Bologna. Explore this historic city and discover its seven secret attractions 

Tuesday, 14 December 2021 10:40

Alongside the numerous well-known attractions of Bologna, which is one of central Italy’s most appealing cities and famous for its good food, there are as many truly fascinating lesser-known ones. Because scattered throughout the city are the Seven Secrets of Bologna. You can find them all collected for you here, so that the next time you have time to stroll through the streets of the old centre you won't miss them.

bologna_2_1.pngThe Three Arrows

High above your head on the ceiling of the walkway at the entrance to the Corte Isolani gallery between Strada Maggiore and the Piazza Santo Stefano square in the old centre of Bologna you can see three arrows. A legend tells of three bandits who passed by there to kill a squire. But fortunately a young scantily clad young woman who was looking from a window distracted them, so their arrows missed the target and stuck in the ceiling, for all to see even today.

bologna_4.pngThe Wireless Telephone

In the Palazzo del Podestà the four corners under the Arengo Tower create a strange acoustical effect, with sounds transmitted from one corner to another. This wave of sound between the four corners was designed in medieval times to allow lepers to confess without the monk confessor having to come into contact with them. Today you will see people standing with their backs to the wall as they experiment with this ancient communications system.

Bologna’s Little Venice

Passing under the Porta Govese gate you come to the famous Finestrella window overlooking the Canale delle Moline canal, historically used for merchant shipping. Running between houses in the past it remained hidden from view but it has now become a popular spot especially with young lovers who have covered the walls with romantic messages and padlocks.

Panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum Laetitia

“Panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia”, or: “Bread is life, cannabis is protection, wine is joy,” refers to the cultivation of hemp which in olden days was an important contributor to the city’s wealth. The fresco with the famous phrase can be found on the vault of the arches on the Canton de 'Fiori.

bologna_3.pngNeptune’s Fountain and Thumb

The Fountain of Neptune, on the square of the same name, hides an optical illusion. Standing near the library staircase on a black tile, the thumb on the hand that reaches out to placate the waves, looks like a sign of virility. Locals believe that the fountain was deliberately designed in this playful manner by the great sculptor Giambologna.


The Broken Vase on the Asinelli Tower

At the top of the Asinelli Tower, one of Bologna’s two famous towers – the other is the Garisanda  - there is a broken pot symbolizing the city’s ability to solve conflicts and disputes. There is also a superstition that students who climb this tower before they finish their studies will never graduate.


A Secret engraved on a Desk 

Bologna’s final secret is to be found in the headquarters of the world’s oldest university where, on a desk, there is a famous inscription saying "panum resis". The engraving alludes to a basic principle of this city, that knowledge is at the heart of everything. 

Image

Latest Video

Sciacca. City of 5 Senses
Video

Sciacca. City of 5 Senses

You are in an open-air Museum.The five ancient gates are th…

14
Sciacca. City of 5 Senses
Video

Sciacca. City of 5 Senses

You are in an open-air Museum.The five ancient gates are th…

14
© 2021 Travel Open Day Srl | All Rights Reserved. - P.IVA IT13119651001