Small suggestions for a few afternoon trips.
For the coming days of celebration, Bologna offers tourists many opportunities for entertainment and discovery, but even those who are passing through for a few hours, or even living in the city, can be an active visitor and play at composing their own list of places and events.
We want to suggest some, sometimes less known and always very interesting.
Let’s start from the Two Towers and go to Via Zamboni: in a few steps we are in front of the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore, with the entrance on Piazza Rossini. Inside the basilica everything is to be seen and appreciated, but first you can go immediately to the bottom of the left aisle to admire one of the best examples of Renaissance art and architecture in Bologna: the Bentivoglio Chapel, built by the Bentivoglio family in the 15th century . It is a harmonious square space with a dome, totally frescoed by Lorenzo Costa with subjects linked to the family of Giovanni Bentivoglio. At the altar, on the other hand, the Sacred Conversation takes place, a table by Francesco Francia from Bologna, considered his masterpieces.
Under the portico of the basilica, along via Zamboni, there is the entrance to the Oratory of Santa Cecilia, which is part of the same building. It is a large space frescoed with one of the most important pictorial cycles of the Bolognese Renaissance, begun in 1505 and entrusted to the most important Bolognese painters, such as Amico Aspertini and Francesco Francia, together with Lorenzo Costa. The frescoes cover the right and left walls of the entrance to the oratory: there are ten panels that narrate episodes from the life of Santa Cecilia, an ancient Christian martyr who became patron of music and all musicians.
A hundred meters from the Oratory, going down on the same side of Via Zamboni to number 33, is the Museum of Palazzo Poggi, which is part of the University Museum System, the museums of the University of Bologna. The Leonardo Anatomy of Drawings exhibition is underway until January 19, on the occasion of the celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death: a journey through the art and thought of Leonardo through five of his drawings told with digital technique to investigate and describe the complexity of his drawings, which in this case are:
Landscape, 5 August 1473
Architectural scenario and knight brawl
Study of proportions of the human body (Vitruvian Man)
Fortress with a square plan, with very high shoes, with concentric bodies with corner towers and grandiose rivellino in front
Two mortars throwing explosive balls
Leaving the museum, we always keep the same side of Via Zamboni and return to the Two Towers: at number 7, beyond the small wooden door, you can make a fun and instructive journey into the past, with La Macchina del Tempo, the Reality Museum Virtual that allows you to visit “from inside” Bologna, with temple jumps from the Middle Ages to the 18th century. The 3D reconstructions are the result of very accurate historical and architectural researches, with almost obsessive attention to every documentation that has made possible the accuracy of every setting in which the visitor will dive, with an extraordinary and pleasant sense of reality.
But not only Bologna: the virtual reality of the Time Machine can lead adults and children to discover the tomb of the famous pharaoh Tutankhamun, for the first time in the world made in virtual reality.
And at this point then, we can conclude with the very short walk that divides the Time Machine Museum from the Archaeological Civic Museum in via Dell’Archiginnasio 2, under the portico that runs alongside the Basilica of San Petronio. The Archaeological Civic Museum of Bologna, among the many exhibited materials, also holds one of the most important Egyptian collections in Italy and Europe, which is really worth a visit, to experience ancient Egypt (virtual and real) under the Bolognese towers.