Welcome is Bologna

Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna (National Gallery)

National gallery

Via delle Belle Arti 56, 40126 Bologna (BO)

Phone +39 051 4209411

Fax +39 051 251368

Reference maps: C-5

Date of last update: 07/01/2020, 10:58

The Pinacoteca is located not far from The Due Torri (the Two Towers, symbols of Bologna), inside the former St. Ignatius Jesuit Novitiate, built in the second half of the 17th century to welcome the young men who were to join the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Order).

Besides the Pinacoteca, the building is also the headquarters of the Accademia delle Belle Arti (Figurative Arts Academy) as well as the Historical Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage Authority (Sopraintendenza per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico). The complex houses exhibitions and activities for the preservation and research of the historic and cultural heritage. 

The Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna is part of Bologna Welcome Card network. Free entry for the Card holders. 



The collection began in 1762 when Monsignor Francesco Zambeccari donated some 16th century paintings to the Accademia Clementina. Originally, these paintings were part of a collection belonging to the prestigious Accademia dei Desiderosi, created by the Carracci family in 1582.

In 1803, the Accademia Clementina became the Accademia di Belle Arti, making the collection a Quadreria (or collection of paintings) along with the original artistic heritage, later expanded through further donations.

After the Institution was suppressed by Napoleonic troops, the most important works of art were sent to Paris and Milan (Musée Napoleon and what would later become the Accademia di Brera, respectively), where they were kept until the fall of the French Empire. They were then returned to the Quadreria, later known as the Pinacoteca.  

That is how the base of the current collection was initially formed. The first catalogue of 274 paintings dates back to 1827. 

Through further donations, the Bolognese Pinacoteca - already prestigious for its religious heritage - acquired many works of art from laymen and nobles, thus completing its collection between the 14th and 19th century. To date, the Pinacoteca di Bologna is considered one of the most modern and significant National Galleries in Europe.

It is considered one of the leading modern National Galleries and originally opened in 1885 after being separated from the Accademia.

The Exposition

The Exposition

The Pinacoteca was totally renovated in 1997 and at present it hosts 30 exhibition halls, the Sale delle Belle Arti and very modern rooms on the basement, where medium and large sized temporary exhibitions, didactic activities, seminars and conferences are held. 

The exhibition is made up of several sections divided by the various artistic schools. The collection includes works of art dating back to the 13th and 14th centuries (Vitale da Bologna, etc.), to the Renaissance period (Raphael, Perugino, Tintoretto, etc.), Mannerism (Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Cesi, etc.), including some very large 17th century paintings.

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

by car: located in restricted traffic zone ZTL. Ring road exit n. 9 direction city center.


Tickets can be purchased in one of the two museums, is valid for the second museum on same or different day.

Full € 6.00;
reduced € 2.00 for visitors aged 18 to 25 (only for European Community citizens), full-time teachers;

Free admission for Musei Metropolitani Card owners , minors under 18 years (only for European Community citizens) and Bologna Welcome Card owners.

Free entry in the following dates:
first Sunday of the month from October to March
October 4th
Dicember 26-27-28-29

There are no reductions for groups and the groups can enter max 30 persons.

No reservations nor pre-sale of tickets.

To have your free or reduced ticket please present proof of your specific category at the ticket desk.

Opening hours JULY and AUGUST

Tuesday and Wednesday 8.30 - 14
from Thursday to Sunday 13.45 - 19.30

Opening hours from SEPTEMBER to JUNE

Tuesday to Sunday: 8.30 - 19.30
midweek holidays: 8.30 - 19.30

closing days: Mondays, 25th of December and 1st of January

The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the closing hours

Closed 8 January for week rest

The Museum doesn’t have services of guided tours, audio guides, bookshop, restaurant or coffee shop.

Access for disabled people to the ticket office by ramp
to the exhibition rooms by elevator and dedicated platforms
to the toilets at the basement floor by elevator

Pinacoteca Nazionale