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Travel: Bologna (part 3) July 8th/2022

Updated: Mar 1

The segment travel to Italy started on June 23rd and until the 28th, is dedicated to the visit of 2022 Biennale Arte, (work in progress) and then to other Italian cities.


July is the Graduation month festivities for those completing their studies at the university of Bologna,. The streets, squares and restaurants are filled with students, friends and family members, celebrating the joyous occasion, out in the open, by raising wine glass for toasts, making speeches, and reciting songs that their words

better not be repeated.

The happy graduate student is easily recognized by the wreath made of Myrtle flowers decorating their heads, like the Romans used to carry in a triumphant parade.


Porta San Donato -The gate into the university area

Also known as Porta Zamboni,

it is a 13th c gate or portal of the former outer medieval walls of the city. It meant to guard the road to the Argenta valleys and to Ferrara and was flanked by the lodgings for the guards who guarded it.

By 1354 it was equipped with a drawbridge.

For security reasons it was closed and walled up in 1428, but then it was renovated and reopened in the following decades. It is flanked by a machiocolated tower

The University Road - Via Zamboni

Bologna's oldest higher learning university which was found in 1088 by an organized guild of students, is commonly ranked in the first places of national, European and international rankings and has about 86,500 students in its 11 schools.

The first woman to earn a university degree and teach at a university was

Bettisia Gozzadini who gauned a law degree in 1237, being one of the first women in history to obtain a university degree.[ She taught law from her own home for 2 years, and in 1239 she taught at the university, becoming the first woman in history to teach at a university

The seat of the University was transferred by Napoleon in 1802. from

Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio,(see part 2) (commissioned by Pius IV in 1561 to reunite all the schools part of the studium in a single campus) to it current location on the historic

Via Zamboni (11 th c)

Named after Luigi Zamboni, an 18th c Italian patriot, student at Bologna University

Via Zamboni is the most popular road for University students in Bologna.

Via Zamboni which is about 1 km long, is the main artery of the university area;, and leads from the Two Towers to Porta San Donato. It houses huge palatial structures containing University's departments, Libraries, Museums - the whole university area. Along this road and in the immediate surroundings there are some of the most important places of art and culture in addition to other services, as well as

Palazzo Foggi - Seat of the Rectorate/Museum

Built in 1549, the building -one of the biggest in the city - became part of the University of Bologna campus in 1860.

The Court inside.

On the inside there is a courtyard that is inspired by Palazzo Farnese in Rome and in the center of this courtyard there is a statue of Hercules resting by Domenico Piò

Its facade architectural contributions are from Bartolomeo Triachini (1516–1587) and Pellegrino Ribaldi (1527-1996) - mannerist architect, sculptor, and mural painter.

His frescoes by in the Noble room stand out.

Institute of Science

Inside the building there is the precious collection of the Institute of Sciences (Istituto delle Scienze), founded in 1711 by Luigi Ferdinando Marsili, consisting of a series of thematic rooms, The Museum houses the 18 c anatomical waxes that belonged that were added to the collection thanks to Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, archbishop of Bologna, after seeing the first plates of the academic Clementine Ercole Lelli (1702-1766), passionate scholar of anatomy.

Museum of the Specola inside the building conserves important astronomical instruments Astronomical observatory ,was started in 1712 following a project by Antonio Torri and then finished in 1725 by Carlo Francesco Dotti,

In the Globes Room (Sala dei Globi) among others, displays the Blaeu globes and an armillary sphere of D. Lusverg, donated by Pope Benedict XIV.


While David was visiting the Science Museum, down the street I took a pick at the:

La Quqderia at Palazzo Rossi Poggi Marsili

The entrance is free

On Via Marsala #7, the palace was once home of the Opera Pia dei Poveri Vergognosi (founded in (1495), in the 16th c or Charity home for the Shameful Poor, but now houses a Quadreria - a painting gallery gathered by "ASP Città di Bologna", which derived from the joining of various charities.

