Emilia-Romagna
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Emilia-Romagna History & Heritage

Bologna: City Center Walking Tour

1. Bologna: City Center Walking Tour

Your tour starts from Piazza del Nettuno. You'll discover the Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio and the Meridian. Next visit the oldest library in the world and Piazza Santo Stefano, where you'll see the wonderful Basilica that overlooks the square. Then visit the Towers of Bologna, the Asinelli and the Garisenda, before you explore the historical market Quadrilatero to admire the historical shops and take in the scents of local food. Finally, visit Palazzo Re Enzo which overlooks the square and is the palace seat of the municipality.

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Ravenna: Guided Sightseeing Tour

2. Ravenna: Guided Sightseeing Tour

Explore the former capital of the Western Roman Empire and discover early Christian and Byzantine mosaics from the 5th and 6th centuries on a guided walking tour of Ravenna. Stroll the fascinating streets of the old city center, and stop to watch a practical demonstration of mosaic-making techniques along the way. Visit the Church of S. Vitale, commissioned by the Emperor Justinian of Byzantium with masterful mosaics depicting his wife Theodora. See the powerful Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, created to honor the resilient and colorful Empress of the Western Roman Empire. Admire the mosaics of the Neoniano Baptistery near to the ancient cathedral, and discover the tomb of the exiled poet Dante. Visit the private chapel of the Ostrogoth King Theoderic at the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, and more.

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From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

3. From Bologna: Train to San Luca Basilica & Food Tasting

The Basilica of San Luca is one of the symbols of the city of Bologna. Situated on the Monte Guardia, the Sanctuary connects to the city center through the longest continuous portico in the world, made up of 666 arcades. At the meeting point, you'll receive a map and a timetable of the return train, which is available every 45 minutes. You’ll also receive a voucher for the food tasting. This tour departs every day and will help you discover the city from aboard the San Luca Express train, where the audio guides, available in 8 languages, will tell you about the city until your arrival at the Basilica of San Luca. Here, you can visit the Basilica at your own pace and decide what time to return by consulting the schedules on the map. On board, you will find a staff person, who will welcome you and respond to your information. When you return, you will get to taste of typical products in one of the historical markets.  

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Bologna: Red Bus City Tour and Local Food Tasting

4. Bologna: Red Bus City Tour and Local Food Tasting

Discover Bologna in comfort via an open top bus, enabling you to admire and photograph all the major attractions of the city.  Upon arriving at the meeting point, staff will welcome you onboard. Choose from an audioguide available in 10 different languages to learn more about the specific landmarks as well as the general history of the city. You will then journey across the city, capturing views of some of the most famous points of interest. Hop on and off at your leisure at some popular spots such as: • Basilica San Petronio • Palazzo dei Notai • Palazzo Comunale • Palazzo di Re Enzo • Palazzo del Podestà, • Tower of Asinelli and Garisenda • Museo Civico Archeologico • Archiginnasio • Palazzo Bevilacqua • Porta Saragozza • Palazzo Bentivoglio • Fontana del Nettuno • Teatro Comunale. After the tour, enjoy a food tour in a historical market in Bologna, where you will try local delicacies.

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Bologna: Audio-Guided Archiginnasio Visit with Food Tasting

5. Bologna: Audio-Guided Archiginnasio Visit with Food Tasting

The Archiginnasio Palace was constructed between 1562 and 1563 as desired by the Papal Legate of Bologna, Cardinal Carlo Borromeo and Vice-legate Pier Donato Cesi. It was a project of Bologna's architect Antonio Morandi, titled Terribilia. The purpose of this operation during the cultural climate of the Council of Trent was to give a unit seat to the university teaching before being dispersed through various other seats. The external portion of the palace is presented by a long portico of 30 arches, and is pronounced in two internal floors around a central courtyard with a double order of loggias. Two grand staircases lead to the floor above that presents 10 scholastic lecture halls (which are unfortunately not able to been visited as they hold the principle book deposits of the library), and two home-lecture halls located at the two ends of the building. There is one hall for the artists (which is today a reading Hall of the Library) and one for the Legisti (ancient law students), titled Sala dello Stabat Mater. The sides of the rooms, the vaults of the grand staircases, and the open galleries are decorated with inscriptions and monuments commemorating the masters of the ancient university, as well as thousands coats of arms and students' names. At the conclusion of your visit, you will be invited to a typical Osteria to try a tasty bolognese "Ranocchi" accompanied by mortadella and tigelle, and partnered with Emilia-Romagna wine.

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Bologna: Historical Center Exploration Game

6. Bologna: Historical Center Exploration Game

Be led on an exciting self-guided tour around Bologna's Old Town while playing a mobile-based quest with your friends and family. Solve clues and discover the fascinating history behind the monuments and attractions. Download the app, go to the starting point, and begin the adventure. Follow clues that will take you back in time to learn about the origins of some of the city's most iconic buildings and tourist sites. Here's a sneak peek at the storyline: “You’re an emerging writer from London, whose debut novel was a success. But now writers’ block has struck. The year is 1815. [...] In your despair, you’ve come to Bologna. You heard the city’s many secrets and artistic flair inspire many artists. You hope to be next...." Unlock the secret stories of the places you visit as you solve the problem and guess the answers. Learn about the seven secrets that cloak Bologna in mystery, the streets of the Quadrilatero, and more. Use the clues to lead you from one site to another. Each clue provides you with exact directions so you won't need a map, GPS, or guide. Complete the tour in about 1.5 hours, however, there’s no time limit, allowing you to go at your own pace. Play as a group or split into smaller groups/teams and compete against the others. Each person can also play on their own, separate from the group, and meet the group at the end of the tour.

