We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Basilica di San Petronio

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy (Santo Stefano)
Improve this listing
Ranked #18 of 134 Attractions in Bologna
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Book Now

Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites
130 visitor photos
Write a Review

527 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
95 reviews 95 reviews
30 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2014 NEW

Another of those fascinating places whose imperfection is their fame. It goes like this. The Bolognans didn't like the Pope, so they wanted to build a church bigger than St Peter's in Rome. The Pope counters with a master stroke, two blows at once. He sets up the Archiginnasio so close that the already commenced extension cannot be completed (check... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
North Carolina
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
33 attraction reviews
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

Overwhelming when you walk in because of the size. Beautiful stained glass (some removed for restoration), organ is lovely, works of art and sculpture are beautiful. Twenty-two chapels line either side of the church. The median line is very interesting. The ouside is in the process of resoration and is patially marbled - quite a sight!

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
16 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

The size and scale of this church are amazing (15th largest in the world). I had originally assumed that it was the cathedral. Cassini's sundial is very impressive as is the organ (possibly the oldest in Europe).

Was this review helpful? Yes
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

According to Wikipedia, Basilica di San Petronio is currently the 15th biggest church in the world. Since personally I have not yet experienced some of the bigger ones, like Cologne Cathedral, I found myself completely astounded by the sheer size of this building. It's one thing to marvel the great, half finished facade from the Piazza Maggiore. However, the magnitude... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Wigan, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
36 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

It is a wonderful place to spend a few moments. But please do remember to cover up before you go in.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Gourock, United Kingdom
14 reviews 14 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

A most beautiful church. The day I visited there was an organ being played which really added to the atmosphere. Leaflet in English giving good information.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bologna, Italy
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014

A grand ole dame that was originally slated to have been even bigger! During a separate tour of the city, our Bolognese guide explained that the Vatican had axed the building plans as it was supposed to surpass St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City in size. Major no, no! Viewing the exterior of the San Petronio and then entering the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Top Contributor
165 reviews 165 reviews
90 attraction reviews
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2014

You need to see this simply to marvel at how nice the finished lower level (with beautiful marble)is, and how unimpressive the unfinished upper levels featuring only brickwork appear. And then ponder what it was about the Bolognese that caused them never to be able to agree on a plan to finish the cathedral, despite a series of proposals from... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Belford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
129 reviews 129 reviews
54 attraction reviews
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

My main complaint though was the no photographs rule which was being rigorously and rudely enforced while we were there. There were no services at the time, which I would have understood, but this was the only place during my 10 day trip around Italy where I remember non-flash photography being banned. The most interesting thing to me was the... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
32 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

This is one of the largest basilicas in Europe and the main feature of Piazza Maggiore. It's strange that the outside was never completed, but the inside is beautiful! It is absolutely massive, with tons to see. If you notice that there is a heave police/military presence inside and outside of the church, it's because the church apparently holds a... More

Was this review helpful? Yes

Travelers who viewed Basilica di San Petronio also viewed

Bologna, Province of Bologna
Bologna, Province of Bologna
Bologna, Province of Bologna
Bologna, Province of Bologna

Been to Basilica di San Petronio? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Do you own or manage Basilica di San Petronio?

Register now for free — and start getting automatic notification of new reviews, responding to traveler feedback, adding new photos to your listing and much more.

Manage your listing