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Bologna Piazza Maggiore
Bologna Piazza Maggiore

Bologna Piazza Maggiore

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

The basics

A popular gathering place and home to the city’s most grand church, Piazza Maggiore is one of the highlights of Bologna’s historic center. This public square dates from the 13th century, but its most important buildings—including Palazzo dei Notai, Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, and Palazzo dei Bianchi—took centuries to complete, and its central Fountain of Neptune wasn’t added until 1566. Stroll through the piazza to get a taste of Bologna’s vibrant atmosphere, stopping to visit the imposing Basilica di San Petronio or linger over a cappuccino at one of the porticoed cafés.

Piazza Maggiore is a top sight in most city walking or bike tours, along with attractions like the Two Towers and the churches of Santo Stefano and San Domenico. Bologna is famous for its rich local cuisine, so visitors can also opt for food tours that combine sightseeing with tastings of local specialties.

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Classic Bologna Food Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Classic Bologna Food Tour
$123.42 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Everything was great!...
Everything was great! Matt did an amazing job with some history and tons of food culture. We would definitely do another tour.
Lance_J, Jun 2022

Things to know before you go

  • Piazza Maggiore is pedestrian-only, so children can explore without the danger of traffic.
  • Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes if you visit as part of a bike or walking tour.
  • The square and its porticoes are wheelchair-accessible.
  • Cafés and restaurants line the square, so you can stop for a snack or meal.
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How to get there

Piazza Maggiore is Bologna’s main central square, and it’s just a short walk from the Bologna Centrale train station or from the most important attractions in the city center.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Bologna

How to Spend 3 Days in Bologna

Food Lover's Guide to Bologna

Food Lover's Guide to Bologna

Notable Porticoes in Bologna

Notable Porticoes in Bologna


When to get there

Piazza Maggiore is bustling with people all day and far into the evening. The square is particularly beautiful at night, when the basilica, palaces, and central fountain are dramatically illuminated.

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Neptune, the Symbol of Bologna

Piazza Maggiore is home to one of the most important landmarks in Bologna, Giambologna’s 16th-century Fountain of Neptune, a marble-and-bronze monument that sits in the center of the part of Piazza Maggiore known as Piazza del Nettuno. The trident held by the statue of Neptune inspired the logo for Maserati, which was founded in Bologna.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Bologna Piazza Maggiore?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Bologna?
A:
As well as visiting the Bologna Piazza Maggiore, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: