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Basilica di San Petronio

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy (Santo Stefano)
051-22-5442
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Ranked #19 of 133 attractions in Bologna
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites
122 visitor photos
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496 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014 NEW

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).

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Finland
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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

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Wigan, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
37 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.

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Gourock, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 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.

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Bologna, Italy
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
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

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Cleveland
Top Contributor
163 reviews 163 reviews
89 attraction reviews
73 helpful votes 73 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

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Belford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
51 attraction reviews
80 helpful votes 80 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

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Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
32 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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

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Forli
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2014

Having lived near Bologna, a close friend took me around the centre and explained why the facade has never been and will never be finished. He explained it was to do with a restoration that Bologna had chosen and designed and this was initially approved and funded by the Vatican. However, when the Vatican actually paid attention to how the... More

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Oslo, Norway
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
19 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 via mobile

A huge Basilica with an interesting story. You should respect the rules regarding clothing and no photoes. A peaceful place to rest in the heat. Free.

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