Basilica di San Petronio, Bologna

4.4
The 15th largest church in the world, Basilica di San Petronio is the main place of worship of Bologna. The basilica has been home to the sacred relics of its namesake since 2000, but its claim to fame is its history of sacred instrumental and choral music. Two grand organs installed in 1476 and 1596 often fill the main chapel with music. In the 17th century, astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini designed a sundial that's in the paved ground outside the basilica on the left. At 66.8 m (219 ft), it is the longest sundial in the world. Use our Bologna sightseeing planner to visit Basilica di San Petronio on your trip to Bologna, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Basilica di San Petronio Reviews
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  • The basilica of San Petronio is considered one of the biggest in Europe, and seeing it you will understand why, is massive and very impressive. Easy to get to downtown. Externally is characterized by the contrast of color and beautiful staircase front. In beautiful frescoes and stained glass Windows. Free but few chapels surcharge, as that of the Magi, highly recommended.
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  • Just one word ... Majesty ..... I felt really small in there ... from the huge and long columns to the care of every detail to the freezing cold inside ... speechless!!!
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  • I liked visited the Cathedral of San Petronio. It highlights the chapel of los Reyes Mayos. The project at the time of Bologna: "la grossa, dotta, rose" was that the Cathedral was larger than St. Peter's in Rome, but could not overcome it and was left unfinished.
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  • Exterior is quite non-impressive. Built in a Gothic/Romanesque style typical of Medieval Italy, then enlarged in later ages. The most important parts are the many chapels, some adorned with stained glasses and old paintings. By far the most important sight is "Capella dei Re Magi" (Chapel of Magi), holding one of the best Gothic paintings in the world. That alone convinced me to visit Bologna...
  • Rough exterior, but very nice interior. Definitely worth the stop if you're in the area. 2€ is not too much to take some nice pictures. --- One strange thing though, my group exited the building and realized that one friend did not leave with us. Two security guards absolutely refused to let us re-enter the building to get our friend, offered no explanation as to why, and did not offer any solution other than walking ALL the way around this enormous church just to step back inside and tell our friend it was time to go. --- If this was based on some type of tradition or rule, they made no attempt to inform us, and came off as very rude. One man even left his post to go stand in between my group and the exit until our friend came out, presumably making SURE we didn't go back in. All very strange, considering that entrance is free.
  • Insider's tip: it's not well publicised but as at April 2018 there is a viewing platform open to the public, giving the most magnificent views over the city. The cost is €3 per head, it opens at 10am and the entrance is on the Piazza Galvani. The only "downside" is that it utilises the workman's lift and scaffolding being used for the restoration - so not for the faint hearted! If you are up for it, you will be rewarded by the most amazing panoramas over Bologna, from the Two Towers right round to San Luca. Amazing!!!
  • Very nice church, bright and spotless. Need special bracelet to be allowed to shoot pictures. There are other options to admire ie museum inside .....
  • One of the places that you have to see when you're in the Bologna especially if you're into history. Look out on the floor. You will find not only the clock and time line there. Behind the glass there is even more history!
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