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Santo Stefano, Bologna

24 Piazza Santo Stefano
Italy 40125
Tel: 39 051 223 256's insider take:

Located in a quaint cobbled square, Santo Stefano is a magnificent complex of churches, cloisters, and courtyards dating back to the fifth century, all apparently built over a Roman-era temple of Isis. Veined alabaster windows fill the Byzantine church of Santi Vitale e Agricola with a glowing orange light; next door, the 12-sided Chiesa di Santo Sepolcro, with its Roman columns and central tomb of Bolognese patron saint Petronius, feels more pagan temple than Christian shrine. Under the arcades that run along the south side of the square, young Bolognesi can be seen skating in the evenings.

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