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Bologna City of Music

Bologna boasts a very long musical tradition, so much that it was declared a UNESCO "City of Music" in 2006, a prestigious award conferred for yesterday’s excellences and today’s promising talents. Here’s a useful itinerary for you to discover Bologna’s most surprising places where music is constantly alive.

It all starts with Bologna’s main music chapel inside the Basilica of San Petronio, well represented by an ancient organ, still functioning today. Moving then into the university district you will find both the Teatro Comunale and the Conservatorio Giovan Battista Martini, Italy’s first public music school, attended by renowned composers such as Gaetano Donizzetti and Gioacchino Rossini.

Going down along Strada Maggiore you can visit the Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica, as well as the church of Santa Maria dei Servi with its remarkable mechanical tracker- action organ. The Bologna Academy of Music (Accademia Filarmonica), located in Via Guerrazzi, has been operating uninterruptedly since the 18th century, and, thanks to the guidance of Father Martini, has become one of the highest musical institutions in Europe. Among its prestigious pupils, Mozart was granted here the title of“Maestro Compositore” (Master Composer). Walking towards Porta Maggiore, you can explore the church of Santa Cristina, characterised by its unique presbytery that functions as a proper sounding board capable of turning the entire building into a musical instrument.

Going back towards the old town, let yourself be enchanted by the sixteenth-century wooden choir of the Basilica of San Domenico, and by the Convent of Saint Francis, where the Franciscan friar and composer Giovanni Battista Martini lived. For musical instruments lovers, the Collezione Tavaglini hosts an extensive collection of ancient musical instruments that once belonged to Master Luigi Ferdinando Tavaglini. And finally, for jazz music enthusiasts, the wine pub in Via Cesare Battisti is an unmissable location to attend unique live performances.

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