The Town Hall consists of a set of buildings, that over the centuries have gradually been joined to the oldest acquired by the city at the end of the thirteenth century. Including among other things, Accursio’s home, teacher of law, at the University of Bologna. It was originally intended to keep the public reserve, "some grain-growing and municipal offices”. In 1336 it became the residence of the Elders, the highest judiciary of the City Government and is the seat of city government.
Historical buildings and streets
Also called 'new palace' to differentiate it from the Podestà palace, King Enzo Palace was built between 1244-46 (at the same time than the palace of Podestà, or people's captain) as an extension of Municipal buildings. Just three years later it became the 'residence' of the King taken prisoner in the battle of Fossalta: King Enzo of Sardinia, son of Frederick II.
The building of the Palace was commissioned by Cardinal Borromeo between 1562 and 1563 following the project by architect Antonio Morandi called Terribilia; it was to house the lecture halls for the University Study (Law and Arts). Up to 1803 it was the seat of the University and since 1838 it has housed the Civic Library.
Palazzo Fava, located in Via Manzoni, in the heart of the ancient city, took form in the Middle Ages. Thanks to the will of the Fava family who came into possession in 1546.
Originally, the XVth century building housed the canons of the nearby Cathedral of St. Peter. In the XVIth century, the pawnshop of St. Peter was here established (the Pawnshop was a non-profit financial institution which loaned limited amounts of money in exchange for a pledge). In the XVIIIth century, the palace was restored by the Roman architect Marco Antonio Bianchini in collaboration with Alfonso Torreggiani when other city pawnshops were added.
The building was designed by Alfonso Torreggiani (XVIIth century) by will of Pope Benedict XIVth as the seat of the Archbishop's Seminary. In 1912, the building was transformed into a hotel and it is still the most prestigious hotel in the city.
Built in the early years of the XXth century by G.Pontoni and E.Lambertini as a sign of the modern Bologna (as a matter of fact, it was called “modernissimo” that is to say very modern), the palace is on the corner of the Pavaglione portico (XVIth century). At present, the ground floor hosts a refined jewelry entered in the register of historical shops. The outdoor furniture of the Art Nouveau shop windows was designed by Paolo Sironi.
Planned by L.Bertolazzi in the beginning of XXth century, the construction was one of the first department stores and one of the few buildings in Art Nouveau style in the city. The façade of the palace recalls the sezession patterns. At present, the building hosts a store of a famous American computery company.
The palace was planned by L.Repossi in the beginning of XXth century. Under the portico, there is a narrow space which, until recently, housed a store embellished by the design of Enrico De Angeli (brass, plexiglass, chroming) according to the aesthetic researches of the fifties.
The palace was planned by E.Collamarini in the first years of the XXth century. Contemporaneously, the Acquaderni Arcade was opened under the palace, in the same place of the ancient church of Saint Giobbe.
The Palace that today is called Sanguinetti, from the most recent family owner's name, is the result of the difficult evolution of that zone settlements, from the Middle Ages till today, and it shows evidence of every single transformation it underwent.
The Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna was founded in 1666 by the noble Vincenzo Maria Carrati, based in his family’s palace, located at what is now Via Guerrazzi 13. “Unitate melos” has been the Academy’s motto ever since its foundation.
At the start of via Castiglione in the very heart of town two historical palaces of the Pepoli family face each other across the street. The noble family rose to local fame with the taking of power by Taddeo in 1334 (contemporary to the fall of Cardinal Bertrando del Poggetto).
Heart of Genus Bononiae, Palazzo Pepoli. Museo della Storia di Bologna houses a museum dedicated to the history, culture and transformations of Bologna, from the ‘Felsina etrusca’ to modern times.
The palace, designed in the mid 16th century probably by Pellegrino Tibaldi with the contribution of Bartolomeo Triachini, who is attributed in particular the inner courtyard, became the new seat of the National University, after the reform of Napoleon's period (1803).
The Cassa di Risparmio of Bologna commissioned the building of its prestigious headquarters to one of the protagonists of Italian Eclecticism, Giuseppe Mengoni, well known for the construction in the same year (1868) of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in Milan. In less than five years the construction of the imposing building covered by variegated marble with iron and cast iron trimming was terminated and it stood on today's via Farini.
