The Bologna Porticoes have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List, a list of places that are considered to be an invaluable heritage for humanity. With this entry, Italy rises to the top of the list, with 58 places registered.

The protected UNESCO site

The UNESCO site includes 12 groups of porticoes that stretch among the red city. In fact, Bologna hosts the longest arcade in the world, with 62 km of porticoes. They have been built from the XVIII century to nowadays, in different ways and historical periods. Some are made with wood, others with stones, and others with concrete. Hence, they reflect the evolution of the city during the centuries, and they deserved the recognition they got.

The porticoes are also the reflection of the social development of the city, as in the past they were the place where social interactions happened.

A brief history of the Porticoes of Bologna

The porticoes of Bologna are a heritage of the city and one of its symbols, together with the two towers of Asinelli and Garisenda. In fact, Bologna is the city with the longest arcade in the world, stretching over 62 km, with 38km only in the historical center.

The porticoes were born in a totally spontaneous way, starting from the Middle Ages. In fact, the city was going through a period of economic, social, and demographic growth. So, they needed to expand the residential units. That's how the first porticoes were built, in an attempt to occupy the public ground in an abusive way by expanding the upper floors.

Subsequetly, when the University was founded, it attracted many people to the city and the need to expand the residential units emerged again. Lastly, in 1255, the Comune made the porticoes mandatory for every house that was built.

Since this moment, Bologna started to get filled with porticoes, until nowadays.

The most beautiful Porticoes of Bologna

The porticoes of Bologna are a point of interest and they contribute to creating the historical atmosphere that distinguishes the city. Among the most beautiful ones, there are surely the medieval and renaissance porticoes.

The most beautiful Porticoes of Bologna are those below:

  • Portico of Casa Isolani: it is a medieval one, it is 9 meters tall and sustained by wooden beams, in Romanesque-Gothic style;
  • Portico of Pavaglione: a lodge stretching from Via de' Musei and via Farini for 130 meters;
  • Porticato of Alemanni: the oldest portico outside of the old city walls, it stretches for 600 meters and it counts 160 arches;
  • Portico of San Luca: it is surely the most extraordinary one in Bologna, as well as the longest, stretching for over 3 km;
  • Porticato of Servi: it is sustained by thin columns, and it is the largest portico in the city, so that its lunettes are even painted;
  • Portico of San Giacomo: it is sustained by wonderful Corinthian columns and it is a renaissance portico that hosts many tombs of important personalities.

Those mentioned above are only the most beautiful ones, but there are other suggestive and picturesque porticoes in Bologna. They stretch for 62 km, you just have to go out for a walk and discover them!

Our homes in Bologna

August 11th, 2021