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Bologna LGBT Friendly

 

 

The following itinerary is an extract of a rich contribution to the most representative places and figures for the LGBT community, elaborated by Jonathan Mastellari from the Arcigay association “Il Cassero” of Bologna.

Palazzo D'Accursio - Piazza Maggiore

Palazzo D'Accursio - Piazza Maggiore

Palazzo D’Accursio, seat of the Municipality of Bologna and of its institutional bodies. Marcella Di Folco was elected Municipal Councillor of Bologna in 1995, she was the first trans in the world to hold public office. In the Seventies she worked in the movies and was one of the protagonists of the cinema of Federico Fellini. She also worked, among others, with Rossellini, Risi and Sordi. In 1988 she becomes the President of the Transsexual Identity Movement (MIT) and in 1997 she becomes the Vice-President of the National Observatory on Gender Identity. She also created a counselling centre for transsexuals, the first in the world, which was self-administered.

International and LGBT bookshop Igor – c/o Senape Vivaio Urbano, Via Santa Croce 10/ABC

International and LGBT bookshop Igor – c/o Senape Vivaio Urbano, Via Santa Croce 10/ABC

The only bookshop in the city focused on LGBT culture takes its name from the little dog of the two owners, which welcomes you at the entrance. The bookshop hosts very often presentation of books and meetings on the LGBTQI themes. It gets books by request from all over the world because it began as commission agents for foreign publishing in 1975. www.facebook.com/igor.libreria

University area – Via Zamboni

University area – Via Zamboni

Throughout the years there were many different forms of activism, with young people who were the protagonists of feminist, lesbian, homosexual, trans and queer groups which were often linked to faculties or the university. At number 1 in Via Zamboni lies a place that can be defined as a historic meeting place and amusement place of the LGBTQI community, the Kinky Club (www.kinkiclub.com). In the 70s it was one of the first clubs of the city to welcome without any prejudice the LGBTQI community, in a historical period during which very few Italian towns had openly gay-friendly bars or clubs. Today the club is still one of the most open and friendly ones towards the homosexual and transsexual community of the city.

Seat of the Transsexual Identity Movement (MIT) - Via Polese, 15

Seat of the Transsexual Identity Movement (MIT) - Via Polese, 15

MIT, which was founded in 1982, is a non-profit organization that defends the rights of transsexuals, transvestites and transgenders. The movement works at a national and European level, fighting against discriminations concerning gender identity, it provides specific services and promotes important cultural activities. Paquito was in this street, it was a historic cruising bar of the city, one of the first ones in Italy. Today it is replaced by a similar club, the Bart’s Club. www.mit-italia.it

La Salara – Via Don Minzoni, 18

La Salara – Via Don Minzoni, 18

This building, an old salt warehouse, lies inside the “Manifattura delle Arti”, which also includes the Film Library (Cineteca) of Bologna, the Departments of Music and Entertainment and of Communication Sciences of the University of Bologna and MAMbo. The Salara building hosts the Cassero LGBT Centre, the oldest LGBT Italian association which is also the office of Arci Gay in Bologna. It also hosts many other LGBT associations. Inside the building lies the Arcigay Cassero documentation centre, the most important LGBT library in Italy and one of the most important ones in Europe. It was founded in 1983 to promote, preserve and make available to the public critical processing tools on sexuality, gender identity and social exclusion. The centre includes a large collection of materials on the history of Cassero (the first Italian homosexual association to obtain a seat owned by a municipality, in 1982).  www.cassero.it

Cinema Lumière and Centro Studi Archivio Pier Paolo Pasolini – Via Azzo Gardino, 65

Cinema Lumière and Centro Studi Archivio Pier Paolo Pasolini – Via Azzo Gardino, 65

The Cinema Lumière is located near “Il Cassero”, connected by the park Giardino del Cavaticcio. Since last several years, the Cinema Lumière has been hosting international festivals focussing on the LGBT topics – like the festival Gender Bender (organised by Il Cassero) or the festival Divergenti (organised by MIT).
The small square in front of the Cinema Lumière was named after Pier Paolo Pasolini, a controversial but very important figure or the Italian LGBT culture. Next to the Cinema Lumière, there is a library of the Fondazione Cineteca (Cinema Foundation) 'Renzo Renzi' that is the seat of the Centro Studi Archivio (documentation centre) Pier Paolo Pasolini. The centre conserves more than 1200 volumes and much more archive documentation like photographs, audio-visual documents, magazines, catalogues, press releases, dissertations, lectures, radio interviews and others. This important archive was collected and conserved for long time by Laura Betti and in 2003, she decided to offer it to the Comune di Bologna.

Pratello - via Del Pratello

Pratello - via Del Pratello

This street is known as a place of entertainment in the city. For sure, this street reflects in the best way the atmosphere of the years 1970's – 1980's. Almost all bars in this street are gay friendly, so you can choose freely where you want to spend your evening.

Porta Saragozza and Giardini Cassarini

Porta Saragozza and Giardini Cassarini

Porta Saragozza is the place that shows the long-term presence of the LGBT community in Bologna. In 1982 the City Council guided by Mayor Zangheri gave the place to one of the first LGBT associations of the city, the Circle of homosexual culture 28th of June , leading to some criticism. The place remained the seat of the largest association for the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders until 2002. Now the building hosts the museum dedicated to the Blessed Virgin of San Luca. The Gardens of Villa Cassarini are not far from the gate. Bologna was the first Italian city to create a public symbol to commemorate the Nazi-fascist persecution of gays, lesbians and transsexuals, a harsh persecution that was not mentioned for many years. Here is the monument, the first one on the Italian territory and one of the three official ones in Europe, that consists of a memorial stone, an upturned triangle of pink marble, to commemorate the symbol that homosexuals were forced to wear, pinned to their jacket, in extermination camps. The project is by the architect Corrado Levi. Every year, on the 27th of January and on the 25th of April, a commemoration ceremony is held here.

Villa Aldini - Via dell'Osservanza, 35

Villa Aldini - Via dell'Osservanza, 35

It was built between 1811 and 1816 on a pre-existing Benedictine complex by count Antonio Aldini, who in this way intended to commemorate the excursion that Napoleon Bonaparte (of which he was minister and plenipotentiary) had made in those places in June 1805. The building is u-shaped and looks like a temple on the Acropolis, characterized by a front part supported by eight ionic columns and accessible through symmetrical lateral staircases. The complex includes the church “Rotonda della Madonna del Monte” (XII century), whose thirteenth-century frescoes are still visible. Here Pier Paolo Pasolini shot the external scenes of his last film Salò or the 120 days of Sodom. Pasolini was partially inspired by the work of Marquis de Sade, undertaking an extreme journey into the darkest side of human soul. The film caused a lot of scandal because it had strong images for the period, and some of them were images of homoerotism.

Other places connected to the LGBT community outside of the historical city centre
Teatri di vita - via Emilia Ponente, 485

Teatri di vita - via Emilia Ponente, 485

The theatres Teatri di vita are situated inside of the park Parco dei Pini, between the historical city centre and the airport. They were founded by the theatre and cinema director Andrea Adriatico in 1993. They are international centre of contemporary dance and theatre. The two theatres are dedicated to Pier Paolo Pasolini and Pier Vittorio Tondelli and they host important Italian and international personalities.