Bologna underwent an extended period of time where internal and external power struggles dominated. Bologna, however, managed to maintain its artistic character and during the Renaissance was one of the few cities throughout Italy that allowed women to participate in artistic expression and even attend the local university. The most notable conqueror of Bologna is Napoleon, who made the city capital of the Cispadane Republic. Bologna soon became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1860 and managed to maintain peace until the onset of the Second World War, when it was heavily bombed by the Allied forces.