Bologna (, , ; egl, label=, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital and largest city of the region in . It is the seventh most populous city in Italy with about 390,000 inhabitants and 150 different nationalities. Its is home to more than 1,000,000 people. Originally n, the city has been one of the most important urban centres for centuries, first under the Etruscans (who called it ''Felsina''), then under the Celts as ''Bona'', later under the Romans (''Bonōnia''), then again in the , as a free municipality and ', when it was among the . Famous for its towers, churches and lengthy es, Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s. Home to the ,Hunt Janin: "The university in medieval life, 1179–1499", McFarland, 2008, , p. 55f.de Ridder-Symoens, Hilde
''A History of the University in Europe: Volume 1, Universities in the Middle Ages''
Cambridge University Press, 1992, , pp. 47–55
the , established in AD 1088, the city has a large student population that gives it a cosmopolitan character. In 2000 it was declared and in 2006, a "City of Music" and became part of the . Bologna is an important agricultural, industrial, financial and transport hub, where many large mechanical, electronic and food companies have their headquarters as well as one of the largest permanent trade fairs in Europe. According to the most recent data gathered by the European Regional Economic Growth Index (E-REGI) of 2009, Bologna is the first Italian city and the 47th European city in terms of its economic growth rate. As a consequence, Bologna is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country: in 2020 it ranked 1st out of 107 Italian provinces.


Antiquity and Middle Ages

Traces of human habitation in the area of Bologna go back to the 3rd millennium BCE, with significant settlements from about the 9th century BCE (). The influence of reached the area in the 7th to 6th centuries, and the Etruscan city of ''Felsina'' was founded at the site of Bologna by the end of the 6th century. By the 4th century BCE, the site was occupied by the , and it became a Roman colony and municipium with the name of ''Bonōnia'' in 196 BCE. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Bologna, then a frontier outpost of the , was repeatedly sacked by the ; it is in this period that legendary Bishop , according to ancient chronicles, rebuilt the ruined town and founded the . Petronius is still revered as patron saint of Bologna. In 727–28, the city was sacked and captured by the under King , becoming part of that kingdom. These Germanic conquerors built an important new quarter, called "addizione longobarda" (Italian meaning "Longobard addition") near the complex of St. Stephen. In the last quarter of the 8th century, , at the request of Pope , invaded the Lombard Kingdom, causing its eventual demise. Occupied by Frankish troops in 774 on behalf of the papacy, Bologna remained under imperial authority and prospered as a frontier of the . Bologna was the center of a revived study of law, including the scholar (''c'' 1050 – after 1125) and his famous students, the . After the death of in 1115, Bologna obtained substantial concessions from Emperor . However, when subsequently attempted to strike down the deal, Bologna joined the , which then defeated the imperial armies at the and established an effective autonomy at the in 1183. Subsequently, the town began to expand rapidly and became one of the main commercial trade centres of northern Italy thanks to a system of canals that allowed barges and ships to come and go. Believed to have been established in 1088, the is widely considered the . The university originated as a centre for the study of under major s, including . It numbered , and among its students.
– Università di Bologna
The medical school was especially renowned. By 1200, Bologna was a thriving commercial and artisanal centre of about 10,000 people. During a campaign to support the imperial cities of and against Bologna, 's son, , was defeated and captured on 26 May 1249 at the . Though the emperor demanded his release, Enzo was thenceforth kept a knightly prisoner in Bologna, in a palace that came to be named after him. Every attempt to escape or to rescue him failed, and he died after more than 22 years in captivity. After the death of his half-brothers in 1254, in 1256 and in 1266, as well as the execution his nephew in 1268, he was the last of the heirs. During the late 1200s, Bologna was affected by political instability when the most prominent families incessantly fought for the control of the town. The free commune was severely weakened by decades of infighting, allowing the Pope to impose the rule of his envoy Cardinal in 1327. Du Pouget was eventually ousted by a popular rebellion and Bologna became a under Taddeo Pepoli in 1334. By the arrival of the in 1348, Bologna had 40,000 to 50,000 inhabitants, reduced to just 20,000 to 25,000 after the plague. In 1350, Bologna was conquered by , the new lord of Milan. However, following a rebellion by the town's governor, a renegade member of the Visconti family, Bologna was recuperated to the papacy in 1363 by Cardinal after a long negotiation involving a huge indemnity paid to , Giovanni's heir, who died in 1354. In 1376, Bologna again revolted against Papal rule and joined Florence in the unsuccessful . However, extreme infighting inside the Holy See after the prevented the papacy from restoring its domination over Bologna, so it remained relatively independent for some decades as an oligarchic republic. In 1401, took power in a coup with the support of Milan, but the Milanese, having turned his back on them and allied with Florence, marched on Bologna and had Giovanni killed the following year. In 1442, , Giovanni's nephew, recovered Bologna from the Milanese, only to be assassinated in a conspiracy plotted by Pope three years later. But the of the was then firmly established, and the power passed to his cousin , who ruled until 1462, followed by . Giovanni II managed to resist the expansionist designs of for some time, but on 7 October 1506, Pope issued a bull deposing and Bentivoglio and placing the city under . When the papal troops, along with a contingent sent by , marched against Bologna, Bentivoglio and his family fled. Julius II entered the city triumphantly on 10 November.