The collection of the antique paintings from 16 to 18 c that belonged to the Opera Pia, and painted by Bolonese artists were donated by philanthropists supporters of the Opera

The palace was donated to the Opera Pia in 1716 by Giovanini Francesco Rossi Poggi Marsalis whose portraits is hanging in the room of the patrons

Ritratto di Giovanni Francesco Rossi Poggi Marsili (1707) painted

Mr Rossi - a Bolognese nobleman to whose family once the beautiful building belonged, and whose painting is hung in the first gallery, left on his death in 1715 most of his possessions to pious works

He left his town home to the Poveri Vergognosi Opera, with the proviso that his left wealth ( art/furniture/documents) would become their seat.

This was the case until 2014, when the Opera became part of ASP Città di Bologna.

He is portrated by Canziani, while writing the deed of donation, in his study.

The museum's 8 rooms, on the first floor display works from the 16th through 18th c.

They include mostly works of religious subject by Denys Calvaert, Marc Antonio Franceschini, and Bartolomeo Ramenghi.

Though most paintings are related to the New testament, below are few

scenes from the Old bible

Kain and Abel

Abraham and the Angeles

Hagar and Ishmael

Preparing Queen Ester


Further interesting Points/buildings

Piazza Verdi - Crosses Via Zamboni

Palazzo Paleotti, the Municipal Theatre and one side of the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore overlook the square.

Palazzo Paleotti , former home of Paleotti family and now a university building.

The building occupies the right corner of Piazza Verdi which Via Zamboni, crosses, along also with the buildings of Municipal Theaterand one side of the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore.

(see below)

It is famous among students for having been, for years, a university canteen, a very popular study room and a university library.

A very different destination from that originally conceived, when the palace was renovated to be the residence of the Paleotti senatorial family (17th c).

Formed by an ancient medieval block gradually remodeled, Palazzo Paleotti will undergo countless renovations, up to the current arrangement in the library and multimedia center dedicated to university students.


Further down the street it is worth passing through one of the city's gates as to view an hidden canal.

Porta Govese – Torresotto dei Piella

The 800 years old Gate, belongs to the second circle of the walls of the city,

it is one of the four torresotti still existing in Bologna, a residual part of the 18 (16 menageries and 2 rear ones) which in the 13 characterized the second circle of walls of Bologna, known as the one of the Thousand.

Canale di Reno + an iron window

Passing under the Porta Govese - Torresotto dei Piella, and continuing shortly on the street's bridge, the famous window on the Canale delle Moline and the bridge, both overlooking the canal. are on site.

It is part of a larger city's canal system.

This corner of the city is known as "little Venice" as few stretches of running water, which was not covered with asphalt between the beginning of the 20th c and the postwar period appear between the buildings

Bologna managed to become one of the main commercial trade centers of the Middle Ages thanks to a hydraulic system of canals and locks that produced energy for the trades, allowed large ships to come and go and improved sanitation with a number of public wash houses.

Canale delle Moline is the extension of Canale di Reno. For the most part of its route the channel is locked between the houses and for this reason in the past it has long been hidden from view. Now it is possible to see it through small windows in via Oberdan, via Malcontenti in addition to via Piella.


Palazzo Grasssi

The 13 c Gothic palace (on Via Marsala 14) which, still retains a styled wooden portico columns for part of the facade and upper floor with bricks, belonged to the Canonici family, but was acquired by the Grassi family in 1466, and remained with their number of prominent Italian ecclesiastics descendants until 1848.

In 1865, the palace was acquired by the military. It underwent a number of renovations, with the latest in the 20th century, and in 1935 it became the home of the Circolo club

a private Officer's club.

Teatro Comunale

The Teatro Comunale di Bologna is an opera house , after Teatro Malvezzi, (built in 1651) burned down in February 1745. The event prompted the construction of a new public theater, designed byarchitect Antonio Galli Bibiena as the Nuovo Teatro Pubblico,- the Teatro Comunale , when it opened in 1763.

