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Basilica of Santo Stefano (Basilica di Santo Stefano) Tours

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Basilica of Santo Stefano (Basilica di Santo Stefano)
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 of Santo Stefano (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. 
Address: Via Santo Stefano, Bologna 40125, Italy
Admission: Free
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11 Tours and Activities to Experience Basilica of Santo Stefano (Basilica di Santo Stefano)

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2-Hour Bike Tour of Bologna

2-Hour Bike Tour of Bologna

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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.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$46.16
From
$46.16

Private tour of Santo Stefano Basilica and Corte Isolani

Private tour of Santo Stefano Basilica and Corte Isolani

Discover the Basilica of Santo Stefano and Le sette Chiese Visit the heritage and history of Santo Stefano Guided tour of the Island Court Final tasting of typical products
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$94.67
Price varies by group size
From
$94.67
Price varies by group size

Bologna : a walk into history

Bologna : a walk into history

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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.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$131.82
per group
From
$131.82
per group
Taking safety measures

Bologna Segway Tour

Bologna Segway Tour

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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.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$133.61
Price varies by group size
From
$133.61
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Private tour of Bologna with a local guide

Private tour of Bologna with a local guide

Stroll through the historic center of Bologna with a private guide during this walking tour. Learn about architecture from a local as you explore squares, arcades, churches, and palaces. See top landmarks including Piazza Maggiore and the old market, Mercato di Mezzo. Customize this private tour according to your interests.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$302.44
per group
From
$302.44
per group

Bologna City Center Private Tour with a Local Guide

Bologna City Center Private Tour with a Local Guide

Get an insider's view of Bologna, known as one of Italy's cultural and culinary capitals. This private walking tour gives you the undivided attention of an art historian guide, who reveals stories and secrets behind Bologna’s fountains, palaces, and churches. See highlights of the medieval city center, learn about important former residents, and browse the delicious products of the Emilia-Romagna region at a typical market. Ask all the questions you like for a personalized introduction to beautiful Bologna.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$179.76
Price varies by group size
From
$179.76
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Three Days in Bologna and Modena between Motor Culture and Cuisine

Three Days in Bologna and Modena between Motor Culture and Cuisine

I therefore want to give you some suggestions to discover Bologna, the red, the learned and the fat. Why is it so called? Red for the colors of the bricks with which the towers and palaces were built and for the political alignment of the inhabitants and for the car and engine houses that are located between Modena and Bologna. Dotta because it has the oldest university in the world. Cradle of culture. Fat for food (tortellini, lasagna, mortadella) and for the rounded shapes of the Bolognese girls. A three-day guided tour with guide and guide to discover the secrets of Bologna and its surroundings. A journey for everyone, a 360 ° view of the capital of Emilia thanks to our certified guides and escorts.
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  • 3 days
  • Free Cancellation
From
$906.91
Price varies by group size
From
$906.91
Price varies by group size

Bologna Highlights Small Group Tour with a Local Guide

Bologna Highlights Small Group Tour with a Local Guide

On this history-packed, small-group tour of Bologna, you’ll discover a mix of top attractions and under-the-radar sites. Wander along medieval-era canals, see a pair of towers that lean more than Pisa, and learn about the origins of the spectacular buildings in Piazza Maggiore. You’ll listen to entertaining facts and legends along the way.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$106.66
From
$106.66
Taking safety measures

Bologna Food Tour with Wine Tasting & Guided Sightseeing of Top Attractions

Bologna Food Tour with Wine Tasting & Guided Sightseeing of Top Attractions

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Bologna’s traditional cuisine is so important to the city’s identity that it is known affectionately as “La Grassa”, or “The Fat Lady”. With this walking tour, explore both the cultural and culinary highlights of this vibrant city, taking in its main square, churches, and towers, as well as strolling through the historic market to sample local specialties and wines—all while learning about their history and significance with a guide.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$118.64
From
$118.64

Historical Tour of Bologna

Historical Tour of Bologna

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A mix of art masterpieces, history, food stories, legends and secrets described by a local art lover with a great experience and knowledge of the city. The tour itself will be like a dive into history and time. All information about art will be experienced by the visitors as a trip enriched with details about life, food, culture, music and traditions of those ages.
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  • 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$47.94
From
$47.94
Taking safety measures

Bologna Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

Bologna Like a Local: Customized Private Tour

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Get to know the city through the eyes of a passionate local. With no set itinerary, you can customize the tour or leave it up to the local for an insightful introduction to the city. Make travel about the people you meet not just the places you see.
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  • 2 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$38.88
Price varies by group size
From
$38.88
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

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What's the best way to experience Basilica of Santo Stefano (Basilica di Santo Stefano)?