Early modern

The period of Papal rule over Bologna (1506–1796) has been generally evaluated by historians as one of severe decline. However, this was not evident in the 1500s, which were marked by some major developments in Bologna. In 1530, was in Bologna, the last of the s to be crowned by the pope. In 1564, the Piazza del Nettuno and the were built, along with the , the main building of the university. The period of Papal rule saw also the construction of many churches and other religious establishments, and the restoration of older ones. At this time, Bologna had ninety-six convents, more than any other Italian city. Painters working in Bologna during this period established the which includes , , and others of European fame.Raimond Van Marle. ''The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting, Volume 4'' (1924) pp 394–481. It was only towards the end of the 16th century that severe signs of decline began to manifest. A series of plagues in the late 16th to early 17th century reduced the population of the city from some 72,000 in the mid-16th century to about 47,000 by 1630. During the alone Bologna lost up to a third of its population. In the mid-17th century, population stabilized at roughly 60,000, slowly increasing to some 70,000 by the mid-18th century. The economy of Bologna started to show signs of severe decline as the global centres of trade shifted towards the Atlantic. The traditional silk industry was in a critical state. The university was losing students, who once came from all over Europe, because of the illiberal attitudes of the Church towards culture (especially after the ). Bologna continued to suffer a progressive deindustrialisation also in the 18th century. In the mid-1700s pope , a Bolognese, tried to reverse the decline of the city with a series of reforms intended to stimulate the economy and promote the arts. However, these reforms achieved only mixed results. The pope's efforts to stimulate the decaying textile industry had little success, while he was more successful in reforming the tax system, liberalising trade and relaxing the oppressive system of censorship. The economic and demographic decline of Bologna became even more noticeable starting from the second half of the 18th century. In 1790 the city had 72,000 inhabitants, ranking as the second largest in the Papal States; however this figure had remained unchanged for decades. The economy was stagnant because of Papal policies that distorted trade with heavy custom duties and sold concessions of monopolies to single manufacturers thus lowering competition, depressing productivity and incentivising corruption.

Modern history

entered Bologna on 19 June 1796. Napoleon briefly reinstated the ancient mode of government, giving power to the Senate, which however had to swear fealty to the short lived , created as a of the at the congress of Reggio (27 December 1796 – 9 January 1797) but succeeded by the on 9 July 1797, later by the and finally the . After the fall of Napoleon, the of 1815 restored Bologna to the s. Papal rule was contested in the . The insurrected provinces planned to unite as the ' with Bologna as capital. asked for help against the rebels. warned French king against intervention in Italian affairs, and in the spring of 1831, Austrian forces marched across the Italian peninsula, defeating the rebellion by 26 April. By the mid 1840s, unemployment levels were very high and traditional industries continued to languish or disappear; Bologna became a city of economic disparity with the top 10 percent of the population living off rent, another 20 percent exercising professions or commerce and 70 percent working in low-paid, often insecure manual jobs. The Papal census of 1841 reported 10,000 permanent beggars and another 30,000 (out of a total population of 70,000) who lived in poverty. In the the Austrian garrisons which controlled the city on behalf of the Pope were temporarily expelled, but eventually came back and crushed the revolutionaries. Papal rule finally ended in the aftermath of , when the French and Pidemontese troops expelled the Austrians from Italian lands, on 11 and 12 March 1860, Bologna voted to join the new . In the last decades of the 19th century, Bologna once again thrived economically and socially. In 1863 Naples was linked to Rome by railway, and the following year Bologna to Florence. Bolognese moderate agrarian elites, that supported liberal insurgencies against the papacy and were admirers of the British political system and of free trade, envisioned a unified national state that would open a bigger market for the massive agricultural production of the Emilian plains. Indeed, Bologna gave Italy one of its first prime ministers, . After , Bologna was heavily involved in the socialist uprisings. As a consequence, the traditionally moderate elites of the city turned their back on the progressive faction and gave their support to the rising movement of . , a high-ranking Fascist party official and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, remembered for being an Anglophile, was from Bologna. During the , Bologna developed into an important manufacturing centre for food processing, agricultural machinery and metalworking. The Fascist regime poured in massive investments, for example with the setting up of a giant tobacco manufacturing plant in 1937.

