Discover Bologna

Where to Get the Best Panoramic Views of Bologna

Piazzale di San Michele in Bosco offers one of the best panoramic views of Bologna.

Who doesn’t like a good view? Seeing Bologna from up above will help you understand why the city has been nicknamed ‘la rossa’: the historic center is a quaint expanse of red brick roofs. Plus, you’ll be able to get a sense of the urban layout, which, in the centro storico, hasn’t changed much since the Middle Ages. And you’ll be able to admire the beautiful hills that frame Bologna to the south.

Below is a list of spots for great panoramic views of Bologna.

Asinelli Tower
Piazza Maggiore as seen from the Asinelli Tower; in the background, the Colle della Guardia hill with the Basilica of San Luca.

Beyond Piazza Maggiore, the top of the Asinelli tower affords a 360° awesome panorama; check my post for more photos.

  • How do you get to catch a panoramic view that includes the Asinelli tower? Climb the Torre Prendiparte, a B&B which, every Saturday, is open for group tours up to the rooftop terrace. Other special events are often arranged in the tower, check the website for the latest updates.
best panoramic views of Bologna
The Due Torri as seen from the Prendiparte Tower.
  • Another great panoramic view of Bologna can be seen from the recently opened Terrace of the Basilica of San Petronio (€3 fee), which can be accessed from the rear of the Basilica.
You’ll enjoy unusual views of the side of the Basilica of San Petronio from its terrace.
  • Another church in Bologna which guards good panoramic views is the city’s cathedral, Cattedrale di San Pietro. You’ll have to climb its bell tower, the city’s second tallest tower, which is only open on Saturdays, from 2 to 4:30 pm (€5).
  • Another good outlook, not so much of the entire city, but of its most important square, Piazza Maggiore, can be admired from the second floor of Palazzo D’Accursio (if you don’t know much about this historic palace, read my post).
Piazza Maggiore holds its fascination even on gloomy days.
  • Moving away from the city center, the most famous panoramic view of Bologna is the one you catch from the Piazzale di San Michele in Bosco (bus n. 30 from central Via Rizzoli).
Panoramic view of Bologna from the Piazzale di San Michele in Bosco, just outside the city center.
  • And how not to mention the beautiful views of Bologna you get as you walk up or down the Portico of San Luca, the one connecting Bologna with the Basilica di San Luca.
View of Bologna framed by the arches of the Portico di San Luca.
  • I also very much like the panorama you get from the little-known Parco di San Pellegrino, part of a walk in the hills I recommend in this post. I can take you there on one of my walking tours.
top walks in Bologna
Greenery and red roofs: view of Bologna from the Parco di San Pellegrino.

12 thoughts on “Where to Get the Best Panoramic Views of Bologna”

  1. all those place are beatiful but my favorite view is from san michele in bosco, and also from san luca. you can go up there by walking, this is why they are the best for me

  2. I feel in love With Italy Years ago,and I have been there 4 times,and would jump st the chance to go again,if i were younger. Thank you for the photo’s.

  3. I recently discovered your blog and very much enjoying your posts!
    Question: I will be in Europe at the end of November and haven’t decided where to go yet and—-not the best time weather-wise. But any idea what the weather is like in Bologna in November?
    Keep on posting! thx

    1. Hi, thank you for your message, glad you’re enjoying my blog! Yes, end of November isn’t the greatest time weather-wise, as it may be rainy or foggy, but the weather has changed in recent years and it is a bit milder now, so you may be just fine!

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