It was to be the first major opera house to be

constructed with public funds and owned

by the municipality.

It presents 8 operas with six performances during its November to April season.


Palazzo Magnani Salem

Currently it is the local office for the Unicredit (was a headquarter of Rolo Banca and Credito Romagnolo ).

The Renascence style palace (on Via Zamboni number 20)built by the Magnani noble family with the same name, which documents the social position of the Magnani family whose surname captures the original profession of “magnano”, or blacksmith.

The building was constructed at the end of the 16th c (1577) and designed by architect Domenico Tibaldi , with an interior embellished with Carracci. 's frescoes of the “Stories of the foundation of Rome” - frieze of Histories of the Foundation of Rome

Parts of the ground floor conserve the Collection of ancient and modern art of the UniCredit Banca that includes masterpieces by artists such as Dosso Dossi, Ludovico Carracci, Guercino and Morandi

In 1797 the palace became a property of the Guidotti family. In the late 19th c they sold it to the Malvezzi Campeggi family whose coat of arms is still visible on the facade


Palazzo Malvezzi de' Medici

The 1560 Palazzo Malvezzi Campeggi rises adjacent to the Magnani 0ne.,

It is known as “palazzo dal portico buio” (the building with the dark portico) given the typical semi-darkness of its porch.

The Renascence style palace (on Via Zamboni #13) which now houses the offices of the Provincial Administration.of the city, was commissioned in 1560 by the widow of Giovanni di Bartolomeo Malvezzi, -Paola di Antonio Maria Campeggi; and was designed by Bartolomeo Triachini.

It is embellished with an imposing 18th century staircase - commissioned in 1725 by the Marquis Giuseppe Maria Malvezzi de' Medici (1670–1736) from Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena and with a 19th-century decorations on the main floor. added by Giovanni Malvezzi (1819–1892), who refurbished the palace under the direction of Francesco Cocchi.

In 1931 the building was sold by Aldobrandino Malvezzi (1881–1961), professor at the University of Florence, to the Province of Bologna.


Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore.

Across the Palazzo Malvezzi de' Medici, looms the is the historic Roman Catholic church,

Romanesque on the outside, Gothic and late Renaissance on the inside that is.located in one of the most attractive squares in Bologna, piazza Rossini,.

The Church of San Giacomo Maggiore was built between 1267 and 1315 by the Eremite friars of Sant'Agostino. It houses, among the rest, the Bentivoglio Chapel, and features numerous Renaissance artworks. It has served a monastery of Augustinian friars. that were expelled during the French occupation in the early 19th c. They returned in 1824, although part of the monastery remained a music school, now the Conservatorio Giovanni Battista Martini.

The bell tower, which was built in 1471, is located to the left of the complex and the bell concert is considered among the most beautiful in the city.

In the 15th c the Bentivoglio family built their family chapel in the church (1463–1468), and also added a long portico on the Via San Donato (1477–1481). which leads to the church of Santa Cecilia,

Oratory of Santa Cecilia,

Behind the large church and along the portico attached to the Basilica of San Giacomo Maggiore in the via Zamboni, is the entrance to the Oratory of St.Cecilia and Valeriano.

It comes from an old Romanic church commissioned by Giovanni 2nd of Bentivoglio, lord of Bologna. It was made smaller and completely frescoed to preserve the most important paintings of the Bolognese Renaissance.

The paintings, started in 1505, by well-known artists of the Bentivoglio court, such as: Francesco Francia, Lorenzo Costa and Amico Aspertini, and they were completed by less famous artists. The frescoes cover the right and left walls at the oratory entrance. In ten panels, divided by pilaster strips decorated grotesque, events of St. Cecily's life and her husband Valeriano are described. They are set at the age of Urbano 2nd (3rd ct. ), when the saints became martyrs because they did not recant their Christian faith.