World War II

Bologna suffered extensive damage during . The strategic importance of the city as an industrial and railway hub connecting northern and central Italy made it . On 24 July 1943, a massive aerial bombardment destroyed a significant part of the historic city centre and killed about 200 people. The main railway station and adjoining areas were severely hit, and 44% of the buildings in the centre were listed as having been destroyed or severely damaged. The city was heavily bombed again on 25 September. The raids, which this time were not confined to the city centre, left 2,481 people dead and 2,000 injured. By the end of the war, 43% of all buildings in Bologna had been destroyed or damaged. After the , the city became a key centre of the . On 7 November 1944, a pitched battle around , waged by partisans of the 7th Brigade of the ''Gruppi d'Azione Patriottica'' against and Nazi occupation forces, did not succeed in triggering a general uprising, despite being one of the largest resistance-led urban conflicts in the European theatre. Resistance forces entered Bologna on the morning of 21 April 1945. By this time, the Germans had already largely left the city in the face of the Allied advance, spearheaded by Polish forces advancing from the east during the which had been fought since 9 April. First to arrive in the centre was the 87th Infantry Regiment of the Friuli Combat Group under general , who entered the centre from ''Porta Maggiore'' to the south. Since the soldiers were dressed in British outfits, they were initially thought to be part of the allied forces; when the local inhabitants heard the soldiers were speaking Italian, they poured out onto the streets to celebrate.

Cold War period

In the post-war years, Bologna became a thriving industrial centre as well as a political stronghold of the . Between 1945 and 1999, the city was helmed by an uninterrupted succession of from the PCI and its successors, the and , the first of whom was . At the end of the 1960s the city authorities, worried by massive and , asked Japanese to sketch a master plan for a north of Bologna; however, the project that came out in 1970 was evaluated as too ambitious and expensive. Eventually the city council, in spite of vetoing Tange's master plan, decided to keep his project for a . At the end of 1978 the construction of a tower block and several diverse buildings and structures started. In 1985 the headquarters of the regional government of moved in the new district. In 1977, Bologna was the scene of linked to the , a spontaneous political movement of the time. The police shooting of a activist, , sparked two days of street clashes. On 2 August 1980, at the height of the "", a terrorist bomb was set off in the central railway station of Bologna killing 85 people and wounding 200, an event which is known in Italy as the . In 1995, members of the group were convicted for carrying out the attack, while —Grand Master of the underground Freemason lodge —was convicted for hampering the investigation, together with three agents of the secret military intelligence service (including and ). Commemorations take place in Bologna on 2 August each year, culminating in a concert in the main square.

21st century

In 1999, the long tradition of left-wing mayors was interrupted by the victory of independent centre-right candidate . However, Bologna reverted to form in 2004 when , a former trade union leader, unseated Guazzaloca. The next centre-left mayor, , elected in June 2009, resigned in January 2010 after being involved in a corruption scandal. After a 15-month period in which the city was administered under (as a state-appointed ), was elected as mayor, leading a left-wing coalition comprising the , and .



Bologna is situated on the edge of the at the foot of the , at the meeting of the and river valleys. As Bologna's two main watercourses flow directly to the sea, the town lies outside of the drainage basin of the . The stretches from the western edge of the Po Plain on the border with to the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. The centre of the town is (while elevation within the municipality ranges from in the suburb of Corticella to in Sabbiuno and the Colle della Guardia). The Province of Bologna stretches from the Po Plain into the Apennines; the highest point in the province is the peak of Corno alle Scale (in ) at above sea level.


