All posts by redazione

26 Mar 2019



Sala della Cultura | Via Castiglione, 8
Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio, antique home of one of the most important medieval families of Bologna, is the result of numerous architectural additions and interventions. Its story began in 1276, when Romeo Pepoli bought the first constructions and continued in 1344, when his son Taddeo Pepoli built the first nucleus of the Palace. The Pepoli family, the first to become Lords of Bologna, remained owners of the building until 1910.

During the modern times the Palace’s owners changed frequently and it even housed a tipography for a certain period of time.

In 2003 the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna bought the building and converted it into the Museum of the History of Bologna, with restoration and museum lay-out by Mario Bellini and graphic design by Italo Lupi. At the centre of the courtyard the architect Mario Bellini placed the “Tower of Time”, a glass and iron structure flooded with natural light from above. The Tower “reinvents” the courtyard and it recalls Bologna of the Towers, making the entire museum itinerary seamless between the ground and the noble floor. “The buildings’ destiny sometimes is like the one of men. They risk to be forgotten and to fall into an irreversible decay. Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio was risking this fate but today it returns to shine and to show the great history of Bologna in a new and surprising way. This museum for the city was set up, like all my display works, respecting (and separating) the container and the content so that they mutually enhance beauty and meaning. At the centre of the Palace a glass and iron tower reinvents the courtyard so that it regains its dignity and function. It seems like a magic lantern flooded with natural light from above gradually descending into pure transparency. It is almost an epiphany that makes you reflect about the passing of time” Mario Bellini.

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25 Mar 2019

San Giorgio
in Poggiale

Biblioteca d'arte e di storia di San Giorgio in Poggiale

Via Nazario Sauro, 20/2
Realized inside a 16th century church, the Art and History Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale has since 2009 housed the rich book patrimony of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio as well as important contemporary artworks: Campo dei Fiori and the monumental Delocazione by Claudio Parmiggiani, and the cycle Cattedrale by Piero Pizzi Cannella. The Library, whose lay-out was curated by the architect Michele de Lucchi, is also used as a venue for cultural events and exhibitions.

The Church of San Giorgio in Poggiale, of ancient Longobard origin, was planned and realized between 1589 and 1633 by the architect Tommaso Martelli and then consigned to the priests of the Servite Order until 1798. The name of the Library derives from the street in which it is located (today via Nazario Sauro), known as via del Poggiale until 1919. In 1797, after the Napoleonic suppressions, the Church was assigned as subsidiary to the Chapel of Saints Gregorio and Siro.
In 1882, the church was consigned to the Gesuits, that remained there until it was partially destroyed during an aerial bombardment on 25 September, 1943. After being deconsecrated and deprived of its artworks the Church was about to be demolished between 1959 and 1962. The building was then acquired by the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna and after an accurate restoration it was destined as a home for its collections. Since 2009 the Church has hosted the Library that bears its name.

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24 Mar 2019

San Colombano.
Tagliavini Collection

San Colombano. Tagliavini Collection

Via Parigi, 5
Acquired by Fondazione Carisbo in 2005, this is a religious building complex made up of a series of adjoining buildings joined together over the centuries. The oldest part is the church itself which is popularly believed to have been built at the behest of the Bishop of Bologna, Peter I, in around 610.

The three naved interior contains two 15th century Bologna school frescoes both depicting the Enthroned Virgin and Child. The adjoining Cappella della Madonna dell’Orazione, on the other hand, dates to 1591 and contains an image of the Virgin painted in 1399 by Bologna painter Lippo di Dalmasio. Restoration work sponsored by Fondazione Carisbo unearthed a 13th century burial site and a 13th century cross, definitively attributed to Giunta Pisano on the wall of a medieval crypt which had been completely buried and forgotten for centuries. The first-floor oratory is extremely fine, a Bologna art gem, and was the setting for what historian Carlo Cesare Malvasia has called “a glorious contest” between Carracci’s pupils resulting in a cycle of frescoes inspired by Christ’s Passion and Triumph. On the occasion of the year 1600 jubilee, the room’s decoration was entrusted to Ludovico Carracci’s best pupils, first and foremost Guido Reni, Domenichino and Francesco Albani.

