Great cathedrals and grand palaces…
Going along Via delle Belle Arti up to PALAZZO BENTIVOGLIO NUOVO, a great building built in 1551 by Costanzo Bentivoglio. We are now in Via Mentana, we walk along and we turn right into Via Marsala getting to PIAZZA SAN MARTINO. The square was called after the church built in 1227 and given later to the Carmelites. The church was restored in the XV century; the interior is divided into three naves, there are beautiful chapels some of which keep works of art by Ludovico Carracci, Jacopo della Quercia, Paolo Uccello (1397-1475), Amico Aspertini and other artists.
A few steps forward along Via Marsala and on the right we can see one of the most ancient buildings in Bologna PALAZZO GRASSI, characterized by the enchanting wooden portico example of ancient Bolognese buiding; the palace was built between the XI and the XIII century. In 1466 it became property of Grassi family.
Further on there is the wide straight street Via Indipendenza; turning right we get to CATTEDRALE DI S.PIETRO (Saint Peter’s Cathedral); its origins are early Christian, but the cathedral was built in 1141 after a fire and it was continuously restored up to the middle XVIII century with the latest intervention by the architect Alfonso Torreggiani.
The interior of the church keeps works of great importance by Alfonso Lombardi (1497-1537), Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619) and Donato Creti (1671-1749) that testify the long period of restoration. Another important proof of the successive rebuilding is the square based Tower bell, 70 mt high that contains the ancient tower bell with circular basis of Early Roman origin; the lions . turned into holy water fonts, the column of the Baptistery, the cedar wooden Crucifixion of the Romanesque period, Saint Vitale’s and Agricola’s relic kept into the crypt.