The building of this magnificent palace opening on via D'Azeglio was commissioned between 1477 and 1482 by jurist Niccolò Sanuti and his spouse Nicolosia to an architect and workers perhaps from Tuscany or Ferrara. Its many stylistic choices, such as the lack of arcades and the use of smooth-angled ashlar similar to the Diamonds' Palace by Biagio Rossetti in Ferrara are not typically Bolognese.
Besides MAMbo (Modern Art Gallery), Museo Morandi (Morandi Museum), Villa delle Rose (Gallery) and the Museum dedicated to Ustica, the Istituzione Galleria D'Arte Moderna di Bologna (Institution of Modern Art Gallery of Bologna) has got a new space: the house where Morandi lived and worked almost all his life.
The Villa is located in the Camaldoli estate purchased by Annibale Marescotti in 1616. A few years later, in 1690, after Raniero's death, the noble building and its gardens became the property of the Aldrovandi family. In the late 18th century the villa became the property of Marquis Mazzacorati. Now the villa houses the Historical Museum of Toy Soldiers "Mario Massacesi".
The villa, old summer residence mentioned in 18th-century land registers as Casino Cella, from the name of its first owners, was built in the second half of the 18th century in the place of a previous countryside residence belonging to the Spannocchi (family originally from Siena). Due to its flower garden the villa took the name of Villa delle Rose. Its garden still houses several sculptures from the early 20th century by Romagnoli, Baruzzi, Montaguti, Legnani, Drei and Boni.
The nearly 40-km-long porticoes make the city of Bologna unique in the world and have been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site . With more than 600 arches and a length covering 3,796 meters , the portico of San Luca links the town to the Sanctuary on the top of the Colle della Guardia.
Was completed in 1732 by the architect Carlo Francesco Dotti. From this point diverge the three main porticos of Bologna: To the north, passing alongside the stadium to the Certosa (municipal cemetery); To the east, leading to the Saragozza Gate and the center of the city; To the southwest, the Portico of San Luca, leading up to the Madonna of San Luca Sanctuary.
Initially named to Re Umberto I, took place at the end of the last century the ancient gardens of Garagnani. On the square is the building that hosted the regional workshop for a long time, Benedetto XV, who now has moved into the hilly area of Barbiano.
The name of the square comes from the day, in 1848, of a famous battle in which Austrians were beaten by the citizens of Bologna after a riot. Before the use of this appellation, people called it simply “piazza del mercato” (marketplace), for it used to host the local livestock market every Saturday of August from 1251 on. At present, every Friday and Saturday the square hosts the historical market "La Piazzola" with more than 400 stalls.
The only original entrance to the former ghetto which still exixts today is the vault connecting San Donato church (18th century) to the ancient Manzoli-Malvasia palace built over the remains of a 13th century house, of which only a few door arches remain.
Charming stretch of street which currently houses the homonymous bar, it derives its name from the presence of some florists’. In the back of one of these, in November 1794, two university students - Luigi Zamboni (from Bologna) and Giovanni Battista De Rolandis (from Asti) – prepared an attempted insurrection against the papal government, soon failed.
So named because old access point to the Port Canal, the port for river traffic from Bologna (on channel Navile). The eastern section of the road was named in 1801 via dei Murelli, in memory of the retaining walls were put up for the safety of pedestrians in the second half of the sixteenth century.
Nowadays Porta Maggiore is also known with the name of Porta Mazzini. It rises at the east-end of the historic city centre, along the Via Emilia, just at the crossroads between Strada Maggiore and Via Mazzini, into the third and last circle of walls dating back to the second half of 13th Century.
This gate rises at the end of Via Mascarella, just before Ponte Stalingrado. It was built in 1300 and belongs to the third and last circle of walls dating back to the second half of 13th century. Some remnants of the original construction, revised and reduced in 16th century, are still visible
Porta San Felicewas built in 13th century, and in 1334 it was equipped with a fortress and a drawbridge. The gate was first renovated in 1508, and then in 1805, on the occasion of Napoleone’s visit. Other renovation works date back to 1840, when some swallow-tailed merlons was added to its walls.
Porta San Vitale was built in 1286 together with the adjoining capitain and guards’ quarters and with a great tower, which was demolished at the beginning of 16th century. In 1952 it was deprived of its forepart, or ravelin, and it came in its present forms.
It may also be called the “Porta Sacra” or the “Porta dei pellegrini” for its fortunes, in particular from 17th century on. In fact, it was a reference point for believers who reached the top of the Colle della Guardia to worship the icon of the Beata Vergine di San Luca.