Palazzo Bentivoglio

The Original Palace

The original Palazzo Bentivoglio was built by the noble Bolognese Bentivoglio Family on the orders of Sante Bentivoglio, in Via San Donato (today Via Zamboni), starting in 1460,

The family that became the de facto rulers of Bologna and responsible for giving the city its political autonomy during the Renaissance, although their rule, they did not survive a century.

Destroyed by the mob in 1507. a second imposing palace by the same name was built in 1551, and is still standing near by, a little further on, in Via Delle Belle Arti, by Costanzo Bentivoglio, a descendant of a collateral branch (non-dominant) of the family.

The architect Bartolomeo Triachini is attributed with the design of the majestic and beautiful later palace. The entrance leads into a spacious courtyard surrounded by a double loggia that was based on designs by Domenico Tibaldi.


Palazzo Pepoli Nuovo

A Baroque style palace (on Via Castiglione 7) which In 2015, served as a public art gallery for late-Baroque art,

It was commissioned in the mid-1600s by Count Odoardo Pepoli of the aristocratic Pepoli family. In 1653 he was a freshly appointed Senator. so he commissioned a huge residence over former houses on his property, to promote the elevated social prestige the family had recently gained in town. The house was built/designs by Francesco Albertoni and Giuseppe Antonio Torri,

The rich interior includes frescoes of the impressive staircase by Domenico Maria Canuti

The second name of the building, “Campogrande”, derives from its last owners who In the 20th c, donated the place to the city for the establishment of a museum.


During one of our walks throughout the enchanting streets of the old center, we encountered this plaque up high on one of the palace's wall dedicated to Marconi  His name is very prominent in Silicon Valley.

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi FRSA was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his inventions of wireless radio and the magnetic detector , in 1902 that enabled transmission across the ocean . Born: 1874 in, Marescalchi Palace, and died in 1937, Rome, Marconi In David’s opinion is a more important inventor than Howard Bell . Howard Bell was a predator on other people invention which he decimated and patented . Howard Bell was a “ commercial inventor

 The Palazzo Dall'Armi Marescalchi is a Baroque style palace in central The palace was initially constructed in 1466, and rebuilt in 1613 (in via delle Asse at the ancient number 1193 (now via IV Novembre n.5), by Floriano Ambrosini. The Marescalchi name was added when Eleonora D'Armi married Senator Vincenzo Marescalchi. In the 1700s, further lands and gardens were added. In the 19th century further reconstruction was pursued., and as alraedy mentioned the scientist Guglielmo Marconi was born in the palace. In 1961 it was acquired by the Ministry of the Treasury, ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Jewish Ghetto

Between today’s Via Zamboni and Via Oberdan

Right in the heart of the old medieval center and near-by the university area the original structures. in a maze of alleyways and suspended passages, covered bridges and small window, still retains past authenticity of the Bologna Ghetto

Jews in Bologna were recorded as early as the 4th c .In 302 it was recorded that 2 Christian martyrs were buried in the Jewish graveyard. There is no further record of Jews in Bologna until 1171, when for reasons unknown they were expelled from the city. By the end of the 13th century, Jews had again settled in the city. Many moved to Bologna to work as merchants and cloth dealers. A Hebrew printing press was introduced very early in Bologna, although the exact date is unknown (in the 1400s or before).

By the end of the 14th century, Jews owned houses in all areas of the city yet in 1566 Pope Paul IV ordered that ghettos be established in all the territories of the Papal State. The ghetto allocated was separated from houses outside it by specially built walls, which limited access to it to just 3 entrance gates

The Ghetto was effectively closed only in 1566, by order of the papal commissary Angelo Antonio Amati. However, following a papal bull of 1569 the Jews were expelled from almost all territories which were directly governed by the Church, and the area was occupied by new tenants who demanded that the walls and gates be pulled down, and eliminated all traces of the Jewish presence.

The new Bull of 1586 readmitted the Jews to the city for a few years, but in 1593 they were banished permanently, and were only allowed to return two centuries later in 1796, when the French arrived.