Bologna has a , four-season (: ''Cfa''). Annual precipitation oscillates between around and , with the majority generally falling in spring and autumn. Snow isn't uncommon between late november and early march; one of the snowiest months of the past decade was February 2012.


Municipal government

The legislative body of the is the City Council (''Consiglio Comunale''), which is composed by 48 councillors elected every five years with a corrected proportional system (granting the majority to the list or alliance of lists which receives more votes), contextually to the mayoral elections. The executive body is the City Committee (''Giunta Comunale''), composed by 12 , that is nominated and presided over by a directly elected . The current mayor of Bologna is (), elected on 16 May 2011 with the 50.5% of the votes. On 19 June 2016 Merola was re-elected in a second-round ballot with 54.64% of votes. The municipality of Bologna is subdivided into six administrative Boroughs (''Quartieri''), down from the former nine before the 2015 administrative reform. Each Borough is governed by a Council (''Consiglio'') and a President, elected contextually to the city Mayor. The urban organization is governed by the Italian Constitution (art. 114). The Boroughs have the power to advise the Mayor with nonbinding opinions on a large spectrum of topics (environment, construction, public health, local markets) and exercise the functions delegated to them by the City Council; in addition they are supplied with an autonomous founding in order to finance local activities.

Provincial and regional government

Bologna is the capital of the eponymous metropolitan city and of , one of the twenty of Italy. While the Province of Bologna has a population of 1,007,644, making it the twelfth most populated province of Italy, Emilia-Romagna ranks as the sixth most populated region of Italy, with about 4.5 million inhabitants, more than 7% of the national total. The seat of the regional government is , a tower complex designed by Japanese in 1985. According to the last governmental dispositions concerning administrative reorganisation, the urban area of Bologna is one of the 15 (''città metropolitane''), new administrative bodies fully operative since 1 January 2015. The new Metro municipalities, giving large urban areas the administrative powers of a province, are conceived for improving the performance of local administrations and to slash local spending by better co-ordinating the municipalities in providing basic services (including transport, school and social programs) and environment protection. In this policy framework, the Mayor of Bologna is designated to exercise the functions of Metropolitan mayor (''Sindaco metropolitano''), presiding over a Metropolitan Council formed by 18 mayors of municipalities within the Metro municipality. The Metropolitan City of Bologna is headed by the Metropolitan Mayor (''Sindaco metropolitano'') and by the Metropolitan Council (''Consiglio metropolitano''). Since 21 June 2016 , as mayor of the capital city, has been the mayor of the Metropolitan City.


Until the late 19th century, when a large-scale urban renewal project was undertaken, Bologna was one of the few remaining large walled cities in Europe; to this day and despite having suffered considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's historic centre is Europe's second largest, containing an immense wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments. Bologna developed along the as an Etruscan and later Roman colony; the Via Emilia still runs straight through the city under the changing names of Strada Maggiore, Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi, and San Felice. Due to its Roman heritage, the central streets of Bologna, today largely pedestrianized, follow the grid pattern of the Roman settlement. The original Roman ramparts were supplanted by a high medieval system of fortifications, remains of which are still visible, and finally by a third and final set of ramparts built in the 13th century, of which numerous sections survive. No more than twenty medieval defensive towers remain out of up to 180 that were built in the 12th and 13th centuries before the arrival of unified civic government. The most famous of the are the central "Due Torri" (''Asinelli'' and ''Garisenda''), whose iconic leaning forms provide a popular symbol of the town. The cityscape is further enriched by its elegant and extensive porticoes, for which the city is famous. In total, there are some of es in the city's historical centre (over in the city proper), which make it possible to walk for long distances sheltered from the elements. The Portico di San Luca is possibly the world's longest. It connects (one of the twelve gates of the ancient walls built in the Middle Ages, which circled a part of the city) with the , a church begun in 1723 on the site of an 11th-century edifice which had already been enlarged in the 14th century, prominently located on a hill () overlooking the town, which is one of Bologna's main landmarks. The windy 666 vault arcades, almost four kilometres () long, effectively links ''San Luca'', as the church is commonly called, to the city centre. Its porticos provide shelter for the traditional procession which every year since 1433 has carried a Byzantine icon of the Madonna with Child attributed to down to the during the . , built between 1388 and 1479 (but still unfinished), is the tenth-largest church in the world by volume, 132 metres long and 66 metres wide, while the vault reaches 45 metres inside and 51 metres in the facade. With its volume of 258,000 m3, it is the largest (Gothic or otherwise) church built of bricks of the world. The Basilica of and its sanctuary are among the oldest structures in Bologna, having been built starting from the 8th century, according to the tradition on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Egyptian goddess . The is an example of Romanic architecture from the 13th century, enriched by the monumental tombs of great Bolognese s Rolandino de'Passeggeri and Egidio Foscherari. Basilicas of , and are other magnificent examples of 14th-century architecture, the latter also featuring Renaissance artworks such as the by . Finally, the Church of is a 15th-century religious complex located on a hill not far from the city's historical cente.


