Welcome is Bologna

Collezioni Comunali d'Arte

c/o Palazzo D'Accursio Piazza Maggiore 6 - 40121 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 2193998

Reference maps: D-3

Date of last update: 12/12/2018, 13:12

The Municipal Art Collections include 250 paintings that span the period from the Middle Ages to present day. They are a faithful testament of the city's lively and fertile art scene with artistic objects, furniture, porcelains, fabrics, laces, embroidery, miniatures and artistically significant medieval wooden crucifixes from churches in the Bologna area.

The Municipal Art Collections are part of Bologna Welcome Card network. Free entry for the Card holders. 

Founded in 1936 in the former winter apartments of the Cardinal Legates in the City Hall, the Collezioni Comunali d'Arte (Municipal Art Collections) represent the closing stage of the comprehensive reorganisation of the municipal museums that had begun at the time of the unification of Italy (1861). The nucleus of artwork already possessed by city judiciaries was then amplified to include parts of artist and art collector Pelagio Palagi’s collections. Other works were included from dismantled religious orders, along with gifts from private collectors and families throughout the centuries.

The rooms were completely restored in the 1930s. They are still decorated in their original glory (friezes, wood ceilings, and vaults) mostly from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The collection’s layout has not been modified since the 30s, so it appears as a "furnished museum", where canvasses, furniture, decor, are not always displayed in chronological order. The visitor walks through historical rooms as they open one into the other: the great "Vidonian" hall, with its juxtaposed paintings and sculptures, recalls the typical arrangement of a Baroque gallery. In several rooms of the "Rusconi" wing, furnishings are predominant, giving the aura the private mansion had in the 1700s.



The commissioner, depicted on the bottom left, is Jacopo di Matteo Bianchetti, archivist from the Camera degli Atti (Chamber of Acts). Jacopo di Paolo was a significantly relevant figure in late 1300 Bologna: he was involved as a designer, architect and painter in the building of San Petronio and of the bell tower of the Cathedral of San Pietro.

Sala Urbana, otherwise known as Sala degli Stemmi (Hall of Coats of Arms) was built in 1630 by the Apostolic Legate Bernardino Spada, who dedicated it to Pope Urban VIII.

The rectangular hall was designed by the architect  Ercole Fichi and decorated by painters Girolamo Curti and Agostino Mitelli. Michele Colonna painted the ceiling, making it one of the most important works of the Baroque period in Bologna. The walls are coated with Baroque-style heraldic decorations made up of 188 Coats of Arms ad three figurative scenes.

Arranged on four rows, the coats of arms represent the banners of Apostolic Legates, deputy Legates and Papal governors that chronicle the history of Bologna and of the Church from 1327 to 1744.

In 2006 the hall was closed due to excessive deterioration and it was restored in 2013-14 thanks to two European projects: the ceiling was stabilized and new ventilated roofing was added in order to protect the paintings from sunlight. Old wooden fixtures were replaced with high-performing ones that can protect the halls from sunlight and a new general ventilation system (without use of air-conditioning) a low energy lighting system and automatic management system were installed. Paintings and hall decor were restored as well.

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 Family Card and YoungERcard 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), Musei Metropolitani Card holders, Bologna Welcome Card holders.

Tuesday - Sunday: 10am -6,30pm
Closing days: Mondays (except holidays), 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
24 + 31 December: 10am - 2pm
• 24 and 31 December 2018: CLOSED
• 1 January 2019: 10am-6:30pm

guided visits, educational services, conference room, bookshop, access for the disabled, brochure (Italian, English, French, German).
Guided tours for schools are available by appointment during the school year. Info: Educational Department tel.  +39 051 2193922 - Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm and +39 051 2193933 - Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 5pm or edubolognamusei@comune.bologna.it