Bologna is often thought of as one of Italy’s top cultural destinations, primarily because of its university. In 2000 the European Union named the city as a European Capital of Culture, and this reputation continues to make it a favoured location for fans of art, music, literature and more.
The University of Bologna was established in 1088 and continues to be a leading influence in academia. There are spectacular university buildings around the city, with the library in particular being a top attraction, and academic events are frequently hosted in various locations.
Art and history are also plentiful in Bologna, with over 50 galleries and museums that offer plenty of places to visit throughout the city. The National Gallery of Bologna is a real highlight for art lovers, with numerous famous pieces and plenty of examples of classic Italian Renaissance paintings.
Verona is perhaps most famous for being the setting of William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy ‘Romeo and Juliet’, which has made it a cultural highlight of Italy for centuries. Tourists flock to the city in their thousands to visit what was said to be the family home of the Capulets, and you can also see Juliet’s balcony along with a collection of antique engravings that tell the story of the two lovers.
As well as its literacy heritage, Verona also has an impressive history of art, music and poetry. Now, there is a brilliant range of galleries featuring everything from modern to renaissance pieces of art, many of which are also housed in historic buildings.
In the centre of the city is an impressive open-air amphitheatre which still hosts performances that range from pop concerts to classic performances and theatrical productions. The program of events is particularly good in the summer, with operatic performances being the main attraction for many visitors.
When it comes to culture, both cities are fantastic places to enjoy art, architecture, food and music. Whilst Verona is a top destination for fans of Shakespeare’s works, Bologna has a bigger variety of cultural attractions that makes it a better option for those who want to spend their trip immersed in the artistic legacy of the city.