The area from Via Indipendenza westwards to Via Emilia is particular for the coexistence of centuries-old streets and 20th century rationalist urbanisation. Via Indipendenza itself is quite recent, considering that this straight artery was built around 1890 to directly connect the railway station with Piazza Maggiore, becoming the city’s living room that presented Bologna to travellers and tourists.
Before that time, the parallel street of Via Galleria was the street for strolling and meetings between nobles and wealthy people, in the palaces that the most prominent families had built by the best architects. Along Via Galliera there are numerous buildings of great artistic value, which bear witness to the taste of the period in which they were built, such as Palazzo Felicini of 1497 or Palazzo Aldrovandi of 1725.
Just between these two buildings, on the same side of the street, is the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Bologna’s oldest church dedicated to the Madonna, with origins dating back to the 6th century, when Via Galliera was the kardo major of the city.