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Palazzo Aldini-Sanguinetti

Strada Maggiore 34 - 40125 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 2757711

Fax +39 051 2757728

Reference maps: D-5

Date of last update: 11/12/2019, 09:40

The Palace that today is called Sanguinetti, from the most recent family owner's name, is the result of the difficult evolution of that zone settlements, from the Middle Ages till today, and it shows evidence of every single transformation it underwent. The ancient nucleus of the Palace, at the beginning of XVI the century, belonged to the Loiani family, important nobles of the political life of Bologna, and at that time it was considered the most beautiful and well-finished house of the city.

The building was sold in 1569 to the brothers Ercole and Giulio Riario, a Bolognese branch of a family from Savona, related to della Rovere family, holder of a seat in Senate and, from 1578, of a cardinal title. After having acquired the bordering lands and buildings, senator Ercole Riario made the residence to be rebuilt and extended, following the standards of magnificence and pomp which were prevalent among the most important families. Single rooms were merged in an unitary structure and the spectacular staircase was probably adopted at that time, it still characterizes the building, essential in the choreography of the Baroque celebrations of the families belonging to the Senate. The second important intervention in the building structure was wanted by Antonio Aldini.

The 2 March 1796 Marquis Raffaello Riario Sforza granted the palace in enfiteusi (a sort of lease contract that left many powers to the lessees) to Lord Antonio Aldini. Napoleone Bonaparte's right-hand man in Bologna, Lord Aldini carried out a prominent role in the revolutionary period that followed the arrival of the French people, and he was also promoted Minister Secretary of State in the Reign of Italy. In 1798 Aldini gave assignment to the architect Giovanni Battista Martinetti (1774-1830), a friend of his and a leading personality in the pro-French entourage, to renovate the palace, adding also part of the neighbouring house with the tower that once belonged to the Oseletti family. Due to this architect, a new system was given to the noble plan appartment, adapted to the Bourgeois style: then the great sixteenth century hall was lowered and divided in two rooms which was at the place of the two widest halls of the present Museum: the lobby, or the Virtues Hall, and the Feasts Hall.  The main decorations date back to this period and they still make this palace an extraordinary historical-artistic heritage, among the most important Italian monuments of the neoclassical age.

After the Napoleone fall and the economic ruin of Aldini the palace was sold to the Cuban nobleman don Diego Pegnalverd, already a member of Napoleon's government. After his death, which happened in 1832, the palace was given to the famous tenor Domenico Donzelli; as his contemporaries reported, "he constantly enlarged and restored it in the magnificent style it shows today". It is a well-known fact that while Donzelli was living in the building of Strada Maggiore 34, Gioacchino Rossini was his host, since his dwelling, close to Donzelli's one, was under restoration.

In 1870 the palace was acquired by the Sanguinetti family, a family that has left evidence of itself in many fields of the life and history of Bologna, which we must thank for the most recent decorations, in the part of the building assigned to library, and particularly in the so-called "Egyptian room", whose wonderful frescoes are emerged during the recent restoration of the palace.

The last heiress, Eleonora Sanguinetti, has donated in 1986 to the city of Bologna a great part of the building, in memory - as she wrote in her testament - of "...my unforgettable dad, doctor Guido Sanguinetti, and it's in his name and in his memory, because of the love he always had for his city and his house, I opportunely wanted to donate the palace of Strada Maggiore 34, in order to make it become a musical museum and library ".

Palazzo Sanguinetti houses inside the " museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica", open in 2004.

by bus: lines and timetables on the website www.tper.it

by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exits n. 11/11bis-12 direction city center.

full € 5.00, reduction € 3.00 (visitors over 65, visitors from 18 to 25, groups of min. 10 people, Comune di Bologna Youth Card and Family Card holders, special agreements)

Free admission: first Sunday of each month, young people up to 18, university students with membership card, classes of secondary schools, 2 leaders for each school group, 1 leader for each group of 10 people, 1 adult with a child who attends workshops planned by the museum, tourist guides with badge, journalists with badge, disabled people and their helpers, Icom members, special agreements, people as indicated in clause 4, paragraph 3, letter a, b, d, e, f, g, h, i – Decree n. 507 dating 11/12/1997 and further modifications  (also students and teachers of  Conservatory and other schools as specified in the letter h of the decree), Card Cultura owners Bologna Welcome Card owners.