Library room Stock Exchange and the Basilica of San Francesco…
We go along Via Indipendenza and turn on the right into Via Ugo Bassi to visit la BIBLIOTECA SALA BORSA, with entrance from Piazza del Nettuno. It is the most attended public library in Bologna and it is situated in the ancient public place of the city merchants, the entrance is in the large Piazza Coperta.
It has got two floors with the high panelled ceiling and the crystal floor created to admire the archeological areas and the sedimentation of the various civilizations in a scenery of light and harmony. In this way centuries of history, from the first settlement of huts of Villanovan civilization (VII century B.C.) to the Felsina Etruscan one, to the Roman Bononia.
We go back to Via Ugo Bassi and we walk along up to PIAZZA MALPIGHI, in the background we can see the Colle dell’Osservanza with the impressive size of Villa Aldini. Next to the square the courtyard of CHIESA DI SAN FRANCESCO with the characteristic Chiostro dei morti (Cloister of the dead) with some graves of the glossators dating back to XIII century, masters of the Bolognese Studium who created modern jurisprudence renovating the Roman Law.in addition we can see Accursio’s, Odofredo’s and Rolandino Romanzi’s graves.
On the opposite side of the cloister, on the square with the same name, there is the entrance of the Church, one of the oldest examples of Franciscan monastery.
It was built in 1236 and it’s the first example of French gothic in Italy testified by the exterior apse archs, even if the shapes on the front are still linked to Roman gothic.
The big bell tower (1397) is by Antonio di Vincenzo. The interior, very enchanting, is Latin cross shaped with three naves and the central one, the highest, has got a six segment vault like Notre Dame Cathedral. There are nine chapels, a very beautiful high altar with a precious marble altar piece, once covered of gold; of particular interest is the Cappella di San Bernardino (XIII century) decorated with terracotta and the Antipope Alessandro V’s Sepulcher made by Nicolò Lamberti in 1424.