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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

The building

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.


Book Collection
The Collection comprises 100.000 books, of which about 60.000 are part of archives, acquisitions, bequests or donations and it is mainly constituted by volumes about the local art and history.
The archives listed in alphabetical order are: Ambrosini, Boschetto, Castagnetti, Grazia, Puzzarini, Sassoli e Silvani. At the end of the 1980’s, a further historical nucleus formed around 1837 (date of establishment of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna) was added to the Collection, in which antique and modern texts are available.

Newspaper Library
The newspaper and periodical Collection comprises various titles from the end of the XVIII century to present day: from the 18th century “Gazzetta di Bologna” and the 19th century “Il caffè di Petronio” right up to today’s newspapers and periodicals.

Photographic Archive
The photographic Library contains about 60.000 items, articulated in different archives. The history of the photographic archive began in the first half of the last century, when the Curator of the Collections of the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna realized the importance to acquire documents that could testify the urban transformation of Bologna after the actualization of the city planning act in 1889. The acquisition of Pietro Poppi’s archive, composed by approximatey 3.000 photo plates, dates back to 1940.
The other archives, in alphabetical order, are the following: Fantini, Fototecnica Bolognese, Leonotti, Mengoli, Michelini, Romagnoli.

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.
23 Mar 2019

Aula Magna Santa Lucia

Aula Magna di Santa Lucia

Via Castiglione, 36
The Aula Magna di Santa Lucia was inaugurated on 5 May 1988 with the conferring of an honorary degree on His Majesty, King of Spain Juan Carlos I.

Rector Fabio Roversi-Monaco’s initiative, the unity of purpose between the Municipality of Bologna and the University, the fundamental contribution to the restoration by several banks and other institutions contributed to giving full functionality to the great hall on the occasion of the celebrations of the ninth centenary in less than a year.

All restoration work was carried out based on modern concepts and in collaboration with the Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali Architettonici of Bologna.

The origins of the Church and the whole complex Castiglione – Cartolerie – De’ Chiari are remote. According to Masini, its foundation dates back to the 5th century.

Several events followed one another and the Church façade and monumental apse were left unfinished for almost two centuries, during which Mass was said with a makeshift closing of the nave.

In 1866, it was appropriated by the Crown Property and used as barracks first, then as a gym and finally as laboratory of the Istituto Aldini Valeriani.

Since 1988, the Aula Magna has been living again a great season of important cultural events, welcoming personalities of international repute.

Aula Magna Santa Lucia
22 Mar 2019

Aula Absidale di
Santa Lucia

Aula Absidale di Santa Lucia

Via Dè Chiari, 25
The former church of Santa Lucia, whose charmingly unfinished front stands halfway down Via Castiglione, was solemnly inaugurated in May 1988 on the occasion of the celebrations organized by former Rector Fabio Roversi-Monaco for the Ninth Centenary of the University of Bologna, who purchased and restored it for the University.

The building hosts the Aula Magna of the University in the central nave and the Aula Absidale, between the seventeenth-century apse and the nineteenth-century apse. Characterized by its imposing baroque spatiality, it was commissioned in 1623 by the Jesuits to the great architect Girolamo Rainaldi, who proposed the Chiesa del Gesù in Rome as a model. Works lasted for years and the building was completed only around mid-nineteenth century by the Barnabites.

Neglected for decades, the church has been finally rehabilitated thanks to the University of Bologna, which promoted its restoration carried out by architect Roberto Scannavini according to the most modern and advanced architectural and technological standards, making it one of the most famous university great halls in the world.

Aula Absidale Santa Lucia
21 Mar 2019

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio

Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio

Teatro Anatomico | Aula dello 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” or Archiginnasio 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

Museo di Palazzo Poggi | Via Zamboni, 33
The current structure of Palazzo Poggi building dates back to remodeling and expansion work done in the 16th century on a home purchased by the Poggi family at the end of the 15th century.

