Saint Petronio

Saint Petronio: Our most recommended tours and activities

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.

Bologna: Red Bus City Tour and Local Food Tasting

2. 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.

Bologna: Churches and Cathedrals Walking Tour

3. 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.

Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery City Game

4. Bologna: Old Town Murder Mystery City 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.

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.

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.

From Milan: Parma and Bologna Private Day Trip

7. From Milan: Parma and Bologna Private Day Trip

Enjoy a Private Tour of Parma and Bologna from Milan for twelve hours with a private tour guide for two hours in each city and a private luxury vehicle with a chauffeur that will pick you up and drop you off from your hotel in Milan. Once your private chauffeur has picked you up, besides your private tour guide you will go ahead to your first destination. You will discover Parma, a city in the north of Italy that has remarkable medieval architecture and beautiful forests surrounding it. Your private tour guide will show you the tourist attractions of the city such as the cathedral with Romanesque style, the opera house Teatro, the Baptistery with Romanesque and Gothic styles and much more. When you finish visiting Parma you will go ahead to your destination, Bologna which is one of the best-preserved historic cities and has one of the largest medieval old towns in Europe. You will visit as well the tourist attractions of Bologna such as the two medieval famous towers, the Piazza Maggiore, the Basilica of San Petronio known for being one of the largest churches in existence, the basilica of San Francisco known for being a Gothic church and much more. After visiting the two cities, your private chauffeur will drop you off at your hotel in Milan or your place of preference inside the city.

Bologna: Musical History Walking Tour in - Small Group

8. Bologna: Musical History Walking Tour in - Small Group

Join this walk to discover the relations between the city of Bologna and its influence on musical history within Europe. The journey will be marked by historical musical facts and tales about Bologna. Visit Piazza Rossini where the Giovan Battista Martini Conservatory lies. See Piazza Verdi and its City Theatre, Caratti Building, and Archiginnasio Building. You will also have the chance to admire the ancient organ within the stunning San Petronio Basilica. Finally, you will finish the tour at the Walk of Fame at Quadrilatero. Join this easy and relaxing guided walk to get the major highliths about Bologna and its music. Please note, total duration of the activity is between 1.30 and 2 hours

Bologna: Guided Architecture Walking Tour

9. Bologna: Guided Architecture Walking Tour

Start the tour at Archiginnasio Palace, which serves as the main office building for the oldest university in the world – the University of Bologna. After, walk to Piazza Maggiore, where the Basilica of San Petronio is located, known for its imposing facade. Continue to Piazza del Nettuno, which is surrounded by three important administrative buildings: Palazzo d'Accursio, Palazzo del Podestà, and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo. Afterward, continue to the base of Bologna's iconic towers, the Asinelli Tower and the Garisenda Tower. Learn about the history and features of these imposing structures. Next, continue to the wooden arch of Corte Isolani and see the Oratory of Santa Cecilia. Admire the exterior of the church of San Giacomo Maggiore, before concluding the tour in the area of Quadrilatero, which is home to many markets and shops.

From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

10. From Florence: 2-Hour Private Guided Bologna Tour

Take advange of this tour led by an expert guide to visit one of the most beautiful (and historically rich) cities in all of Italy. The itinerary starts with Piazza Maggiore and its civic palaces, all of medieval origin: Palazzo di Re Enzo, Palazzo of the Notaries and Palazzo dei Banchi. In the square, you'll also find the Fountain of Neptune with the precious late Renaissance sculptures by Giambologna. You'll then visit the gothic Basilica of San Petronio (on the facade, sculptures by the Sienese artist Jacopo della Quercia): inside you'll find the late gothic paintings of Cappella Bolognini and the sun-dial designed by the astronomer Cassini (17th century). Walking along the Pavaglione Portico and its elegant shops, you'll reach the 16th century Archiginnasio Palace, the old university building decorated with about 6000 student coat of arms. Inside is the 17th century Anatomical Theatre, where dissections were held, enriched by statues of doctors and sculptures of anatomy. Through the picturesque alleys of the Mercato di Mezzo, the old market, and its fabulous food shops, you'll get to the lovely Square of Santo Stefano with the complex of Santo Stefano also called the “Jerusalem of Bologna” or “The Seven Churches,” a group of small Romanesque churches. And if you love photography, get ready to take some beautiful pictures.

  • Guided tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
  • Other experiences
11 activities found
Sort by:

Other Sightseeing Options in Saint Petronio

Want to discover all there is to do in Saint Petronio? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Saint Petronio

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 443 reviews

It was a lovely tour of Bologna. The guide was exceptionally knowledgeable and told us everything there is to know about the history of Bologna and the sights we saw. She was also very funny. Would definitely recommend!

This was an excellent tour to familiarize yourself to Bologna especially if you’re here for only a short period. Our female guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. At the end of the tour, she offered places to eat.

Very knowledgeable guide, enjoyed walking leisurely as information was given. All questions were answered, Elena was very friendly snd an excellent guide!

Excellent! Lots of info on the history of Bologna. We’ll worth it!!

Pleasant walk, excellent guide, lots of information...