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Basilica di San Petronio

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna, Italy (Santo Stefano)
051-22-5442
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Ranked #19 of 128 Attractions in Bologna
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Cultural
Attraction details
Type: Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Cultural
Hours:
Sun - Sat 7:45 am - 2:00 pm
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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613 reviews from our community

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English first
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
41 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2014

It's a strange unfinished basilica with a fascinating history. Designed to eclipse the immensity of St. Peter's in Rome, the basilica's construction was curtailed by the politics of the time. We were fortunate to hear an organ recital inside. The music was superb and the organ's sound impressive.

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Wilmington, Delaware
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
50 attraction reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

The facade of this basilica is interesting, because it is unfinished, and quite odd looking in its upper and lower contrast to each other. And it is right next to the University of Bologna which has a very famous history in education in Europe.

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Adelaide, Australia
Top Contributor
124 reviews 124 reviews
94 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2014

This church sits in the Piazza Maggiore and was founded in 1390 originally intended to be larger than St Peters in Rome. Funds for the building were diverted to Palazzo Archiginnasio leaving the church lopsided in its interior design.

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Waterford, Ireland
Top Contributor
161 reviews 161 reviews
73 attraction reviews
116 helpful votes 116 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2014

The outside of this church looks unfinished, which it is but the inside is breathtaking. Such a high ceiling and beatutiful artwork. It is the fifth biggest church in Italy (fifteenth in the world) but there is a silence and reverence for such a big church. Only open at certain times of the day so don't miss it.

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
17 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2014 via mobile

As our tour guide pointed out, this church would have been larger than St. Peter's in Rome but Pius VI had construction halted before it got to that size. As a result, wings on the east and west sides were clearly truncated, giving the outside an unfinished look. Inside, though, it's pretty magnificent. You can't take pictures inside but, trust... More 

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Imperia, Italy
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

If you happen to be around in a sunny day, try to visit at noon (astronomical noon) to see Cassini's calendar based on the height of the sun.

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Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
457 reviews 457 reviews
235 attraction reviews
206 helpful votes 206 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2014

Sitting in the piazza Maggiore, people sitting at its feet, warming their face in the sun. Strange we didn't feel any interest from anyone to that Big one, which like others need some repair help. Historicaly talking, it is the 15th largest church in the world, the vault inside is 45 metres.

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Oslo
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2014

Impressive, not least for its size. We were fascinated by the equinox sundial on the floor inside. Though a bit strange looking outside, go in and admire the huge windows.

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2014

The basilica wasn't completed. but what was completed is a very interesting churck. between stained glass, naves that are different from each other and overall beauty, this is a well above average 'cathedral' among the many in Europe. Definitely worth a visit.

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Haifa, Israel
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
50 attraction reviews
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2014

An enormous building that looks as if it's composed of 2 pieces. In fact it's because it was never finished. Inside it's full of treasures: frescoes, reliefs, carvings a guilded altar a 15c organ, which is one of the oldest in italy. The most unusual feature is the astronomical clock- a long brass meridian line set at an angle across... More 

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