Around mid 16th century, Giovanni Poggi, a powerful clergyman in the Pope’s court, had the idea of expanding and improving the palace. Some scholars attribute the design of the remodeling to Pellegrino Tibaldi, others to Bartolomeo Triachini and others yet to Gaetano Alessi. The plans called for  a two storey building, with an imposing façade on via San Donato (today via Zamboni), an atrium and a lodge with a portico, and a staircase leading to the “piano nobile”.
Most of the laboratories of the Istituto delle Scienze were housed right there on the first floor, where the museum is located today, starting from 1711.
The tower of  the La Specola astronomical observatory was completed in 1726, on a design by G.A. Torri and C.F. Dotti, while the Aula Magna of the Institute’s Library (today the University Library) was completed in 1744 from blueprints by C.F. Dotti.
During the Napoleonic era, from 1803 to 1805 the headquarters of the University was transferred from the Archiginnasio to Palazzo Poggi.

The Palazzo Poggi Museum did not originate from collections accumulated over time. Its unique feature consists in being a re-composition of the laboratories and collections from the old Istituto delle Scienze, founded by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili (1658-1730), which was housed in the rooms of Palazzo Poggi from 1711 to 1799.
The Istituto delle Scienze was the first public scientific institution devoted to research and scientific education according to a methodology of direct observation and laboratory experimentation. Because of its state-of-the-art instruments and methodologies as well as the fields of research it pursued ranging from natural history, to archeology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, anatomy, mathematical and rational mechanical applications, the Istituto delle Scienze constituted a sort of “encyclopedia of the senses” for European scientists.
Additional attractions housed in the Institute were the Wunderkammer that belonged to Ferdinando Cospi (1606-1686) as well as Ulisse Aldrovandi’s collection (1522-1605). Another feature that distinguished the Istituto from other scientific academies was the artistic value of its setting. In fact Palazzo Poggi held the most prestigious 16th century  paintings in the Po valley area, including mural paintings by Niccolò dell’Abate, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Prospero Fontana, Nosadella and Ercole Procaccini.

When the Napoleonic reforms  were enforced for academies and universities, the extremely valuable assets of the Istituto delle Scienze were divided up among the laboratories of the different departments of the university. Later they became the historical core of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, the Museo Civico Archeologico and the Musei Civici d’Arte Antica.
In addition to making the rooms of the 16th century palazzo that during the 18th century had housed the Istituto delle Scienze accessible to the public again, in the Autumn of 2000 the University of Bologna restored the building to its historical functions.  Rooms that for many years had been used as offices and storage spaces were returned to their original function as containers of 18th century scientific instruments, equipment and collection specimens.

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.
On the occasion of the Festival della Scienza Medica, Casa Saraceni can be visited with the following visiting hours:

Thursday 9th May: 02.00 pm – 07.00 pm

Friday 10th and *Saturday 11th May: 02.00 pm – 08.00 pm

*Sunday 12th May: 12.00 pm – 06.00 pm

*Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May: guided tours (no reservation needed) by I.I.S.S. J.M. Keynes (Castel Maggiore BO) students

Free admittance

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17 Mar 2019

“Luigi Cattaneo” Istituti Anatomici

Istituti anatomici

Collezione delle cere anatomiche "Luigi Cattaneo" - Istituti anatomici

Via Irnerio, 48
The normal and pathological human anatomy collection of the Museum shows the path followed by 18th and 19th centuries medical sciences scholars who, after having acquired all the knowledge about the real nature of the human body, would start to study its diseases.

The wax sculptures, natural and dried bones are an important material with valuable didactic purposes that completes the 18th century normal anatomy collection of the Palazzo Poggi Museums, representing thus a continuum in the medical research stranding out in Bologna between the 18th and the 19th centuries.

16 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 Rossetti 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.