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Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery Exploration Game

7. Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery Exploration Game

Discover Bologna’s hidden secrets by following clues and solving puzzles on this murder mystery exploration game played on your phone. Discover new places and amazing stories with an app as your guide. Start at Porta Galliera. From there, simply follow the game route and instructions. Explore at your own pace: pause the game and resume anytime from any location where you paused it. As you solve challenges, the story unfolds and directions on your phone will guide you to the next stop. Explore Via dell'Indipendenza and Santa Maria della Vita along with lesser-known places. Discover the city’s most famous marketplace. As you explore, learn about the stories behind the city, including the puzzling history of the Old University, founded in 1088 by an organized guild of students. Choose to play on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups to compete against each other and race to the final stop of the game. Enjoy an experience that’s the perfect mix between a tour, outdoor escape game, and treasure hunt. The entire game will take around 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

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Modena: Private Walking Tour with A Guide

8. Modena: Private Walking Tour with A Guide

Discover the city of Modena and its highlights on this 2-hour walking tour and learn why its UNESCO World Heritage Sites are considered as unique representatives of a 12th-century Italian cultural-artistic tradition. Visit this lesser-known Italian city, made famous by the likes of Ferrari and Maserati, Pavarotti, balsamic vinegar, and tortellini. Despite its small size, whatever you're looking for, Modena has it—history, UNESCO sites, a Ducal Palace, and the second oldest university of Italy. Start in Piazza Grande where the city’s structures of civic and religious power have long held court. Admire the 3 UNESCO sites of the Cathedral, the Ghirlandina tower, and the square itself. It is possible to visit the interior of the Saint Geminiano Cathedral according to opening times and services. Piazza Grande is located near Piazza della Torre and Albinelli covered market. The Albinelli market is the oldest covered market of the town and among the most beautiful in Italy. You can see and buy typical produces of the province here (open from Monday to Friday morning and closed on Sundays). Leaving Piazza Grande and through Piazzetta delle Ova, reach the backbone of the Region Emilia Romagna, the Via Emilia, the main urban artery since the Roman age. On the other side of the Via Emilia is the old Jewish Ghetto. See the new Synagogue which overlooks Piazza Mazzini. Just a few steps from the old Jewish ghetto, find yourself at the majestic 17th-century Palazzo Ducale, the residence of the Court of the Estes until it became the seat of the prestigious Modena Military Academy. Learn how this part of the city became the symbol of power.

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Medieval Ferrara and the Jewish Ghetto Walking Tour

9. Medieval Ferrara and the Jewish Ghetto Walking Tour

Begin your fantastic walking tour in the courtyard of the Castello Estense. Learn about the rich history of the area and its landmarks from your professional local guide. Pass by the Frescobaldi Music Conservatory before making a stop at the mid-15th century S. Anna hospital cloister. Glimpse into the garden of the early 16th century Palazzo Roverella, before heading to the 18th century oval Theatre Square where the statue of the Ferrarese friar Savonarola lies. Walk between the archbishop's palace and the former Ducal Palace to the cathedral and town hall which features a beautiful brick laid square. Finish your exciting tour by visiting the medieval business lanes and the historic Jewish ghetto before ending in front of the intricate 15th century Italian Synagogue.

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Bologna/Modena: Gastronomic Tour of the Parma Food Valley

10. Bologna/Modena: Gastronomic Tour of the Parma Food Valley

Discover the production of two excellences of Italian cuisine, Parmigiano Reggiano and Parma Hak, on a gastronomic tour from Bologna. After being picked up from your accommodation in Bologna or Modena, head to Italy's food capital declared as UNESCO Creative City for gastronomy since 2015. Learn more about Parma and its local cuisine that is so popular that it often ends up dominating conversations among locals. Visit the historic Parmigiano Reggiano factory where an expert guide will show you the stages of production, and you'll be able to taste some of the cheese made by the factory. Then, get up close to the production of the famous Parma Ham. Learn the secrets of this Italian delicacy followed by a tasting paired with a glass of local wine.  Following the Parma Ham factory, your driver will take you to a local restaurant famous for its regional dishes. Here you can enjoy a two-course lunch, including water and wine. Finally, head back to your accommodation in Bologna or Modena.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Emilia-Romagna

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What people are saying about Emilia-Romagna

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 174 reviews

Great way to begin our time in Bologna. Although we could have walked to the Basilica, the narration along the drive was terrific. The hike is also quite steep in parts. The vouchers for food were perfect and could be used any day. Definitely recommend!

Very interesting tour, knowledgeable guide who gave us a great introduction to Bologna’s history. It was great value for money. Our guide Sara was lovely and pleasant.

Good and clear tour. We were only in Bologna for 1 day because of the transit and thanks to this tour we were able to see all the highlights.

I had a fantastic tour yesterday. The guide was knowledgeable and very friendly. I would highly recommend this tour of Bologna.

The guide is very well prepared to give us the explains, to make with us an amazing visit in a lot of beautiful places.