Bologna is a city of towers, and at the top of them you can enjoy unique views ranging from the city centre to the surrounding hills.
There are many other panoramic viewpoints such as churches and parks, however, from which you can take wonderful photos.
This itinerary is dedicated to lovers of heights and breathtaking views.
The itinerary to discover Bologna from above starts off with the new view offered from the Torre dell'Orologio, the clock tower of Palazzo d’Accursio in Bologna's main square, Piazza Maggiore.
Climbing the structure, you will encounter two terraces: one at the height of the crenellations looking out onto the square below, and the other – even more panoramic – at the top of the tower, from which you can enjoy a unique view over the city and the surrounding hills.
The entrance ticket, as well as including an interesting audio guide which recounts the history of the building, the clock and its mechanisms, is also valid for entrance to the adjacent Collezioni Comunali d’Arte (Municipal Art Collections) museum.
The highest observation point in Bologna nevertheless remains the Torre degli Asinelli, the higher of Bologna's famous two towers, at 97 metres.
Climbing the 498 steps will ensure you a richly rewarding view: from here you will be able to see over the entire city and surrounding area, and the view is well worth the effort required to reach the top.
Guarantee your ticket by booking entry in advance, as it is one of the most popular attractions in Bologna.
If you are not a fan of towers and terraces and prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can head to San Michele in Bosco for a view over the city.
Easily reached on foot from the city centre via a pleasant walk through the eponymous garden, the plaza to the front offers one of the best views over the city.
Remaining outside the city centre, another must is San Luca – both the sanctuary and the route to reach it.
You start off from Arco del Meloncello, an arch which can be reached by foot from the centre along Via Saragozza. This extraordinary structure allows you to get above the road and have an unmissable view of the long portico. The climb provides brief views and glimpses arch by arch as you climb.
The route ends at the Santuario di San Luca, which is full of works of art, but most famous as it has housed for centuries the city's icon of the Madonna with Child.
To cap off your visit – and gain an even better view – you can climb onto the panoramic cupola (payment required).
For nature lovers, the hills just south of the city's gates are the perfect place to look back at the metropolis in the distance. Climb up to Parco di Villa Spada, maybe in summer, and enjoy the view of the city centre as the sun goes down.
Or spend a spring day picnicking in the park of Villa Ghigi, from where the city will seem even more beautiful framed by the green of the park.