Emilia-Romagna
Religious & Spiritual Activities

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Our most recommended Emilia-Romagna Religious & Spiritual Activities

Ravenna: Small-Group Tour of the Best Mosaics and Highlights

1. Ravenna: Small-Group Tour of the Best Mosaics and Highlights

Ravenna was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until the empire collapsed in 476. After this era, the city served as the capital for two other empires of the Ostrogothic Kingdom and Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards, a Germanic people. The uniqueness of the three empire rules wonderfully influenced the old town with architecture and art expression, including the Orthodox Baptistry dated to the V century, Arian Baptistry erected at the beginning of the VI century and Basilica of San Vitale, with triumphal arch mosaics dated to the VI century. Notably, the Garden of Eden mosaic in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia forms the beauty of the Roman building, which was recognized in the World Heritage List in 1996 with UNESCO experts describing it as ‘the earliest and best-preserved of all mosaic monuments …the most artistically perfect’. Adding to the beauty of this city is the subdued, calm and serene atmosphere. Far away from the hurried, overcrowded and busy usual tourist spots, guests on this tour can revel in a pleasant stroll at ease and your own pace. The notable landmarks include the Romanic Basilica di San Vitale, Piazza del Popolo, Archiepiscopal Museum, Rocca Barancaleone and the covered market, Mercato Coperata. Alongside, the stunning buildings and sites, Ravenna holds history of Dante, the National Poet Father of the Italian Language who moved to the town after being banished from Florence and later passed away here. During the tour, you can visit the Father of Italian Language’s Tomb, the Quadraraco courtyard and Franciscan Cloister, where Dante’s Museum has been set, all situated in the quietest place in the city, known as the Area of the Silence.

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Ferrara: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

2. Ferrara: Guided City Highlights Walking Tour

This classical half-day tour of the old town will take you from the exterior of the imposing Castello Estense to the interior of a majestic Romanesque Cathedral, and from the Jewish Ghetto to the streets of the Medieval and Renaissance historical city center. Your 2.5-hour guided tour of Ferrara starts with Castello Estense, which dominates the city center. Surrounded by a moat filled with water, this castle was built in 1385 as a stronghold of political and military control of the city. Continuous renovations, at least until the 16th century, give the castle the shape that we still admire today. Next, visit the Romanesque Cathedral, built in the 12th century opposite the Town Hall. Construction on the Bell Tower began in the 15th century, but never ended, designed by the famous artist Leon Battista Alberti. In the 17th century, because of a terrible fire, the interior of the Cathedral was rebuilt in Baroque style. Today, visiting the interior is an experience that takes you through many eras of Italian history.

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Sanctuary of S. Luca with Train and Private Guide

3. Sanctuary of S. Luca with Train and Private Guide

The arcade that connects Porta Saragozza to the Sanctuary of San Luca is the longest in the world. Within its 3.5 kilometers there are 666 arches, each marked by a number: the first 306 connect Porta Saragozza to Meloncello Arch, while the last 360 are located in the hilly area from Meloncello to Colle della Guardia. These are spaced out by 15 chapels illustrating the mystery of the rosary. The tour starts from Piazza Maggiore with a little train ride to Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. Begin the guided tour with the Sanctuary of San Luca and its panoramic forecourt with an optional visit to the Dome of the Sanctuary to admire the panorama of the city. Enjoy the descent with a little train ride along the arcade that leads to Meloncello's Arch and then along via Saragozza. Passing through Porta Saragozza, arrive at the Collegio di Spagna and de'Carbonesi, continuing via Massimo d'Azeglio you’ll return to Piazza Maggiore.

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Modena: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour

4. Modena: 2-Hour Private Walking Tour

Enjoy a private tour as you discover one of the UNESCO heritage cities of Emilia Romagna. Find out how the city is famous for its historical center, for its cuisine (Modena is home to the best restaurant in the world),  for its car manufacturing industry, and the friendly people who live there. Start your walking tour in Piazza Grande which is home to the UNESCO-listed Cathedral and the Ghirlandina. Admire the cathedral with its square and tower, a supreme example of early Romanesque art. Learn about the piazza has existed since the 12th-century, as the political and cultural center of the city. It is on this square that the ancient town hall was built. Then, set off with your guide to explore other corners of Modena and learn about the city's secret. See the City Hall, Duomo Museum, and Ducal Museum. Finally, arrive at the historic market of the city and taste a delicious Italian coffee in the UNESCO-listed heritage square.

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Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

5. Bologna: Cathedral of San Petronio Tour & Panoramic Terrace

The Basilica of San Petronio is the largest church in Bologna. It dominates the Piazza Maggiore and, despite being largely unfinished, it is one of the most extensive churches in Europe. Its imposing dimensions (132 meters long and 60 in width, with a height of 44.27 meters) makes it the fourth-largest church of Italy. In the Basilica of San Petronio, it is impossible not to know what time it is. In place of a clock though, the structure houses the longest sundial in the world. It measures 67 meters and crosses the floor of the church since 1657. It was Domenico Cassini who made it; a professor of astronomy, who believed that the motion of the planets depended on the sun.  With this guided tour, discover the beauty and history of this church. Afterwards, take the elevator to the magical panoramic terrace and relish in city views as far as you can see.

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Bologna: Private Santo Stefano Tour with Food Tasting

6. Bologna: Private Santo Stefano Tour with Food Tasting

Discover the seven churches of the Santo Stefano basilica. Some say it was built in 430 AD with the seven churches representing the places where the Passion of Christ had taken place. Learn how others believe it was commissioned by Saint Petronio, built on top of the ruins of a pagan temple. Explore the churches of the Crucifix, of the Calvary, and of Saints Vitale and Agricola. Wander through Pilato's courtyard, remarkable for the marble basis. Make sure to take notice of the large amount of  paintings, sculptures, and other works of arts but not from different periods in time. At the end of your visit, take a look inside the amazing Corte Isolani and discover all the secrets that are kept inside it.

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Bologna: Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

7. Bologna: Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

Discover the wonders of the historic churches of Bologna through this 3-hour tour. After meeting your guide at the meeting point, head to your first stop, the Basilica of San Petronio, which is the main church of the city. Outside, admire the unfinished facade of this Gothic masterpiece then head inside to discover the statue of Pope Julius II, made by Michelangelo. Next, continue through Bologna's wandering streets to reach the Basilica of San Domenico, the main seat of the order of preaching friars. In the church, discover the Ark of St. Dominic and the remains of St. Dominic, founder of the order. Finally, head to a hill located just outside the city limits, where you can admire the San Michele in Bosco complex. From the churchyard, you can admire panoramic views over the city and surrounding countryside, for the perfect end to your tour.

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What people are saying about Emilia-Romagna

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

Our guide, Margarita, wowed us with her knowledge and attention to detail. Her grasp of history and art astonished us, and she gave us the exact right amount and type of information to hold our interest. She's charming and she made us feel special. And when we asked, she gently steered us to a fantastic restaurant, thus making our first night in Bologna a perfect one.

We had a fantastic time – Our tour guide Margherita was really amazing – full of information – so accommodating and so friendly it felt like we have known her forever. When we come back we will definitely only use Bologna tours for anything we do in and around the area.