Feluca tradizionale, Goliardina dell'Università di Bologna, Il Fittone

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The world's most goliardic university

Updated on 04 May 2022 From Bologna Welcome

The type of bicorn hat (feluca) you wear reveals which faculty you come from and how many years you have been enrolled at the University of Bologna. This kind of historical headgear, enriched with fringes, pins, chevrons and other accessories, speaks volumes about the student who wears it and the respect they deserve.

It may not be known to everyone that Bologna prides itself on being the city where university goliardia is born, hence the creation of a veritable order, the Fittone, which welcomes freshmen every year. These are often subjected to unexpected tests such as "fake lectures or exams" whereby, with the connivance of teachers, they are forced to take sudden tests for admission to faculties

The upshot?

Those who successfully pass the tests become part of the student community, often from outside the city, and can meet new friends, future accomplices of pranks and naive transgressions.

One of the most famous pranks in the history of the order is "climbing via Rizzoli", a light-hearted feat performed by the "Balla Bolognese" (one of the goliardic corporations) in 1964 as a prank on the townspeople. The idea was to cross Via Rizzoli, the central street leading to the Two Towers, horizontally, crawling on the ground and drinking wine at each threshold along the way.

Needless to say, crowds of curious onlookers and townspeople  rushed to admire the stunt with amazement and amusement!

The three-day Freshers' Festival, during which the whole town is involved in ceremonies, music, parades and competitions of all kinds, includes the Liberatio Scholarum, a chance for veteran students of the Fittone to meet high school alumni, rescue them from the clutches of their teachers, and give them a taste of the freedom that awaits them at university.

No one is left behind and everyone is given room for joking and sharing!

Photos by Il Fittone

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