In terms of total GDP, the generated a value of about €35 billion ($40.6 billion) in 2017, equivalent to €34,251 ($40,165) per capita, the third highest figure among Italian provinces (after and ). The economy of Bologna is characterized by a flourishing industrial sector, traditionally centered on the transformation of agricultural and zootechnical products (, , , ), machinery (, , ), construction equipment (); energy (), automotive (, ), footwear, textile, engineering, chemical, printing and publishing (, , , ). In particular, Bologna is considered the centre of the so-called "packaging valley", an area well known for its high concentration of firms specialised in the manufacturing of automatic s (, ). Furthermore, Bologna is well known for its dense network of s, a feature that dates back to the social struggles of farmers and workers in the 1800s and that today produces up to a third of its GDP and occupies 265 thousand people in the Emilia-Romagna region.


Bologna is home to the , the busiest Italian airport for passenger traffic (8 million passengers handled in 2017). is one of Italy's most important train hubs thanks to the city's strategic location as a crossroad between north–south and east–west routes. It serves 58 million passengers annually. The city hosts several minor railway stations (see ). In addition, Bologna San Donato , with 33 railway tracks, is the largest freight hub in Italy by size and traffic. The city is also served by a large network of public bus lines, including , operated since 2012 by (TPER). A large service is currently under development (see ), and a four line tram network is also planned (see ).

Bologna public transportation statistics

The average amount of time people spend commuting with public transit in Bologna, for example to and from work, on a weekday is 53 min. 9% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 12 min, while 16% of riders wait for over 20 minutes on average every day. The average distance people usually ride in a single trip with public transit is 5.4 km, while 7% travel for over 12 km in a single direction.


At the end of 2016, the city proper had a population of 388,254 (while 1 million live in the greater Bologna area), located in the province of Bologna, , of whom 46.7% were male and 53.3% were female. Minors (children ages 18 and younger) totalled 12.86 percent of the population compared to pensioners who number 27.02 percent. This compares with the Italian average of 18.06 percent (minors) and 19.94 percent (pensioners). The average age of Bologna resident is 51 compared to the Italian average of 42. In the five years between 2002 and 2007, the population of Bologna grew by 0.0 percent, while Italy as a whole grew by 3.56 percent. The current birth rate of Bologna is 8.07 births per 1,000 inhabitants compared to the Italian average of 9.45 births.


The , conventionally said to have been founded in 1088 by s and , is the oldest university in Europe. It was an important centre of European intellectual life during the Middle Ages, attracting scholars from Italy and throughout Europe. The Studium, as it was originally known, began as a loosely organized teaching system with each master collecting fees from students on an individual basis. The location of the early University was thus spread throughout the city, with various colleges being founded to support students of a specific nationality. In the Napoleonic era, the headquarters of the university were moved to their present location on , in the north-eastern sector of the city centre. Today, the University's 11 schools, 33 departments, and 93 libraries are spread across the city and include four subsidiary campuses in nearby , , , and . Noteworthy students present at the university in centuries past included , , , , , , and . , appointed in 1732, became the first woman to officially teach at a university in Europe. In more recent history, , the discoverer of , and , the pioneer of radio technology, also worked at the University. The University of Bologna remains one of the most respected and dynamic post-secondary educational institutions in Italy. To this day, Bologna is still very much a university town, with over 80,000 enrolled students in 2015. This community includes a great number of Erasmus, Socrates, and overseas students. The university's , the , was established in 1568; it is the fourth oldest in Europe. maintains its in the city, which hosts one of the overseas campuses of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). SAIS Bologna was founded in 1955 as the first campus of a US post-graduate school to open in Europe. It was inspired by Marshall Plan efforts to build a cultural bridge between America and Europe. Today, the Bologna Center also hosts the ''Associazione italo-americana "Luciano Finelli"'', which supports cross-cultural awareness and exchange between Italy and the United States. , , , and the also have campuses or antennas in the city. In addition, Bologna hosts a , , established in 1804, and an , , founded in 1802. Both institutions were born as part of the reforms introduced by Napoleon Bonaparte.


