23 events to enjoy in Bologna in 2023
Posted on 09 January 2023 From Bologna Welcome
What are the unmissable events in Bologna in 2023? There’s a packed calendar and the initiatives go from music to sport, taking in culture and food on the way. Lots of great events to put in your diary – all well worth a trip, a weekend or a few days' visit to Bologna and its surroundings. Here are 23 of them.
1. Art Week: a week of arts events sponsored by the Art City programme and the Arte Fiera contemporary art fair. A week of exhibitions and performances from 27 January until 5 February.
2. Local carnivals: for lovers of masks and costumes, there is the historic Persiceto Carnival (12-19 February) and those of Pieve di Cento (5-12-19 February), San Pietro in Casale and Fantaveicoli (Imola).
3. Slow wine fair: from 26 to 28 February at BolognaFiere, people come to talk about and taste good, clean, honest wine. In a city where you eat so well, you also have to drink well!
4. On 4 March it’s Lucio Dalla’s birthday: in 2023 he would have been 80 years old and the city will hold its usual annual commemoration with a big party.
5. Bologna Marathon: on Sunday 5 March come and run amidst the medieval towers and UNESCO porticoes. 42 km, 30 km, 21 km and 5 km routes for professionals and amateurs.
6. Cosmoprof: one of the most popular fairs in Bologna is back, from 16 to 20 March, totally dedicated to hair and beauty.
7. Cycling events in April: a golden month for bicycle lovers, starting on April 1-2 with Cycle Tourism Fair, the first event in Italy dedicated to people planning their first or next bike trip. Later, it' s the Sun Route Festival, an event to celebrate healthy living and above all to get together on this much-loved Bologna cycle path that connects communities and people across the Plain countryside.
8. Formula 1 Grand Prix at Imola: from 19 to 21 May our local temple to motor racing hosts F1 racing cars for the third consecutive year after the restart in 2020.
9. Repubblica delle Idee: the town square has always been a place for discussion and debate, and this is certainly true of these June days organised by the La Repubblica newspaper to examine the burning issues of today and the future.
10. Il Cinema Ritrovato: from 24 June to 2 July, Bologna, its cinemas and Piazza Maggiore will be the capital of international cinema, offering arthouse films and prestigious restored works by the Bologna Cineteca
11. Varignana Music Festival: taking place in the exclusive Palazzo di Varignana in June and July, this is an eagerly awaited classical music festival with an exquisite programme that brings music and landscape together in harmony.
12. Porretta Soul Festival: Porretta Terme from 20 to 23 July is where top American and international soul, funk and rhythm & blues artists will take the stage.
13. Biennial of the Painted Wall : in the enchanting village of Dozza, September is when painters and artists take to the streets to adorn the walls with their works, making the place a veritable open-air art gallery.
14. The Coppa Davis: the premier international tennis tournament returns in September, with Italy contesting the qualifying round for the Finals at the Unipol Arena.
15. Gender Bender: Bologna takes gender rights seriously and this film festival and more is now a much-awaited September event in the city.
16. Cersaie: from 25 to 29 September, another major fair that attracts visitors from all over the world to Bologna, this time for ceramics and bathroom furnishings.
17. Mortadella Days: the Mortadella Bologna is so important that in October it gets its own festival: Mortadella Days, an event celebrating the world-famous Bologna sausage
18. Vintage cars and motorcycles: from 26 to 29 October, a fair comes to Bologna reminding us of the splendour of the Motor Show. Here in the homeland of legendary cars, take a leap into the past with a selection of classic and totally unique models.
19. Tartoflà: the truffle is a religion in Savigno, and in the months of October and November the white truffle is king in an international festival that enthusiasts simply cannot afford to miss.
20. Urban Trekking: every year, lovers of walking and sightseeing look forward to October and November with eager anticipation. With TU you can visit places free of charge and discover stories that are just waiting to reveal their secrets.
21. Foto Industria: in October-November, the biennial photography event organised by the MAST Foundation fills the city with endlessly inspiring images of work, industry, nature and humanity.
22. Bologna jazz festival: Bologna is a city of jazz and the BJF stands out among the various annual events, filling theatres and clubs with music and artists every October and November.
23. Christmas markets: they’ve only just finished but don't you just love Christmas markets? In Bologna they’re tucked away under the city centre festive lights from mid-November until Christmas. A perfect opportunity to see the city at this magical time.