The “Finestrella di Bologna” and the Little Venice in via Piella

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Finestrella di Bologna little Venice in via Piella
Finestrella di Bologna little Venice in via Piella

The “Finestrella di Bologna” with over 19,000 posts on Instagram has become in a few years one of the most crowded attractions in the capital.

In the days when the historic center is crossed by thousands of tourists it is not uncommon to see a long line of people waiting to peek and catch the picturesque glimpse of the “Little Venice”.

Table of content

Finestrella di Bologna in a Nutshell

We are a few steps from Via dell’Indipendenza, there is no trace of any river and yet just turn the corner to see something unexpected.

The window takes us back in time, revealing to our eyes the ancient canal of the Navile dating back to the twelfth century. However, this view is relatively young in fact it was reopened only in 1998, since then its fame has spread and today it is mentioned by many tourist guides.

Where is it?

The window of Bologna is located in via Piella, 16 / a 40126 Bologna.

Costs and hours

The place is accessible free of charge 24 hours a day.

Little Venice is one of the seven secrets of Bologna

If you love folk tales and legends you will surely be pleased to know that this attraction is part of a list of seven mysterious places to see in Bologna.

Yet there is a secret that many guides do not reveal, in addition to the view of Via Piella there are two other points from which you can enjoy the view of the underground river!

Just reach the parallel streets, Via Malcontenti or Via Oberdan, and here you can admire the canal from two wonderful alternative views: from via Oberdan an iron gate awaits you that seems to project you directly into the canal, from the opposite side you can look out from a small stone wall.

The Moline Canal

Finestrella di Bologna and the Little Venice in via Piella - Canal of Moline
The Moline canal ©

As we have already said, the Moline canal dates back to the medieval period and the stretch visible today is what was saved from the works carried out between the early twentieth century and the post-war period.

At that time the canal was almost entirely covered with asphalt, it is no coincidence that the road that passes over the underground river took the name of “Via riva di Reno” (Reno’s riverside).

Initially built as a moat for the second wall, the canal acquired various functions over the years. There were installed wash houses with a drawbridge mechanism and over time 15 water mills were placed for grinding grain.

A padlock that will guard everlasting love

The window is considered one of the most romantic places in Bologna, this is likely the trigger for a trend that has recently spread.

In fact, walking near the canal, especially on the Via Oberdan viewpoint, you will notice hundreds of padlocks attached to the railings. Promises of eternal love or more simply the initials of lovers have been engraved on the padlocks.

If you are planning a weekend with your partner, do not miss our suggestions for finding a romantic accommodation in Bologna!

Domande Frequenti sulla Finestrella

The Finestrella overlooks the ancient Moline canal and allows you to see that image that many call the “Little Venice

Continue to discover Bologna!

L’antica città Felsinea nasconde innumerevoli luoghi fantastici tra le sue strette strade e i vicoli medievali. Scopri i 10 luoghi da vedere assolutamente oppure fatti guidare da un esperto scegliendo tra i migliori tour di Bologna.

The ancient Felsinea city hides countless fantastic places among its narrow streets and medieval alleys. Discover the 10 must-see places or let yourself be guided by an expert choosing from the best tours in Bologna.

4.8/5 - (6 votes)
This article was written by:
Ivan Agolino
I am a curious traveler and I passionately dedicate myself to the search for new tastes and emotions. I have made Bologna my home and every day I venture into its alleys to discover some new secret that I transcribe in these articles. I hope I can convey all the love I feel for this splendid city!
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