San Colombano contains a collection of musical instruments gathered by Bologna musician and scholar Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini made up of ninety artefacts most of which have been perfectly restored, are fully functional and come from a range of Italian and European schools in a chronological arc covering five centuries, from 16th century treasures to popular 20th century instruments. It is keyboard instruments of various types which predominate (from harpsichords to pianos, organs to clavichords) many of which were decorated with paintings. San Colombano’s packed events calendar includes visits to the building complex and the music collection, concerts and conferences. San Colombano also contains the specialist library of the late lamented Bologna musicologist Oscar Mischiati.

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23 Mar 2019


Santa Lucia

Aula Magna - Via Castiglione, 36 | Aula Absidale - Via de’ Chiari, 25
With the conferral of an honorary degree on His Majesty the King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, Santa Lucia’s Aula Magna was inaugurated on May 5, 1988. The initiative of rector Fabio Roversi-Monaco, the unity of purpose between the City of Bologna and the University, and the fundamental contributions for restoration provided by the Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna, Banca Popolare di Bologna e Ferrara, Banca Popolare di Milano, Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, Trevi S.p.A. and Impresa Montanari allowed for the full restoration of the Aula Magna in less than a year: in time for Santa Lucia’s 900th anniversary. All restorations were undertaken in accordance with modern conceptions and in collaboration with Bologna’s Department of Architectural Heritage.

The origins of the Church- like those of the entire Castiglione – Cartolerie – De’ Chiari neighbourhood- are ancient. The historian Masini dates its foundation back to 432 AD. A succession of events prevented completion of the Church’s façade and monumental apse for nearly two centuries. During this time, rites were celebrated in one section of the nave, temporarily closed off. In 1866, the royal domain seized the Church and appropriated it for use first as a barracks, then as a gymnasium and finally, as a laboratory for the Aldini Valeriani Institute.

Santa Lucia’s Apsidal Room was inaugurated about two years after the Aula Magna. The room seats more than 350 people and is adjacent to the Church’s service areas (cloakroom, toilets, pressroom, drawing room). The Apsidal Room has curtain walls- with a metallic grid structure and glass panes- inset in the curves defined by the uncompleted transepts, and abutting the Aula Magna’s two side courtyards. A screen links the Apsidal Room to the Aula Magna.*

*Text taken from “S. Lucia, Growth and Rebirth of the Church and Colleges of the Society of Jesus, 1623-1988.” 1988. Story of an Uncompleted Urban Transformation, edited by Roberto Scannavini, Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale.

21 Mar 2019

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio

Teatro Anatomico | Stabat Mater | Aula delle Conferenze Società Medica Chirurgica di Bologna - Piazza Luigi Galvani, 1
The monumental 16th century building of Archiginnasio is one of the most meaningful palaces of Bologna. It was built in only one year and half between 1562 and 1563, and in the pope’s intentions the “new schools’ building” had to join and dignify the several University schools of the city, to give importance to the Bolognese studies in the face of the competition with the new European University centres.

The palace is irregularly built on the previous structures, and moves around a central courtyard with a double loculus order and is enriched with vaults, stairways, arcades and architectural elements of a great value. The two rooms that will host the events of the Festival of Medical Science are the two original lecture halls that were attributed to the Artists and to the Jurists.

20 Mar 2019

Re Enzo

Palazzo Re Enzo

Salone del Podestà | Sala di Re Enzo | Sala degli Atti | Punto informazioni - Piazza del Nettuno, 1/C
Palazzo Re Enzo was built in the 14th century immediately after the Palazzo del Podestà, and it was called originally New Palace to distinguish it from the latter; its function was new indeed, since it had to include the widespread representatives of the people.

