Basilica di Santo Stefano Tours

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Only four churches of the original seven that once made up this stylistic jumble of buildings remain, but a visit to the Bologna’s Basilica di Santo Stefano is still a fascinating stroll through centuries of religious architecture. With winding passageways linking chapels and cloisters, this is one of the city’s most captivating churches.
 
The Basics
The Basilica of Santo Stefano (known locally as the Sette Chiese, or Seven Churches), set on the large, triangular Piazza di Santo Stefano, is among Bologna’s top attractions, and a highlight of any city walking, bike, or Segway tour. Visitors enter the 11th-century Chiesa del Crocifisso, where the remains of Bologna’s patron saint, St. Petronius, lay until it was moved to the Basilica di San Petronio in 2000. The route then passes through a maze of pretty courtyards to the Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro, the Chiesa della Trinitá, and the Chiesa Santi Vitale e Agricola, Bologna’s oldest church, which was constructed with fragments of pilfered Roman flooring and masonry. The complex also houses a museum with a collection of religious paintings, sculptures, and other artifacts. In addition to the Basilica of Santo Stefano, guided tours of Bologna generally include other famous landmarks, including Piazza Maggiore and the Basilica of San Petronio, the Two Towers, and the Church of San Domenico. 
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Basilica visitors are required to wear modest attire that covers their shoulders and knees.
  • Photography without flash is allowed inside.
  • Parts of the complex have uneven flooring and low steps, and may not be accessible to wheelchair users.
  • A visit to the basilica complex is especially interesting for architecture enthusiasts.
 
How to Get There
The basilica is located in the center of Bologna’s historic center, just a short walk east from Piazza Maggiore and the Two Towers.  
 
When to Get There
Bologna is notoriously hot in the summer and blustery in winter, which is why the city is home to miles of covered porticoes. A visit to the basilica is the perfect respite from the heat and cold, especially since it stays open all day. 
 
The Legend of the Courtyard of Pontius Pilate 
Sandwiched between the Chiesa del Santo Sepolcro and the Chiesa della Trinità, the quiet Courtyard of Pontius Pilate (Cortile di Pilato) gets its name from the central marble basin, said to be where Pontius Pilate washed his hands after condemning Christ to death. Studies have shown that the basin is a Lombard work dating from the 8th century, but the courtyard’s name has stuck. 
Location
Address: Via Santo Stefano, Bologna 40125, Italy
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Admission: Free
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6 Tours & Activities to Experience

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2-Hour Historic Bike Tour of Bologna

A historic university city, culinary capital, and hub of architectural beauty, Bologna offers no shortage of attractions—and this zippy bike tour through town gives you the perfect opportunity to explore. Get up close and personal with the sights, from the bustling Piazza Maggiore to the Basilica of San Domenico and the modern Manifattura delle Arti district. As you go, hear about the city’s long history from your guide.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$44.08
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$44.08

Bologna : a walk into history

The city of Bologna is a rich tapestry of art, culture, cuisine, and music—a UNESCO–listed gem in the heart of Italy. On this morning or afternoon walking tour, follow your guide through Bologna’s medieval streets and find out what makes the city special. Hear the stories behind top attractions including Piazza Maggiore, the Quadrilatero, and the 14th-century San Petronio Basilica, and gain insight into Bologna’s colorful past.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$127.60
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$127.60

Private Tour: Classical Bologna Walking Tour

Discover the center of Bologna, a maze of medieval streets and arcaded walkways, by booking this private walking tour with your own English-speaking and professional guide. This is best way to get the most out of Bologna in a short period of time and getting a lot of personalized attention from the guide.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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US$82.65
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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US$82.65

Bologna Segway Tour

See Bologna, with its narrow streets, crooked medieval towers and miles and miles of arcaded walkways, from a different perspective: from a Segway. Cruise around this handsome Italian city on a Segway, learning about the history of each place, and seeing major landmarks, such as the five-hundred-year-old Fountain of Neptune, the Basilica di Santo Stefano, and much more. This small-tour is limited to just eight participants, which means you’ll get plenty of attention from the local guide.
  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$114.84
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  • Duration: 3 hours
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US$114.84

Private Tour: Bologna Cycling Sightseeing Tour

Explore Bologna by two wheels on a private bike tour of the city. The 2-hour tour takes in the city’s best-known sights and gives the lowdown on their history. Pedal past stately palaces such as Palazzo re Enzo, Palazzo Accursio and Palazzo del Protesta; learn about the public library of Sala Borsa from your private guide; and pose for photos by the Fountain of Neptune — a landmark that hails from the 16th century.
  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$114.55
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  • Duration: 2 hours
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US$114.55

Private Tour: Ecclesiastical Heritage of Bologna

Visit three Bologna churches of your choice on a 3-hour private tour, and learn about the city’s ecclesiastical history as you go. The churches that you see are up to you, but popular places of worship to visit include the Abbazia di Santo Stefano, Basilica di San Petronio and the Basilica di San Domenico. With a private guide, you’ll discover fun facts about the churches’ history, artwork, architecture and more.
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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US$82.65
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  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes
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US$82.65


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