The Porticoes of Bologna are an important cultural and architectural heritage of Bologna, Italy, and represent a symbol of the city with numerous towers. No other city in the world has as many porticoes as Bologna: altogether, they cover more than 38 kilometers only in the historic center, but can reach up to 53 kilometers if those outside the medieval city walls are also considered. The porticoes of Bologna were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2021.
Porticoes of Bologna cover more than 38 kilometers only in the historic center
The porticoes are appreciated as sheltered walkways and prime locations for merchant activities. In the 20th century, the use of concrete allowed the replacement of the traditional vaulted arcades with new building possibilities, and a new architectural language for the porticoes emerged, as exemplified in the Barca district. Defined as private property for public use, the porticoes have become an expression and element of Bologna’s urban identity.
The porticoes have become private and public locations that symbolize Bologna’s hospitality
Ever since 1100, when the growth of the University led to the need for new urban spaces, the porticoes have become private and public locations where people can socialize and trade, an open-air salon symbol of Bologna’s hospitality.