This is a preview of the content in our Bologna + Modena Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

East End

Along the Radial Streets

The East End

The east end was the fashionable part of medieval Bologna, and remains so today. So different was this aristocratic corner from the more plebeian San Felice district (west of Via Marconi) that to Dante in the 1300s the people seemed to speak two different languages.

From Piazza Porta Ravagnana and the Two Towers, five streets fan out to gates in the eastern walls of the old city: Via Zamboni, Via San Vitale, Strada Maggiore Via Santo Stefano and Via Castiglione. Via Zamboni has been so important in the life and culture of the city that it gets its own entry. Here is what you'll see on the others:

Via San Vitale: The Old Salt Road

Palazzo Fantuzzi

The radial street north of the Strada Maggiore, Via San Vitale, was in the Middle Ages called Via Salaria, the ‘salt road’, along which that commodity was brought from the salt pans along the Adriatic. Its monuments are two fine palaces of the 16th century. First comes the Palazzo Fantuzzi (1538). With its distinctive rusticated columns, this one may be the work of Peruzzi or Serlio (or Andrea da Formigine, no one knows). The elephants carved on the facade are there to remind us that the original name of the family that built it was Elefantuzzi. These pachyderms were so powerful they got to demolish the portico on the street to make their palace bigger, something that still rankles the democratically-minded Bolognesi, 500 years later. Across the street is SS Vitale e Agricola in Arena was built to honour two early Bologna martyrs who met their end in the city's amphitheatre, which stood on this site.

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

Bologna Streets and Squares

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Davide Rizzo, G. Freihalter, Partito Democratico Emilia-Romagna, Patrizia, Saliko