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Bologna see + do

The first thing most visitors notice about Bologna is the fact that almost every street is lined, usually on both sides, with arcades, or portici (the network is so extensive that you will rarely need to use an umbrella, even in the pouring rain). Though found in other Italian cities, only in Bologna have the arcades become a regular feature even of 19th- and 20th-century city blocks. The portici go back to the flourishing Middle Ages, when merchants began building extensions onto the facades of their palazzos, propped up by wooden pillars; with time, these became the stone arcades we see today. Most of the major sights—with the exception of the hilltop sanctuary of San Luca—are within easy walking distance.

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Markets, Bologna

Every day is market day in Bologna. Locals and tourists alike haggle for fresh fruits and veggies, spiffy leather handbags, and antique furniture at these...more

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Archiginnasio, Bologna

Students from all over Europe come to study at Bologna's university, the oldest on the Continent, founded in 1088. By the 16th century, most of its colleges and...more

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