Over the centuries, Bologna has acquired many nicknames: "the fat" (''la grassa'') refers to its cuisine, in which the most famous specialities are prepared using rich meats (especially pork), egg pasta and dairy products, such as butter and Parmesan. Another nickname that has been given to the city is "the red" (''la rossa''), which was originally used as a reference to the colour of the buildings in the city centre, has later become connected with the communist ideology supported by the majority of the population, in particular after World War II: until the election of a centre-right mayor in 1999, the city was renowned as a bastion of the . The centre-left regained power again in the 2004 mayoral elections, with the election of . It was one of the first European cities to experiment with the concept of . Bologna has also two other nicknames: the first one, "the towered" (''la turrita'') refers to the high number of medieval towers that can be found in the city, even if today only 24 towers are still standing. The second one, "the learned" (''la dotta'') is a reference to its university.


Bologna university was founded in 1088 and it is considered the oldest university of the Western world. According to the QS University Rankings, Bologna university is the 4th Italian university and the 180th in the world. The high number of students coming from all over Italy and the world (in Bologna there are several campuses of foreign universities such as Johns Hopkins University, Dickinson College, Indiana University, Brown University, University of California and more) considerably affects the everyday life: if on one hand it contributes to liven up the city centre (an area in which the average age of the residents is very high), and it also helps to promote cultural initiatives, on the other hand it creates public order and garbage problems which are related to the lively nightlife of the university district.

Entertainment and performing arts

The city of Bologna became a City of Music on 26 May 2006. According to UNESCO, "As the first Italian city to be appointed to the Network, Bologna has demonstrated a rich musical tradition that is continuing to evolve as a vibrant factor of contemporary life and creation. It has also shown a strong commitment to promoting music as an important vehicle for inclusion in the fight against racism and in an effort to encourage economic and social development. Fostering a wide range of genres from classical to electronic, jazz, folk and opera, Bologna offers its citizens a musical vitality that deeply infiltrates the city's professional, academic, social and cultural facets." The was a popular form of entertainment in Bologna until the 16th century. The first public theater was the Teatro alla Scala, active since 1547 in . An important figure of Italian Bolognese theatre was , the playwright, author of ', which has had great theatrical success since 1905, repeated on screen by the Bolognese actor . In 1998, the City of Bologna initiated the project "Bologna dei Teatri" (Bologna of the Theatres), an association of the major theatrical facilities in the city. This is a circuit of theatres which offer diverse theatrical opportunities, ranging from Bolognese dialect to contemporary , but with a communications strategy and promoting unity. Specifically, the shows on the bill in various theatres participating in the project are advertised weekly through a single poster. Bologna's opera house is the . The , whose music director was until his death in 2014, was created in 2004. Bologna hosts a number of international music, art, dance and film festivals, including Angelica ''Bologna'' and ''Contemporanea'' (festivals on contemporary music), Bolognafestival (international classical music festival), Bologna Jazz Festival, Biografilm Festival (a film festival devote to biographic movies), BilBolBul (a comics festival), Danza Urbana (a street contemporary dance festival) (festival on contemporary art, now merged in ) Future Film Festival (animation and special effects),''Il Cinema Ritrovato''(film festival about rare and forgotten movies), , Gender Bender (festival on gender identity, sexual orientation and body representation), Homework festival (electronic music festival), Human Rights Film Festival, Some Prefer Cake (lesbian film festival), (a children's song contest).