It became later the forced house of King Enzo of Sardinia, son of the Emperor Frederick II, who, captured during a war, was imprisoned there for 23 years, until his death. The Palazzo was rebuilt and restored several times, and it is one of the most important venues of the city. The crenelated profile of the building faces Nettuno Square and bears witness to the splendour of Bologna during the Middle Ages.

19 Mar 2019

Palazzo Poggi


Via Zamboni, 33
The Senate of Bologna acquired Palazzo Poggi in 1711 to host the Institute of Sciences and Arts established by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili. After nearly three centuries, the great rooms – adorned with frescos by the celebrated painters Pellegrino Tibaldi, Nicolò dell’Abate and Prospero Fontana – once more accommodate the historic collections of geography and navigation, military architecture, physics, natural history, chemistry, human anatomy and obstetrics. The 16th-century Aldrovandi museum is located next door.

The Museum’s Human Anatomy and Obstetrics section displays the important collection of wax anatomical models. These models garnered Bologna fame in the 1700s, earning the appreciation of the international scientific community which- from the 1600s on- was forced to resort to wax given the scarcity of cadavers and the poor results obtained from their conservation. The evocative work of wax carvers Ercole Lelli (1702-1766), Anna Morandi (1714-1774) and Giovanni Manzolini (1700-1755) is displayed beside the terracotta collection used for instruction in Bologna’s school of obstetrics, founded by physician Giovanni Antonio Galli (1708-1782).

Image: Room of Ercole Lelli’s Wax Anatomical Models – Palazzo Poggi Museum
© University of Bologna

18 Mar 2019


Casa Saraceni

Via Luigi Carlo Farini, 15
Considered one of the most interesting buildings of the “Bolognese” Renaissance between the fifteenth and the sixteenth centuries, with its façade Casa Saraceni is an example of the encounter between the Bolognese tradition and the architectural novelties from Florence. Its rich terracotta decoration stands out alternating with the sandstone of the portico capitals.

Antonio Saraceni’s residence in early sixteenth-century, its famous guests include two Veneto Ambassadors among Pope Julius II’s suite. In 1930, it was purchased by Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna, restored and refurnished in neo-Renaissance style. The grand staircase was decorated with grotesques by Roberto Franzoni, author also of the allegorical panels in the ceremonial hall of the main floor. The halls contain Bolognese seventeenth century and eighteenth-century paintings belonging to the Foundation art and history collections. Among them, the series of finely framed eighteenth-century tempera paintings by the landscape painter Vincenzo Martinelli and the figure painter Nicola Bertuzzi stand out, which were once contained in the villa La Sampiera on the Bolognese hills. More recently, the building became the seat of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna, which promoted a wide and complex restoration.
Today, it is open to the public on the occasion of art exhibitions and cultural events on the ground floor.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2 – 7 p.m.
Friday, April 24th, and Saturday 25th, 2 – 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 26th, 12 o’clock – 6 p.m.

Free entry

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17 Mar 2019

“Luigi Cattaneo” Anatomical Institutes


Anatomical Institutes | Via Irnerio, 48
The “Luigi Cattaneo” Collection of Wax Anatomical Models is displayed in a free, open space.  Along with preserving, displaying and caring for our inheritance from the past, the space aspires to produce new scientific knowledge. The normal and pathological human anatomy collection illustrates the path undertaken by scholars of medical science in the 18th and 19th centuries. Having acquired understanding of the true nature of the human body, they turned to investigating its pathologies. The wax models, bones and dried specimens constitute an important learning nucleus which completes, in the succession of scientific discoveries, the Palazzo Poggi Museum’s 18th century collection of normal human anatomy. The exhibit thus represents the continuum of medical studies, in which the city of Bologna excelled in the 1700s and 1800s.

