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24 must-attend events in Bologna in 2024

Updated on 10 January 2024 From Bologna Welcome

What will be the must-attend events in Bologna in 2024?

The city's agenda is packed with historical premieres, celebrations and festivities, ranging from exhibitions and concerts to culture and food. Let's take a look at the many events of 2024: here are 24 (+2) to mark in your diary that are worth a trip, a weekend or a few days in Bologna and its surroundings.

Cultural events

1. Art Week

The most eagerly awaited week of Bolognese art will be back on 1 February featuring the programmes of Arte Fiera (from 2 to 4), marking its 50th anniversary, and the related initiatives and events of Art City (from 1 to 4), of which the five main projects are already known with only the complete calendar of initiatives still to be announced.

2. Porticoes Festival

The Porticoes Festival will take place in June, with a preview in May: towers, turrets, walls and the historical centre will be playing a leading role, also on account of the delicate situation regarding the Garisenda tower. An opportunity to rethink and enhance a common asset and symbol of the city, namely the UNESCO World Heritage Porticoes.

3. Cinema Ritrovato

The dates for the most famous and awaited film festival in Bologna have already been made official: this year's Cinema Ritrovato awaits the many film enthusiasts from 22 to 30 June 2024, in the many theatres in the city and, of course, in Piazza Maggiore for what is one of the most beautiful open-air cinemas in the world 

Sporting events 

4. Tour de France 

Not only does the Tour de France start for the first time in its history from Italy, but the second stage makes its way to Bologna! It will be a spectacular event, two rounds on the San Luca climb for the world's most important cycling race. On 30 June 2024, the yellow caravan (from the yellow colour of the leader's jersey) will be invading Bologna for a day of celebration.

5. Davis Cup

The Davis Cup is coming back to Bologna with reigning world champion Italy! After the resounding success of Sinner and the other Azzurri in Malaga, for the third consecutive year the Unipol Arena will be hosting the qualifying round of the Italian national team in the week from 9 to 15 September 2024.

6. Formula 1 GP

Another highly visible sporting event, the Formula 1 GP at Imola, is also confirmed. On the weekend of 16-19 May 2024 the Grand Prix of Emilia-Romagna will be back on the banks of the Santerno, after the ill-fated cancellation in 2023 due to flooding. The fans of Ferrari and the other teams are eagerly awaiting the return of their favourites to Imola.

7. Bologna Marathon

3 March 2024 is the day of the Bologna Marathon, an event that has already become a must for the many runners who are used to training along the streets of Bologna. The race's loop route will start from Via Indipendenza and finish in Piazza Maggiore. In addition to the 42 km, other routes are planned, such as the 30 km of porticoes, the 21 km half-marathon, and the 5 km cityrun.

8. National Basketball Museum opening

2024 will finally be the year the Italian Basketball Museum opens at the PalaDozza. Basketcity and the Madison of Piazza Azzarita (these are the nicknames of Bologna and the PalaDozza) will thus host the MUBIT, consolidating the city's devotion to basketball.  A very modern and interactive museum, it will provide space for didactics and even gaming. We can't wait: inauguration scheduled for spring 2024.

9. Sun Route Festival
In April, along the stretch from Bologna to Mirandola, the Sun Route will celebrate its birthday. The "Ciclofesta", with dates yet to be confirmed, will have everyone riding along the route through the heart of the Bolognese lowlands, while animating the various locations covered with events on mobility and culture.

Personalities and anniversaries 

10. Guglielmo Marconi's 150th anniversary

2024 will be a year of commemorations, starting with the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Bologna's most illustrious and well-known citizens in history. Guglielmo Marconi, born in Bologna in 1874, will be paid homage to with a series of celebrations and events that are still being defined. 25 April is being talked about as Marconi Day with illustrious guests and initiatives at the Marconi Museum in Sasso, followed by exhibitions and new museums dedicated to the father of wireless, but we will have to wait for official news.

11. Ayrton Senna's 30th anniversary

On that fateful 1 May 30 years ago, one of the most beloved racers of all time passed away on the Imola circuit. A symbol on and off the track, Ayrton was a living icon and to this day is one of the most celebrated and best talked about drivers. The Imola area is organising a series of initiatives, exhibitions and events to remember the champion, as well as Roland Ratzenberger, the other unfortunate driver who lost his life that weekend. We will soon find out more. 