Bologna is renowned for its culinary tradition. It has baptised the famous , a meat-based pasta sauce that in Italy is called ' and is substantially different from the variety found worldwide; moreover, in Bologna the sauce is used only as a dressing for , serving it with being considered odd. Situated in the fertile Po River Valley, the rich local cuisine depends heavily on meats and cheeses. As in all of Emilia-Romagna, the production of cured meats such as , and is an important part of the local food industry. Well-regarded nearby vineyards include dei Colli Bolognesi, di Modena and di Romagna. with , , served in broth, and , the original , are among the local specialties. Traditional Bolognese desserts are often linked to holidays, such as ''fave dei morti'' ("cookies of the dead"), multi-coloured almond paste cookies made for , jam-filled raviole cookies that are served on , and carnival sweets known as ''sfrappole'', a light and delicate fried pastry topped with powder sugar, ''certosino'' or ''panspeziale'' ("carthusian" o "apothecary-cake"), a spicy cake served on . ''Torta di riso'', a custard-like cake made of almonds, rice and amaretto, is made throughout the year, as the . In 2019, an article in ''la Repubblica'' also named Bologna the most vegan-friendly city in Italy, noting that the city had 19 vegan and vegetarian restaurants


A sporting nickname for Bologna is ''Basket City'' in reference to the successes of the town's two rival historic clubs, and , though the clubs are now often referred to by the names of their current sponsors. Of the two, the former won 15 and two s making them one of the most influential European basketball clubs; the latter won two league titles between 1999 and 2005. The Italian Basketball League, which operates both Lega A and LegADue, has its headquarters in Bologna. also has a strong tradition in Bologna. The city's main club, , have won seven Italian league championships (the latest in ), which make them the sixth most successful team in the history of the league; in their heyday in the 1930s Bologna FC were called ''"Lo squadrone che tremare il mondo fa"'' (Italian for "The Team that Shakes the World"). The club play at the 38,000-capacity , which has hosted the Italian national team in both football and , as well as the . It was also a venue at the . is also present in the city: Rugby Bologna 1928 is not only one of the oldest Italian rugby union clubs but also the first ever club affiliated to the . and, to date (2014) is Italy's oldest rugby union club still in operation. The club took part to the top tier of the Italian championship for the first 25 years of their history never winning the title but getting to the runner-up place several times; they returned in top division (Serie A1 then Super 10), in the late 1990s and faced serious financial problems which led them to the relegation and almost to disappearance. is a located in Bologna. It is home to the home games of , in the .


