The Cassa di Risparmio of Bologna commissioned the building of its prestigious headquarters to one of the protagonists of Italian Eclecticism, Giuseppe Mengoni, well known for the construction in the same year (1868) of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in Milan. In less than five years the construction of the imposing building covered by variegated marble with iron and cast iron trimming was terminated and it stood on today's via Farini. Several renovations and improvements were carried out in the 130 years of activity of the banking institute founded in 1837. In particular, in 1937 an overall artistic renovation of the piano nobile and the functional streamlining of general services on the second floor took place. For the centenary, the gallery on the first floor was completely reshaped and decorated on the three east, west and north wings. Between 1955 and 1956 the inner courtyard was covered in order to create a wide lobby for services open to the public.
Inside, the following should be remarked:
The Scalone d'Onore, the magnificent grand staircase leading to the piano nobile, with resplendent marble decorations by Bolognese artists Marzocchi, Vespignani and Galassi. Preceded by a splendid wrought and cast iron rail fence from 1872, decorated with banisters by Davide Venturoli and harmoniously inter-spaced by marble vases by Ferdinando Amadori, it encases a bronze plaque fashioned by Giuseppe Romagnoli from Edoardo Collamarini's design, and a bronze relief by Bruno Boari. At the base of the staircase an odd detail stands out: a small frog which, according to some, depicts poverty.
Anticamera del Consiglio, the elegant hall on the piano nobile carefully laid out by Giuseppe Mengoni displays two old safes.
Biblioteca, the library with elegant stucco decoration on the ceiling, and Sala del Comitato, with portraits of the presidents: these two halls are particularly relevant for their furniture and wainscoting in rare wood.
Sala dei Cento, sober assembly hall with unexpected trompe l'oeil decoration by Luigi Samoggia and speckled dark walnut furniture by engraver Carlo Fraboni. It displays the portraits of the bank patrons and the commemorative plaques of shareholders and founding members
The Salotto Azzurro with precious damask tapestries, the Sala del Consiglio with the insignia of provincial head-towns of Emilia-Romagna, the Salotto Presidenziale and Salotto del Basoli display works by Nicola Bertuzi, Carlo Lodi, Antonio Beccadelli, Pietro Roppa, Bernardo Minozzi, Ercole Drei, Lorenzo Pasinelli, Giovanni Romagnoli, Guercino, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, Annibale Carracci, Donato Creti, Antonio Basoli, Pietro Poppi and Pelagio Palagi.