Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Emilia-Romagna  /  Province of Bologna  /  Bologna  /  Historic Sites  /  Basilica di San Petronio

Basilica di San Petronio, Bologna

(4.3/5 based on 2,000+ reviews on the web)
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. Plan your visit to Basilica di San Petronio and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Bologna itinerary planner.
Create a full Bologna itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Bologna

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Bologna by other users

5 days in Bologna BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM March, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Bologna BY A USER FROM CANADA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Northwest Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 29 days in Italy, Berlin & Athens BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 39 days in Italy & Valletta BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 13 days in Italy BY A USER FROM GERMANY May, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 1 day in Bologna BY A USER FROM ROMANIA March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Italy BY A USER FROM SWEDEN June, teens, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Bologna BY A USER FROM ITALY March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 43 days in Europe BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The Basilica is beautiful and does not pay to enter. However, it pays to take pictures and the boy stays all the time behind you trying to catch you taking pictures. I didn't like it. Wouldn't take pictures without paying, knowing that should. I found rude.
    View original
  • Wonderful vaulted arches, a stunning altar piece and the world's longest sun dial. Those are just some of the reasons for visiting. I went back for a second visit, which is very unusual for me. 
  • The Basilica of San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, dedicated to the patron of the city which was Bishop in the 5th century. In 1390 when he started the construction of the temple that was to be the largest Cathedral in the world and surpass San Pedro in Rome, but Pope Pius IV prevented that this will take place by considering it a folly. The dimensions of the basilica are imposing and at present have finished completing the facade of the same. Since the year 2000, it houses the relics of the Saint, hitherto preserved in the basilica of Santo Stefano. Impressive colorful stained glass windows of the chapel of the three kings, one of the best preserved of the 22 chapels of the basilica.
    View original
Google
  • This is a really beautiful church with a rich history about its construction. Inside you can find a sundial, a device that tells the time of day by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky
  • It's free to get in, so if you went to piazza maggiore make sure to get in and have look,it's amazing inside,with all the vitray paintings on windows and sculptures
  • I'm not big architecture fan, but this is definitely worth visiting. Entrance is free, but as in many places in Italy, you need to pay 2€ to get photo permit. The church is huge and impressive, includes 22 chapels and interesting Meridian line, designed by famous astronomer Cassini, showing days of a year I believe and also used to measure solar year. This is what I understood anyway.
  • Outstanding and impressive cathedral with many exquisite works of art throughout.
  • The Basilica di San Petronio is definitely worth seeing, especially since it's free to get in. Keep in mind, though, that you must pay €2.00 if you want to take photos inside. Otherwise, a staff member might come over to scold you.