There are great number of magnificent palaces inside the old core of the town, this on the pictures are those which attracted me the most.
- Palazzo Marsigli or Marsili, in via d'Azeglio 48, was the residance of general Ferdinando Marsigli, who founded Instituto delle Scienze. It has beautiful covered balcony on its corner, from 1685.
- Palazzo Magnani, also known as Palazzo Salem, is situated on Piazza Rossini and is worth of visiting for famous fresco "Storia della fondazione di Roma" (History of Roman's foundation), work by Carracci brothers.
- Palazzo Malavezzi, also at Piazza Rossini, is fine work of famous architect Jacopo Barozzi.
- Palazzo Bevilaqua, built in 1447 by Niccolo Sanuti, is in particularly interesting and worth of seeing because of the fantastic accuracy with which the creator worked the stone facade. The palace is in via d'Azeglio 31-33.
- Casa Cervi, in via Gelliera 13 at the corner with via Volturno, built in 1478, is an typical Bolognese noble house from that time with portico and fine mullioned windows.
The crenellated Palazzo dei Strazzaroli was built in 1486 by Giovanni Piccinini da Como, by order of Corporation of Drapers. This palace, also known as Palazzo dei Drappieri, is located in Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, right opposite to Due Torri. The facade is decorated with beautiful mullioned windows and a balcony, which was added in 1507. The niche, that surmounts the centrally positioned balcony, houses a statue of the Virgin and Child, by Gabriele Fiorini.
The statue is colloquially called Madonna of the Bell because, in the rare occasions when the curtain is lifted, the bell which is at its side start ringing.
Madonna was the protector of the Corporation of Drapers. Story says that in Bologna it was a customary to have a light as a sign of devotion and protection against adverse weather conditions; this light was close to the sacred images and statues of the Virgin. Even today, in many old streets (all over the Mediterranean), you will find small altars dedicated to Madonna and decorated with fresh flowers and candles.
The magnificent Palazzo di Giustizia, also known as Palazzo Baciocchi, was designed and constructed by Andrea Palladio in 1534. The palace was sold in 1822 to Napoleon's brother in law, Prince Felice Baciocchi who finaly had completed the construction. This monumental palace, as most of Palladio's works, has beautiful courtyard and the great staircase inside the building. The courtyard is impressive, its staircase decorated with statues is one of the most beautiful among all palaces built in Bologna. Many halls and rooms have walls richly painted with landscapes and figures of ancient Gods. Today it houses offices and courtrooms of the Justice Courts.
Malvezzi were illustrious Bolognese family oresent in town since the 12th century, actively participating in the political life of Bologna, with significant supporting to the Guelph party and later the Bentivoglio's.....
In Piazza della Mercanzia you can admire the beauty of the palace and some examples of fine medieval houses. The ancient complex is combination of three houses; Casa Seracchioli, Casa Reggiani, Palazzo Bolognini and Torre degli Alberici. Both houses, Seracchioli and Reggiani, once were used as offices of the nearby Gabella for paying taxes.
The left one, Casa Seracchioli from the 13th century, keeps the doors and arched windows while in the middle remains of the modern brick facade with the windows inspired by medieval Bolognese tradition.
On the right side is Casa Reggiani with restored wooden porticoe and pitoresque balcony which was added here in1924. Its 14th century facade is a rare example of Gothic house with two floors. Adjacent to it is Palazzo Bolognini, first homestay of Bolognini family after they moved to Bologna from the town of Lucca. In the middle of the main room is spy-hole which during medieval times was used for checking on visitors.
Marescotti family were very much deeply roted in political life of Bologna, from the 12th century. In the beginning of the 14th century they joined forces with the Calvi family and both enjoyed prestige and wealth for many years. This palace was originally built around 1400s as an complex for homestay of Maresscotti-Calvi clan. Noteworthy is the magnificent Remaissance porticoes in front, with ornate Corinthian capitals.
In 1508 the complex was destroyed by a mob led by the Bentivoglio family. Restauration work began the same year under Giovanni Beroaldo, but unfortunally was not completed. From the end of the 17th century the primogenity line of the clan died out.
Nowadays this palace housing the library, famous for its historic volumes of books and vast collection of 16-17th centuries paintings of Bolognese artists.
Via Zamboni is one of the most beautiful streets of medieval Bologna featuring great number of magnificent palaces. The construction of new home for the noble family Magnani began in 1577 under architect Domenico Tibaldi who was replaced by Floriano Ambrosini in 1583, upon on his death. In 1797 the palace became a property of the Guidotti family who in the late 19th century sold it to the Malvezzi Campeggi family whose coat of arms is still visible on the front facade. Later the palace was inhabited by the Salem family and it is curently the seat of the Unicredit bank.
In the inner courtyard is a statue of Hercules whose face is that of Lorenzo Magnani. The saloon on the "piano nobile" (noble floor) is decorated by very valuable fresco frieze, executed by the brothers Carracci.
Entirely Florentine in style, Palazzo Sanuti Bevilacqua is one of the most distinctive palaces in Bologna. It was built in 1484 for Niccolò Sanuti, a jurist from Bologna, using grey stones more common in Tuscany. The palace has two interior courtyards, the first of which contains two stunning galleries with intricate stucco and ornate frescoes. Much like some of the other "Palazzi Senatori" (i.e., those built for "senatorial" families), this palazzo does not come with an exterior arcaded portico, a feature unique to such palaces. Over the centuries, the palazzo changed several hands and was even owned by Giovanni II Bentivoglio who ruled Bologna as a tyrant until 1506. In 1774, the palazzo was acquired by the marchese Bevilacqua whose name it still carries to this day. Unfortunately, Palazzo Sanuti Bevilacqua did not seem open to visitors, but I was able to take the attached photos of the courtyard.
Commanding an important position on Piazza di Porta Ravegnana, il Palazzo degli Strazzaroli is one of central Bologna's grandest palaces. Also known as Palazzo dei Drappieri, it was built by Giovanni Piccinini da Como, in the late 15th century, for the Strazzaroli family. Further additions to the palazzo occurred during a 16th century renovation. Palazzo degli Strazzaroli is located opposite le Due Torre.
This 16th century palazzo was built for the Bonasoni family. It was designed by Antonio Morandi, known as il Terribilia, who also worked on l'Archiginnasio. The palazzo's façade, overlooking Via Galliera, has a portico with seven arches, separated by columns whose capitals may have come from an older Romanesque building. At some point during its history, Palazzo Bonasoni was acquired by the Zerbini family, so it is sometimes also known by their name.
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