39 Facts About Bologna


Famous for its towers, churches and lengthy porticoes, Bologna has a well-preserved historical centre, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s.

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Home to the oldest university in the Western world, the University of Bologna, established in AD 1088, the city has a large student population that gives it a cosmopolitan character.

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Bologna is an important agricultural, industrial, financial and transport hub, where many large mechanical, electronic and food companies have their headquarters as well as one of the largest permanent trade fairs in Europe.

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Traces of human habitation in the area of Bologna go back to the 3rd millennium BCE, with significant settlements from about the 9th century BCE.

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Bologna was the center of a revived study of law, including the scholar Irnerius and his famous students, the Four Doctors of Bologna.

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In 1350, Bologna was conquered by archbishop Giovanni Visconti, the new lord of Milan.

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In 1376, Bologna again revolted against Papal rule and joined Florence in the unsuccessful War of the Eight Saints.

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Period of Papal rule over Bologna has been generally evaluated by historians as one of severe decline.

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At this time, Bologna had ninety-six convents, more than any other Italian city.

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The economy of Bologna started to show signs of severe decline as the global centres of trade shifted towards the Atlantic.

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Bologna continued to suffer a progressive deindustrialisation in the 18th century.

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Economic and demographic decline of Bologna became even more noticeable starting from the second half of the 18th century.

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Indeed, Bologna gave Italy one of its first prime ministers, Marco Minghetti.

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In 1977, Bologna was the scene of rioting linked to the Movement of 1977, a spontaneous political movement of the time.

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On 2 August 1980, at the height of the "years of lead", a terrorist bomb was set off in the central railway station of Bologna killing 85 people and wounding 200, an event which is known in Italy as the Bologna massacre.

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However, Bologna reverted to form in 2004 when Sergio Cofferati, a former trade union leader, unseated Guazzaloca.

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Bologna is situated on the edge of the Po Plain at the foot of the Apennine Mountains, at the meeting of the Reno and Savena river valleys.

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Bologna has a mid-latitude, four-season humid subtropical climate.

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The current mayor of Bologna is Matteo Lepore, elected on 4 October 2011 with the 61.

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Municipality of Bologna is subdivided into six administrative Boroughs, down from the former nine before the 2015 administrative reform.

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Bologna is the capital of the eponymous metropolitan city and of Emilia-Romagna, one of the twenty regions of Italy.

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Until the late 19th century, when a large-scale urban renewal project was undertaken, Bologna was one of the few remaining large walled cities in Europe; to this day and despite having suffered considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's 142 hectares historic centre is Europe's second largest, containing an immense wealth of important medieval, renaissance, and baroque artistic monuments.

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Bologna developed along the Via Emilia as an Etruscan and later Roman colony; the Via Emilia still runs straight through the city under the changing names of Strada Maggiore, Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi, and San Felice.

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The most famous of the towers of Bologna are the central "Due Torri", whose iconic leaning forms provide a popular symbol of the town.

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The Basilica of Saint Stephen and its sanctuary are among the oldest structures in Bologna, having been built starting from the 8th century, according to the tradition on the site of an ancient temple dedicated to Egyptian goddess Isis.

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Economy of Bologna is characterized by a flourishing industrial sector, traditionally centered on the transformation of agricultural and zootechnical products, machinery (Coesia, IMA, Sacmi), construction equipment (Maccaferri); energy (Hera Group), automotive (Ducati, Lamborghini), footwear, textile, engineering, chemical, printing and publishing (Cappelli, il Mulino, Monrif Group, Zanichelli).

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In particular, Bologna is considered the centre of the so-called "packaging valley", an area well known for its high concentration of firms specialised in the manufacturing of automatic packaging machines.

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Furthermore, Bologna is well known for its dense network of cooperatives, a feature that dates back to the social struggles of farmers and workers in the 1800s and that today produces up to a third of its GDP and occupies 265 thousand people in the Emilia-Romagna region.

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Bologna is home to the Guglielmo Marconi International Airport, the seventh busiest Italian airport for passenger traffic.

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The average age of Bologna resident is 51 compared to the Italian average of 42.

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University of Bologna, conventionally said to have been founded in 1088 by glossators Irnerius and Pepo, is the oldest university in Europe.

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The University of Bologna remains one of the most respected and dynamic post-secondary educational institutions in Italy.

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The university's botanical garden, the Orto Botanico dell'Universita di Bologna, was established in 1568; it is the fourth oldest in Europe.

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SAIS Bologna was founded in 1955 as the first campus of a US post-graduate school to open in Europe.

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Bologna has two other nicknames: the first one, "the towered" refers to the high number of medieval towers that can be found in the city, even if today only 24 towers are still standing.

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Bologna's university was founded in 1088 and it is considered the oldest university in the Western world.

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Fostering a wide range of genres from classical to electronic, jazz, folk and opera, Bologna offers its citizens a musical vitality that deeply infiltrates the city's professional, academic, social and cultural facets.

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In 1998, the City of Bologna initiated the project "Bologna dei Teatri", an association of the major theatrical facilities in the city.

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Rugby union is present in the city: Rugby Bologna 1928 is not only one of the oldest Italian rugby union clubs but the first ever club affiliated to the Italian rugby union federation.

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