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Bologna between music and history with Paola Cevenini

Posted on 12 May 2021 From Bologna Welcome

In this promenade, we will be accompanied by…

Paola Cevenini, Fonoprint's member since its early days. Today, she’s in charge of maintaining customer relationships, organizing training courses and managing the Sound and Song Museum, soon to become a Foundation.

We’re in the town now. Where should we start? 

From the Basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi and its splendid foursided portico. Two unforgettable events from my childhood echo through the church’s halls: when I was 12, I performed here my first classical music concert, I can still remember the sound of this small string section accompanied by the organ, it was pure magic. And what about Franco Battiato’s concert- Messa Arcaica. Battiato has always been my favourite artist, a real passion. I recall encountering him in the sacristy, surrounded by holy artifacts, where we shared our con-fidential life experiences. As crazy as it might sound, Battiato is a very fun person. Church of Santa Maria dei Servi   

You cannot miss a visit to the Fonoprint recording studios, where you’re going to listen to some memorable original master tapes. The songs are literally “opened” for you to listen to the original stereo recordings while isolating a single instrument, the singer’s voice, or both. Here, you can unveil the magic behind the creation of true masterpieces by the likes of Lucio Dalla, Vasco Rossi, Luca Carboni, Pino Daniele and many more. Plunge into a perfect, overwhelming and moving listening experience.

Fonoprint studios

You shouldn’t forget about Bologna’s festival and jazz tradition either. The cobblestones of via Orefici are covered with the shining stars of several jazz artists who lived in the city or enchanted their audiences with amazing live performances. Right next to Piazza Santo Stefano, one of the city’s most wonderful squares, you find the Camera Jazz& Music Club, a new, pleasant space hosting big and important concerts. 

Speaking of which, we must mention the Manzoni Theatre, a magnificent concert hall, where I had the privilege of attending one of the best orchestra conductions by my esteemed conductor Claudio Abbado. Simply unforgettable. Still today, you can still attend musical events of the highest quality.

Manzoni Theatre

Any other special places? 

Undoubtedly the Community Centre “della Pace” in Bologna– a place where you can still experience some overwhelming afternoons under the banner of ballroom dancing. Elderly and young people enjoy themselves while dancing a traditional waltz or a mazurka. I’m a fan of this music genre, and I’m a pretty good dancer too!  

And eventually, the Trattoria Da Vito, where the most beloved artists have been getting together since the 70s. Not only did songwriters like Guccini, Dalla, Carboni, De Andrè, Vecchioni and Venditti attend this tavern, but also important actors like Benigni, Gaber and Alida Valli, not forgetting about other eclectic musicians, managers, painters, off-campus students and common people. Here, one could listen to incredible stories, sometimes a bit fictionalised or even entirely made up, yet still original and curious.  A place where one could bump into handfuls of card players engrossed in the Bolognese Tarocchino, a quite fun game I taught myself later. This tavern has always been a safe haven for me at any time, but especially during the night. 

The magic hasn’t stopped: Paolo, Vito’s son, is a great narrator, a witness of an old Bologna to be rediscovered entirely among these tables.

Historical shot at Vito's:from left Mister Vito, Guccini and Dalla

What about the outskirts?

Just a few kilometres from the old town, you can find a beautiful natural trail, suitable for cyclist as well, departing from the Reno Sluice.

The Sluice controls the water level and the flow rates of the river Reno, which has been feeding the city’s canals since the Middle Ages. One side of the embankment is equipped with a small bath house “il Lido”, attended by crowds of citizens in the summer who wish to sunbathe or simply to unwind. The opposite riverfront is occupied by the  

Talon Park, an amazing and peaceful route among centuries old trees, flowers, and a lush vegetation. Your rest here will be lulled by the gentle sound of running water and gushing waterfalls. 

Casalecchio's sluice

The small town of Budrio hosts the Ocarina Museum: a place to visit if you wish to discover the secrets of this world-wide known traditional terracotta instrument. In 1977, at the first Fonoprint headquarters of via Schiavonia, we recorded the G.O.B (Gruppo Ocarinistico Budriese) album, which made the ocarina sound famous all over the world. 

Finally, the Alice Zeppilli Municipal Theatre in Pieve di Cento, boasts a varied programme of shows, music and conferences. 

Alice Zeppilli Civic Theatre in Pieve di Cento (BO)

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