Bologna is an ancient university town, known for its towers and its long porticoes, and it has a beautiful old town centre, among the best preserved and largest in Italy .
The city, whose first settlements date back to at least the first millennium BC, was an important urban center, first under the Etruscans and the Celts, then under the Romans then again , in the Middle Ages as a free district . Northern capital of the Papal States since the sixteenth century , Bologna played a key role during the Risorgimento and, during World War II, it was an important center of resistance .
The city is an important node of road and rail communications in northern Italy . It is home to prestigious companies and cultural, economic and political institutions, and it is one of the most important exhibition centers in Italy. In 2000 was " European Capital of Culture " and since 2006 " City of Music ".
Bologna is the city of porticoes : over 38 km just in the old town center. The porticoes are visible in almost all the streets of the city center and their origin is in part due to the strong expansion that Bologna had in the late Middle Ages.
Hence the need to make the most of the space and increase the cubic volume of the houses by expanding the upper floors , the arcades became the place for the expansion of commercial and craft activities, and social life.
The porticoes also allowed to take a good part of the city streets protected from rain and snow.