Long regarded as an Italian cultural capital, Bologna has a museum culture that’s as rich as its famous ragù bolognese. Throw in medieval architecture, historic palaces and towering cathedral, and you’ve got a ready-made cultural city break – bookable on Culture Trip.
As an inhabited settlement for some 3,000 years and with a university that dates back to 1088, Bologna has a long history, and it takes several museum trips to learn the basics. Luckily, the city more than provides when it comes to educational (and entertaining) exhibits. Alongside the art and archeological treasures of the city-run galleries and museums, there’s the Carisbo foundation, which has restored a series of historic buildings in the centre to host collections. Then there are the several thematic museums, dedicated to such varied themes as gelato and motorcycles. Here are the best museums in historic Bologna, Italy.
This vast archeological collection came together in 1881, when several historical university museum collections, some dating from the 1500s, were merged. Housed in the former, ominously named Ospedale della Morte (Hospital of Death) – which had its heyday during the plague years of the Middle Ages – and located just off the central Piazza Maggiore, the museum’s beautifully preserved, local finds span prehistoric artefacts to ancient Etruscan, Greek and Roman trinkets. The ancient Egyptian section, downstairs from the central courtyard, is considered to be one of Europe’s best, and it occasionally carries out restoration projects live in front of visitors.
Looking for somewhere to stay? Book into one of the best hotels in Bologna. We’ve compiled the must-visit attractions in Bologna; don’t miss the top things to see and do. While in the city, make sure you stop off for a meal at its best restaurants.