Walk under the porticoes
Anyone who’s been to Bologna will be familiar with its porticoes: colonnaded, covered walkways, with stone entrance archways, vaulted ceilings and marble floors. They were built in order to create extra housing above ground level, without losing pavement space for pedestrians (and, at one time, people on horseback). Once timber, the porticoes were almost all replaced with stone or brick following a 1568 edict, although some medieval examples in wood survive to this day. Head to Via Clavature to see a fascinating succession of portico styles, from simple overhangs to decorative colonnades. Some, including in Piazza Cavour, have delicately painted ceilings. The city’s widest portico, at the Santa Maria dei Servi church, hosts a traditional Christmas market each winter.