Image: “Luigi Cattaneo” Collection of Wax Anatomical Models
© University of Bologna

17 Mar 2019

Anthropological Collections


Via Selmi, 3
The Anthropological collections are displayed in the space that Fabio Frassetto- founder, in 1908, of Bologna’s School of Anthropology- dedicated in 1933 to a didactic Anthropology Museum. His aim was to collect and display artefacts and instruments so that the students in his courses might learn about human variability. From then on, the collections have been continuously enriched with anthropometric instruments, plastic facial reproductions modelled on live subjects and on stereoscopic photographs and cranial characteristics, plaster busts, mural panels and fossil casts. A yurt demonstrates the traditional dwelling of Eurasian steppe populations.
The collection of human and other primate skeletons demonstrates the history and evolution of anthropological studies, the story of human evolution and our modern form (Homo sapiens): distinctive in its diversity and indivisibility, given that races do not exist.

The modern human skeleton collection (late 19th– early 20th century) comes from cemeteries in Sardinia and Emilia-Romagna. Each skeleton is identified by age at time of death, sex and cause of death. This remarkable archive recounts the biological and cultural history of humankind and that of the Italian population during this period.


Image: Anthropological Collection
© University of Bologna/Antonio Todero

15 Mar 2019

Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute


Scientific Library | Via Giulio Cesare Pupilli, 1
Situated in the hills immediately to the south of Bologna, the San Michele in Bosco monastery complex is the historic headquarters of the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute. It’s a monumental area of extraordinary architectural and artistic value, rich in artwork spanning more than four centuries.

An octagonal cloister featuring frescoes by Ludovico Carracci and Guido Reni, the former monks’ refectory decorated by Giorgio Vasari, and a library filled with frescos painted by Domenico Maria Canuti in the 1600s: these are some of San Michele in Bosco’s unique sights.

The library occupies 16th-century rooms on the first floor of the monastery, where the “bookshop” of the Olivetan Monks was once headquartered. The majestic globe was created from descriptions of cartographers and expert travellers in 1762. The library’s patrimony of written works represents one of the most complete and rare collections in the field of orthopaedics.

The San Michele in Bosco Park surrounds the Institute. The park dates to 1890, when work was still underway to adapt the old monastery to the requirements of a hospital. The vision of Bologna from the park’s panoramic viewpoint has been celebrated across the centuries: “Seated under imposing oaks, we savour in silence one of the most immense views in the universe,” wrote Stendhal during his 1817 visit to Bologna.

14 Mar 2019

Dep. of Biomedical &
Neuro-Motor Sciences

Department of Biomedical and Neuro-Motor Sciences

Aula Bigari - Via San Vitale, 59
Situated in Bologna city centre, Aula Bigari (originally Oratorio della Compagnia dei Santi Sebastiano e Rocco) is part of University of Bologna’s Department of Biomedical and Neuro-Motor Sciences and has hosted Odontoiatria Bolognese since 1918.

The room is inside a historic building which was once the site of the Conservatorio or Collegio Femminile di Santa Marta, from the 16th century to 1801.

10 Mar 2019

Conservatoire Giovan Battista
Martini Bologna

Conservatoire Giovan Battista Martini Bologna

Sala Bossi - Piazza Rossini, 2
In 1802, the city of Bologna embarked upon the project to give the city a musical high school and conservatoire, housed in the convent of S. Giacomo next the Church of S. Giacomo.

The new school’s curriculum was expected to include lessons in composition, singing, piano, violin and viola, violoncello and double base, oboe and English horn. And so it was that, on Monday, 3 December 1804, the shiny new Liceo Filarmonico of Bologna opened its doors, becoming the heart of the future Conservatoire “Giambattista Martini”. Over the decades, Bologna’s Conservatoire brought in more and more subjects and more and more students and teachers. It expanded to encompass 30 classrooms. It enjoyed the teaching and input of musicians engaged as composers, orchestra directors and course directors and as instrumental soloists. The Conservatoire of Bologna is located at no. 2 Piazza Rossini next to the magnificent Church of S. Giacomo Maggiore and its cloister, and overlooks another cloister. It is small but mighty. In 2004, its door proudly declared, or rather sang, Io la Musica son, the beautiful music and lyrics by Claudio Monteverdi.