Palazzo Bocchi - on in Via Goito

Verse of Psalm 120 of the Psalter is inscribed in Hebrew on the building

The monumental Renascence style building was designed around the middle of the 16th c by Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola. and was owned (1546) by the literary scholar and patron of arts- Achille Bocchi - the site where he founded the Hermatema Academy (Hermes, god of eloquence, and Athena, goddess of wisdom)The palace was his residence, as well as the seat of the cultural activities he himself promoted.. Bocchi cultivated a deep interest in Hebrew texts..

2 original inscriptions run along the rusticated base of the facade: one in Hebrew reproduces a verse from psalm 120 in Jewish characters and reads:

"Deliver me from the liars, God! They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth."

The other in Latin and is taken from the Epistle 1 by Horace and reads:

"Rex eris, aiunt, si recte facies" ("do well, thou shalt be crowned").

Palazzo dei Gombruti (on Via de'Gombruti #13 )

In 1864 the Association of Jews was established and this community built a large Synagogue in 1877, in the 17th c Palazzo Dei Gombruti. This synagogue remains today, although it is no longer in use.

It has always been owned by the Belloni family. The apparent simplicity of the outside of the building contrasts greatly with the richness of the interior and particularly with the majestic staircase that leads to the main floor.

which also carry frescoes. The exterior of the palace, which lacks a portico,

By the beginning of the 20th c, there were approximately 1,200 Jews in Bologna, having come from Mantua, Modena, and other nearby cities.

At 16, Via dell’Inferno stands the building which once housed the synagogue

A construction of the Bologna Synagogue in the Ghetto designed by Antonio Muggia was completed in 1928 and the small oratory founded by Angelo Carpi in 1820 was enlarged. Its façade has a prominent window with a Star-of-David design.

In 1943, 84 Jews were deported by the Nazis.

The Jewish community in Bologna was rebuilt after Italy’s liberation and today, there are about 200 members.

Museo Ebraico - Via Valdonica, 1/5

Housed in the Palazzo Pannolini, named after the family of wool producers and textile merchants that lived here in the 15-16th c.

The Palazzo Pannolini is a Renaissance-style building owned by the municipality, since 1999 it has housed the Jewish Museum of Bologna .The museum and lists the chronicle history of the Jewish people since their origins by following an indicated route through numerous multimedia and video presentations.

which we didn't find to work well at all

Several rooms are dedicated to life of the Jewish community in Emilia-Romagna, traces of which have been uncovered in 26 urban centers of the region. The other rooms are centered on the history of Bolognese Jews.

Worship centers are still active in 5 cities of including Bologna, Ferrara, Modena, Parma, and Soragna

The Shoah memorial

Inaugurated on , 2016, the Bologna’s Shoah memorial can be found at the corner of Via dé Carracci and Ponte Matteotti. and consist of 2 steel rectangles are facing one another. with a path between them,which starts with a width of 160 cm, and narrows down to 80 cm, to create a feeling of oppression

++++++++++++++++++++ The "Kidnapped" - Film based on real events - the heart wrenching story of the

Mortara Family who resided in Bologna and whose Jewish son (out of 8)

Edgardo Mortara was kidnapped when only 6 years old and converted to Catholicism in 1858. on the basis of a former servant's testimony that she had administered an emergency baptism to the boy when he fell ill as an infant.

The case captured the attention of much of Europe and North America in the 1850s and 1860s.


Guided tours are offered by the MEB (designed for both school groups and adult members of the public).Contacts: tel + 39 051 6569003+39 051 2911280 e-mail (here)

The Crumbling Ghetto's streets


Old Center Restaurants

Piazza della Mercanzia 3

This historic restuarnt with the oldest wooden gates is Very close to the 2 towers (here)

Less for the food and more for the history.

Franco Rossi Restaurant

Traditional Emilian cuisine

via Goito 3

Typical Emiliana 2 Montegrappa +39051236331


By By Bologna

To be Continued...


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