As mentioned, during the 5th century AD, a large part of Bologna was abandoned and fell into degradation. The Roman administrative and political structures of the city had been dissolved.
The local church now becomes a point of reference. The Archbishops Felice and Petronius, both disciples of Saint Ambrogio, served not only as religious figures but had the responsibility of preserving the city. Bishop Petronius was the head of the diocese from 432 to 450 and the inhabitants turned to him for support and protection.
In the late 11th century, Bishop Petronius is named the patron of the city and the Basilica of Piazza Maggiore bears his name. San Petronio is celebrated on 4th October which is a public holiday in Bologna.
According to legend, San Petronius is also responsible for building and designing the Church of Santo Stefano.
This statue is located at Piazza Ravegnana. It is said that Bishop Petronius would bless travellers and troops on their way to Ravenna at this point.
San Petronio at Piazza Ravegnana