Welcome is Bologna

Palazzo Pepoli. Museo della Storia di Bologna

via Castiglione 8 - 40124 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 19936370

Reference maps: D-4

Date of last update: 07/01/2020, 11:05

The Heart of Genus Bononiae, Palazzo Pepoli - Museo della Storia di Bologna (Museum of the history of Bologna) –recounts the history, culture and transformations of Bologna, from 'Felsina etrusca' to modern times.

The museum  Palazzo Pepoli - Museo della Storia di Bologna is part of Bologna Welcome Card network. Free entry for the Card holders. 

The museum speaks to a wide and varied audience: Bologna citizens wishing to rediscover the history and cultural heritage of their city; tourist; school children, university students, foreigners living in Bologna, and so on.

The exhibition was designed by the world renowned architect and designer Mario Bellini, while the graphic design was the work of Italo Lupi, a ground-breaking Italian graphic designer.
Palazzo Pepoli was transformed into a unique and innovative global and interactive museum which adds lustre to other local museums, by supporting them in four ways: through cross-references, with key themes signalled at the video points in each of the city museums; through coordinated educational activities; through loans of works and discoveries and through scientific cooperation initiatives launched by Bologna’s museums and cultural entities. This concerted effort reinforces overall museum projects.

Palazzo Pepoli, Museo della Storia di Bologna tells the story of the city and its inhabitants from the Etruscan period to the present day, offering a sequence of exhibition units built around key episodes, symbolic figures, anecdotes and cross-cutting themes.
The story is experienced by visitors as they observe an artful combination of objects, images and multimedia.

The itinerary is divided into sections, organised chronologically and around major themes: 

- The painted city
- The tower of time 
- Bologna in ancient times (rooms 1-4) 
- The Medieval era (rooms 5-7 and 9-10) 
- Forma Urbis (room 8) 
- The Renaissance of the Bentivoglio family (rooms 11-12) 
- Bologna in the spotlight: politics, religion and the rituals of collective life (rooms 13-16) 
- Bologna "the Learned": arts, science, humanities, music (rooms 17-19 and 21-22) 
- Multimedia space and virtual theatre 
- City of water (room 20) 
- From the eighteenth to the twentieth century (rooms 23-28) 
- A time not so near nor so far (rooms 29-32) 
- City of languages (room 33) 
- Culture room 

Mortadella Museum

On 24th October 2019, Consorzio Mortadella Bologna inaugurated a wing of the Museum of the History of Bologna (Museo della Storia di Bologna) entirely dedicated to Mortadella Bologna in cooperation with Genus Bononiae.

The layout illustrates and celebrates one of the main Italian culinary symbols as a global culinary heritage and integral part of the city's history.

In this space, visitors can delve fully into the world of Mortadella Bologna and learn its history, original recipe and production stages while discovering anecdotes, curiosities and objects. It is therefore an unmissable stop for all lovers of this noble cured meat on visiting Bologna.

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.

  • Free entry for Bologna Welcome Card holders*
  • Combined and single tickets are available for all museums of Genus Bononiae. Info (in Italian) on www.genusbononiae.it
  • Palazzo Pepoli. Museo della Storia di Bologna, Palazzo Fava. Palazzo delle Esposizioni, San Colombano. Collezione Tagliavini, Santa Maria della Vita are part of the Musei Metropolitani Card circuit. details

*During temporary exhibitions the ticket is reduced

Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 7pm
closed on Monday

Hearing disability

The entrance does not present any difficulty for the hearing impaired.

Introductory panels help you to access and visit the facility on your own.

The theme of the museum is unique, the history of Bologna, and the descriptive panels are in chronological order; rooms are equipped with cards introducing the exhibition, period by period, in foreign languages, translating what is exposed in a series of hall panels. Traditional exhibition methods alternate to innovative paths, which use a multiplicity of channels and codes.

The language of the explicative panels requires medium linguistic skills, the understanding is supported by the use of graphics and visual supports, image combinations, text and installations that on the whole make the content accessible.

There is the possibility to gain more information from the website, where you can download the brochure, the map of the museum, the description of the building and of the museum as well as the scheduled programme of events and educational visits.

There are no means of visual communication in case of alarm both in the bathrooms and in the lift.

Motor disability and difficulty of movement

The museum is substantially accessible to everyone; however, people with reduced motor skills could find trouble in the first room (Etruscan Bologna) where an Etruscan road with very irregular paving has been rebuilt, and on the way to the Virtual Theatre, where a very long ramp is equipped with a handrail to the right; the space within the Virtual Theatre is reduced, which could be a problem to people in wheelchairs.