16 Mar 2019

Chiesa di
San Giovanni in Monte

San Giovanni in Monte

Piazza San Giovanni in Monte, 3
According to an ancient tradition, the Church of San Giovanni in Monte was built by the will of the bishop Petronio in the fifth century and consecrated by the same in May 435 A.D. The building was built on a natural hillock that in ancient times was called Monte Oliveto. Since the eighth century and until the arrival of Napoleon, the vast complex of San Giovanni in Monte was ruled by the Lateran Canons. With the arrival of the unitary state, the church and the monastery suffered a forced separation and the space previously used by the Canons was turned into a city prison. Just recently the complex has been restored for university use. The absolutely original façade is in ferrarese-gothic style, the only example in Bologna, and it is harmonious and slender thanks to the brick pillars that recall the internal subdivision. The original project was commissioned to Domenico Berardi da Carpi during the Renaissance and it consisted in a façade covered with friezes, columns and statues, but it was never realized. Nevertheless, in 1482 Niccolò dell’Arca created a large terracotta eagle, symbol of St John the Evangelist, which is placed above the door.

The church was then modified in the centuries and particularly in the fifteen hundreds. Today it appears as a synthesis of what it remains from the original building of mid thirteenth century (choir and presbyterian area) and what was later achieved with the construction of the main body of the nave and the lateral transepts of the fifteenth century, inspired by the Basilica of San Petronio. The interior is airy and elegant, in a synthesis of balance between the Gothic style and the influences coming from the Petronian Basilica.

The building preserves several unique works and especially many of the fourteenth century.

14 Mar 2019

Teatro arena FICO Eatalyworld

Teatro Arena Fico Eatalyworld

Via Paolo Canali, 8
The Teatro Arena of FICO Eatalyworld is a large circular shaped amphitheatre located at the crossroads of FICO, where its two main streets, the decumanus and the cardo, intersect.

FICO is the largest agri-food park in the world, a sensorial education training ground for food and biodiversity, where the Italian agri-food and food-and-wine wonders are displayed and narrated from their growth in the ground to their arrival into dishes and glasses.
Equipped with a parquet flooring circular stage, a total area of 80 square meters, a back of the stage, the area has been designed by Paolo Castelli, an internationally renowned designer. During the day, it is lit by natural light and in the evening by a picturesque lighting system by Artemide.

The Teatro Arena is the ideal premise for conferences and shows and ensures full visibility as the obligatory passage for all visitors of the park.
Guests can enjoy shows comfortably sitting on three levels of large semi-circular terraces, fully immersed in its atmosphere; the professional lighting system and the bose audio system make it all an immersive experience. The realization of the event is ensured by the support of Fico technicians.

Despite the fact that the park opened a short time ago, the Teatro Arena calendar is full of events: indeed, it regularly hosts concerts, theatrical performances, exhibitions, dance courses, creative workshops, press conferences and company meetings.

10 Mar 2019

Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli

Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli

Sala Vasari | Via Giulio Cesare Pupilli, 1
The San Michele in Bosco monastic complex, on the first ring of hills outside Bologna, is the historic seat of Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli. It is a historical monument of great architectural and artistic value containing art works dating back more than 400 years.

Spaces of interest at San Michele in Bosco include its octagonal cloister frescoed by Ludovico Carracci and Guido Reni, a library frescoed in the 17th century by Domenico Maria Canuti and the former refectory decorated by Giorgio Vasari.

Currently hosting international science events, Sala Vasari was built in 1445. It is roofed with cloister vaults and conserves a frieze divided up into segments made up of a central tondo containing Apocalypse figures and two rectangles on either side depicting the various Olivetan monasteries as they looked in the 16th century.
The San Michele in Bosco park is also part of the complex and was created as a setting for the health institute in 1890 when work to make the building suitable for use as a hospital was still under way.

The belvedere has views over Bologna which have been much celebrated over the centuries. “Lying below imposing oaks we enjoy one of the widest views in the universe in silence”, wrote Stendhal, who visited Bologna in 1817.

07 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.