* (singer-songwriter, born 1962) * (naturalist, 1522–1605) * (anatomist and parasitologist, 1786–1861) * (mathematician and humanitarian, 1718–1799) * (painter, c. 1474–1552) * (director, born 1938) * (writer, 1891–1985) * (composer, 1568–1634) * (architect, 1627–1687) * (painter and scene designer, 1774–1848) * (scientist, first female appointed to university chair in Europe, 1711–1788) * (Italian nationalist hero, executed for role in 1848 uprisings, 1800–1849) * (painter of , 17th-century) * (writer, born 1947) * (Prospero Lambertini, Pope 1740–58) * (1443–1508) * (writer, born 1959) * (footballer, 1915–1979, credited with the invention of the , World Champion 1938, played only for ) * (actress and singer, born 1964) * , Italian sports administrator * (professional tennis player, born 1985) * (painter, 1664–1734) * (mathematician, 1526–1572) * (actor, 1916–1994) * (engraver, 17th-century) * (singer, born 1943) * (painter, 1560–1609) * (painter, 1555–1619) * (painter, 1557–1602) * (footballer, born 1914) * (actress, born 1967) * (politician, born 1955) * (mathematician, 1548–1626) * (football referee, born 1960) * (operatic bass, born 1964) * (composer, 1637–1695) * (musician, born 1976) * (songwriter, 1980) * (painter, 1665–1747) * (painter, 1671–1749) * ( and writer, 1550–1609) * (mathematician, solved the , 1465–1526) * (Francesco Raibolini, painter, c. 1450–1517) * (singer-songwriter, 1943–2012) * (Domenico Zampieri, painter, 1581–1641) * ( aristocrat, 1472–1520) * (tennis player, born 1987) * (politician, born 1952) * (architect, c. 1415–c. 1486) * (1854–1931), who studied * (luthier and expert, birthdate unknown) * (scientist, discoverer of , 1737–1798) * , (footballer, born 1981) * (actress, born 1958) * (Ugo Boncompagni, Pope 1572–85, instituted the ) * (Alessandro Ludovisi, Pope 1621–3) * (Giovanni Barbieri, painter, 1591–1666) * (jurist, c. 1050–at least 1125) * (Dominican novice, Eucharistic mystic, and child saint, c. 1322–1333) * (singer-songwriter, 1950–2018) * (Gherardo Caccianemici dell'Orso, Pope 1144–5) * (physiologist, anatomist and histologist, 1628–1694) * (engineer, pioneer of , Nobel prize for Physics, 1874–1937) * (musical theorist, 1706–1784) * (cardinal, linguist and hyperpolyglot, 1774–1839) * (economist and statesman, 1818–1886) * (painter, 1890–1964) * (singer, born 1944) * (Catholic layman, declared Blessed, 1433–1485) * (Catholic priest that was the subject of the ''Mortara Case'' during the , 1851–1940) * (footballer, born 1966) * (writer, poet, director, 1922–1975) * (1884-1946), mathematician * (luthier, born 1956) * (painter, 1575–1642) * (composer, 1879–1936) * (physicist, authority on , 1850–1920) * (equine anatomist, 1530–1598) * (footballer, 1905–1990, scored the winning goal in extra time in the for ) * (singer, born 1979) * (painter, 1638–1665) * (skier, born 1966) * (first Italian woman Olympic gold medalist, 1916–2006) * (teacher and educator, founder of choir, 1939–1995) * (footballer, born 1973) * (painter, fl. 1330, d. 1361) * (anarchist who at the age of 15 attempted to assassinate Benito Mussolini, 1911–1926) * (racing driver, born 1966) * (writer, musician, and composer, 1801–1878) * (director, animator, artist who worked on films like ' and '','' born 1978) * (Caterina de' Vigri) (1413–1463) Poor Claire nun, writer, mystic, artist In addition to the natives of the city listed above, the following have made Bologna their home: * (poet and academic, Nobel Prize for Literature, born near Lucca, Tuscany, 1835–1907) * (Italian conductor of international renown, founder of the Bologna Chamber Orchestra in 1946 (7 February 1915 – 13 December 2007) * (writer and academic, born in Alessandria, Piedmont, 1932–2016) * (born c. 1218, King of and illegitimate son of Emperor Frederick II, was imprisoned in from 1249 until his death in 1272) * (politician, born 1955) * (painter, born in Milan, 1924–1998) * (sculptor, born in Ferrara, c. 1497–1537) * (sculptor, born in Bari, c. 1435/1440–2 March 1494) * (naturalist, born in , 1740–1829) * (poet and academic, born in San Mauro di Romagna, 1855–1912) * (San Petronio, bishop of and patron saint of the city, birthplace unknown, died c. 450 AD) * (economist, politician, born in Scandiano, Reggio Emilia, 1939) * (opera composer, born in Pesaro, 1792–1868) * (composer, born in Verona, 1658–1709) * (collective of writers, active since 2000) * (Carlo Broschi, castrato opera singer, 1705–1782) * (engineer, President of short lived , 1925-2017)

International relations

Bologna is with: * , England, UK, since 1984 * , Ukraine, since 1966 * , Germany, since 1962 * , Argentina, since 1988 * , United States, since 2003 * , Senegal, since 1991 * , United States, since 1987 * , Nicaragua, since 1988 * , Greece, since 1981 * , France, since 1981 * , Bosnia and Herzegovina, since 1994 * , Spain, since 1980 * , Croatia, since 1961 * , Serbia, since 1966

See also

* * * * * *


Further reading

* Mancini, Giorgia, and Nicholas Penny, eds. ''The Sixteenth Century Italian Paintings: Volume III: Ferrara and Bologna'' (National Gallery Catalogues) (2016). * Rashdall, Hastings. ''The Universities of Europe in the Middle Ages: Volume 1, Salerno, Bologna, Paris'' (2010). * Robertson, Anne Walters. ''Tyranny under the Mantle of St Peter: Pope Paul II and Bologna'' (2002)

Guide books

* Grieco, Romy. ''Bologna: a city to discover''(1976) * Insight Guides. ''Pocket Bologna'' (2016). * Noyes, Mary Tolaro. ''Bologna Reflections'' (2009). * Uras, Martina.
Bologna Photo Guide

Older guides

* ** * *

External links

Weather Bologna

Museum of the History of Bologna

{{Authority control Papal States