Via dell'Indipendenza, Bologna
Via dell’Independenza is the elegant shopping street of Bologna. It leads from Piazza del Nettuno in the centre in northward direction past the cathedral and then straight on towards the train station. It is wider than most streets in the old town. This street line has historical significance in the city’s ground plan. It follows the line of the Cardo maximus, one of the two main streets of the ancient Roman city that met at right angle in what is now Piazza del Nettuno.
The buildings along the street mostly originate from the 19th and early 20th century. A walk under the portici has some belle époque flair. Halfway the street passes the Teatro Arena del Sole and the Garibaldi monument. It ends at Piazza XX Settembre with the ancient tower of Porta Galliera. The town wall is gone and the gate building in the middle of the wide open square looks a bit weird.
To those who didn't know it, every Italian city has monuments of the King Vittorio Emanuele II and general Giusepe Garibaldi.
The monument of Garibaldi is situated in the central position of Via dell'Indipendenza, right opposite to the theatre Arena del Sole. This bronze monument was set in 1900 and is work of the sculptor Arnaldo Zocchi. The monument was set on the piedestal where used to stand monument of Ugo Bassi.
Setting of the monument inspired Alfredo Testoni to write a comedy "In dovv s'mett Garibaldi?" (its local dialect and says "where to put Garibaldi?"), which played with the great success.
“Tomorrow I set off for Bologna. I write to you with thunder, lightning, &c., and all the winds of heaven whistling through my hair, and the racket of preparation to boot.”
— from a letter dated 19.August.1819 written by Lord Byron to John Murray
Since it was first built in 1200, Porta Galliera’s role has been to link the city with the plains of Emilia-Romagna and with city of Ferrara. It was one of the gates in the third tier of walls surrounding Bologna. The first gate was wooden. A stone version was built in 1330, when Cardinal Bertrand del Poggetto erected a castle to the east of the gate, which was intended for Pope John XXII. Four years later, demolished the castle when they rebelled against the Papal State. Five times the castle/fortress was rebuilt by ecclesiastical authorities over the centuries and many times destroyed by the citizens. Today, there are only the ruins of the castle visible as a result of the excavations.
The gate was rebuilt with the current features between 1660 and 1663. In the early 20th century the walls were demolished and Porta Galliera was remained, isolated. It was finally renovated in 1926. More recently, the restoration work carried out between 2007 and 2009, Porta Galliera has been restored to its former splendor.
Standing to the north of the city’s historic center, at the end of Via dell’Indipendenza, this gate is near Bologna Centrale, the main train station.
My hotel was this street.. everyday I walked from it to the center.. a lot of shops, gelateria, cafe/bistros along the way.. The brands I am fond of, such as Intimissimi, Calzedonia, Tezenis, Golden point, Bata.. all can be found on this street..
On the weekend there was an open market on the square behind... I checked it out... from shoes, clothes, accessories to kitchenware... all sort of things.. I found many things were just same as me, made in china.. but have to admit most were craps.. but if you have an eye, you may find something unique something nice with a good price... :)
Central Bologna's main thoroughfare, Via dell'Indipendenza was created in 1888 to link the railway station, Bologna Centrale, with Piazza Maggiore. Sadly, many older buildings were razed in the process, but it gave architects of the time an opportunity to erect larger and more modern buildings along the wide avenue. Fortunately, the character of the city was preserved, for the entire avenue is lined with arcades, in keeping with the bolognese practice. In addition, traditional bolognese architecture was revived in numerous buildings, which have made abundant use of Gothic-Renaissance style motifs, red bricks and terracotta. See the attached photos for examples.
Qui si fa l'Italia o si muore ("Here we make Italy — or die!")
Guiseppe Garibaldi, at the battle of Calatafimi, in Sicily, 15th May 1860
This bronze statue was built cast in 1900 and shows the Italian hero on horseback in a prime location passed by thousands every day on one of Bologna's busiest thouroughfare.
This is the main street linking the Railway Station with the very center of the city. In the picture you see the street by night with Christmas lights.
Via Indipendenza is a good street for shopping ;) but too busy on friday and saturday afternoons!
The centre (or, at least, one of the centers) of Bologna’s social life. The place to go for top quality shopping (with most international brand names and labels present), people watching (dresses, styles, etc.), sitting in an elegant restaurant sipping wine, or just staying in some of Bologna’s best hotels (like Gran Hotel Baglioni and Regina for example).
This is also the route one takes – provided he/she is in need of the shortest and the most attractive one – to get from the railway station, called Bologna Centrale, to the Piazza del Nettuno and Piazza Maggiore – two of the most beautiful of Bologna’s squares.