12. Giorgio Morandi's 60th anniversary

Sixty years ago we lost one of the most outstanding painters of the 20th century: the Bolognese Giorgio Morandi. Already with Art City 2024 in February, a series of tributes will be paid to Morandi's homeland, from Bologna and Grizzana (today Grizzana Morandi), the painter's second home in the Bolognese Apennines, to Castel d'Aiano and Roffeno, with a range of events and itineraries. Here too, a programme of initiatives is expected to be released soon.

13. Lucio Dalla's birthday

The years roll by, but every 4 March is more and more Lucio Dalla's birthday. Already scheduled at Teatro Dehon is "BUON COMPLEANNO LUCIO!" on Monday, 4 March 2024, a musical evening to commemorate the Bolognese singer-songwriter. On 4 and 5 March 2024 the Celebrazioni Theatre and Casa Dalla will host CIAO Rassegna LUCIO DALLA, which awards innovative, versatile and creative artists just like Lucio was.

Food & Wine events 

14. Tartófla 

There are many festivals in the area, but the "Truffle Feasts" are certainly one of the most eagerly awaited events. Tartfóla, the international white truffle festival, is now confirmed in Savigno, in Valsamoggia, from 28 October to 19 November 2024. The autumn king is ready to welcome you within the most diverse recipes between tradition and innovation.

15. Cibò So Good

The culinary event, now a regular guest at Palazzo Re Enzo, returns from 21 to 23 April. Three days of culinary passion with cooking courses, tastings and much more related to food, inseparable from themes such as the discovery of the territory and its cultures.

16. Mortadella Please

Among the many typical products of Bologna, Mortadella is really worth celebrating: Mortadella Please - dates still to be announced but traditionally in October - will transform Zola Predosa into the World Capital of the 'Pink Queen' of Bolognese gastronomy.

Trade fair events

17. Vintage cars and motorcycles

In the wake of last year's success, the new Bologna Motor Show is set to take place from 24 to 27 October 2024. Enthusiasts and professionals have already marked these dates in their calendars to find unmissable bargains, close some good deals or simply breathe in the smell of engines in the capital of the Motor Valley.

18. Cosmoprof

The world of cosmetics and beauty is coming to Bologna Fiera for Cosmoprof 2024 from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 March 2024. For the first time, all the showrooms will be open at the same time to optimise the experience for visitors, whether professionals or amateurs.

19. Cycle tourism fair

Planning your next cycling trip? Don't miss the Bicycle Tourism Fair in Bologna from 5 to 7 April. You will find operators, destinations, and territories ready to win you over for your next adventure. Plus, talks, stories, and presentations by the best-known figures of Italian and international two-wheelers.

Music, theatre and...

20. Porretta Soul Festival

In July the sound of the Apennines rings out in Porretta! The Porretta Soul Festival will symbolically take you to Memphis, with the Memphis Music Hall of Fame Band, starring as the house band for edition number 36 from 25 to 28 July 2024.

21. Fantastika
2024 also brings the awakening of the dragon Fyrstan! Dozza will once again be populated by fantastic monsters, horse-riders and sorcerers with the new edition of Fantastika, scheduled for September 2024.

The biennial Ocarina Festival, another long-awaited comeback, is due to be held again in Budrio after the discontinuation caused by  covid. The terracotta wind instrument of the Bolognese lowlands is set to resound on April 11 to 14.

23. Gender Bender
In the autumn, instead, the cultural imagery on the body, gender and identity of Gender Bender will populate cinemas and theatres with various special projects ranging from dance to cinema. Waiting for the official dates.

In February 2024 the Persiceto Carnival, now also a UNESCO candidate, will be 150 years old! An open-air show with floats and events to celebrate this anniversary and this important candidacy, a symbol of the town of San Giovanni in Persiceto.

To this selection of 24 highly anticipated events for 2024 we add a +2 in a category that deserves a chapter of its own.

Marketing and Technology Events

The International Fair and Festival on Technological and Digital Innovation lands in Bologna for the first time. From 13 to 15 June, the great innovation event will exalt enthusiasts and professionals by talking about technology, digital and artificial intelligence to build a better future!

Bologna Tech Week, from 4 to 6 December 2024 at the Palazzo dei Congressi and with events spread throughout the city of Bologna, will also bring the AI & Digital Tech sector to the centre of debate. Another event not to be missed on the world of digital marketing, social media, gaming and all cutting-edge digital technology.

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