From Academic Kids

Bologna is also a common type of processed sandwich meat. For the food product, see bologna sausage.
Città di Bologna
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Area 140,9 km
Altitude 54m
Population 372.505
Population density 2651,5/km
Province Bologna
Mayor Sergio Cofferati
Official Site

Bologna (from Latin Bononia, Bulaggna in the local dialect) is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, between the Po River and the Apennines.



Bologna was founded by the Etruscans with the name Felsina.
Next the city was the Roman colony known as Bononia, which survived as a medieval city to become a centre of scholasticim and then a major city of the Renaissance papal states.
Due to an efficient system of canals, now almost disappeared, Bologna was one of the trading centres in northern Italy.


Over the centuries, Bologna has acquired many nicknames. "Bologna the learned" ("Bologna la dotta") is a reference to its famous university. "Bologna the fat" ("Bologna la grassa") refers to its cuisine.

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Torre degli Asinelli
Piazza Maggiore
Piazza Maggiore

Bologna is also called "Bologna the red" (Bologna la rossa) not only for its political leanings but also due to its abundance of red brick and marble buildings. Until the late nineteenth century, at which point a large-scale urban reconstruction project was undertaken, Bologna remained one of the best preserved Medieval cities in Europe, though to this day it remains unique in its historic value. Despite having suffered from considerable bombing damage in 1944, Bologna's historic centre, one of Europe's largest, contains a wealth of Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque artistic monuments of primary importance. Bologna developed as an Etruscan, then Roman colony along the Via Emilia, the street that still runs straight through the city under the changing names of Rizzoli, Ugo Bassi, and Strada Maggiore. Due to its Roman heritage, the most central streets of Bologna, today largely pedestrianized, follow the grid pattern of the Roman settlement. The original Roman ramparts were supplanted by a high medieval system of fortifications, remains of which are still visible, and finally by a third and final set of ramparts built in the thirteenth century, of which numerous sections survive. Over twenty medieval defensive towers, some of leaning precariously, remain from the over two hundred that were constructed in the era preceding the security guaranteed by unified civic government. Numerous important churches, such as Santo Stefano, San Domenico, San Francesco, Santa Maria dei Servi, San Giacomo Maggiore and San Petronio, punctuate the city's skyline with their tall spires and noteworthy architecture. The cityscape is further enriched by elegant and extensive arcades, for which the city is famous. In total, there are over 37 kilometres of arcades in the city, which make it possible to walk for long distances sheltered from rain, snow, or shot summer sun. "Bologna the red" has also been said to refer to the city's left-leaning politics. Until the election of a centre-right mayor in 1999, the city was a historic bastion of socialism and communism. The centre-left gained power again in the 2004 mayoral elections, with the election of Sergio Cofferati. It was one of the first European settlements to experiment with the concept of "free" public transport.

Another nickname for Bologna is Basket City, referring to Bologna's obsession with basketball, unusual for football-dominated Italy. The local derby between the city's two principal basketball clubs, Fortitudo and Virtus (often called after the clubs' principal sponsors), is one of the most intense in the entire world of sports. Violence has been largely absent in the derby.

Football is still a hugely popular sport in Bologna; the main local club is Bologna F.C. 1909, relegated to Serie B at the end of the 2004/2005 season.


Bologna is home to Guglielmo Marconi International Airport, expanded in 2004 by extending the runway, now capable of accommodating larger aircrafts.

The central train station is considered the most important train hub in Northern Italy thanks to the city's stragic location.


Bologna is renowned for its culinary tradition and it is often regarded as the food capital of Italy. Situated in the fertile Po River Valley, the rich local cuisine depends heavily on meats and cheeses. As in all Emilia-Romagna, the production of cured pork meats such as prosciutto, mortadella and salame is an important part of the local food industry. Reputed nearby vineyards include Lambrusco di Modena and Sangiovese Romagna. Tagliatelle al rag (pasta with meat sauce, from which the famous spaghetti alla Bolognese derive), tortellini served in broth, and mortadella (the original Bologna sausage) are among the local specialties.

The University

The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is widely regarded as the oldest existing university in Europe, and was an important center of European intellectual life during the Middle Ages, attracting scholars from throughout Christendom. A unique heritage of medieval art, exemplified by the illuminated manuscripts and jurists' tombs produced in the city from the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, provide a cultural backdrop to the renown of the medieval institution. The Studium, as it was originally known, began as a loosely organized teaching system with each docent collecting fees from students on an individual basis. The location of the early University was thus spread all throughout the city, with various Colleges being founded to support students of a specific nationality. The Collegio di Spagna, in the southern part of the city, remains an example of one such early college. Initially, courses were only available in Canon or Civil Law. Gratian and Irnerius, two of the formative influences on legal study both taught at the university in the 12th century. In 1563, when Bologna was part of the Papal States, the University was centralized by means of the Archiginassio, now an important library, which until Napoleonic times housed all faculties. In the Napoleonic era, the headquarters of the university were moved to their present location on Via Zamboni (formerly Via San Donato), in the north-eastern sector of the city centre. Today, the University's 23 faculties, 68 departments, and 93 libraries are spread across the city and include four subsidiary campuses in neraby Cesena, Forl, Ravenna, and Rimini. Noteworthy students present at the university in centuries past included Dante, Francis Petrarch, Thomas Becket, Pope Nicholas V, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Copernicus. In more recent history, Luigi Galvani, the discoverer of biological electricity, and Guglielmo Marconi, the pioneer of radio technology, also worked at the University. The University of Bologna remains one of the most respected and dynamic post-secondary educational institutions in Italy. To this day, Bologna is still very much a university town, and the city's population swells from 400,000 to nearly 500,000 whenever classes are in session. This community includes a great number of Erasmus, Socrates, and Overseas students. Several American Universities, such as Johns Hopkins and University of San Francisco, also sponsor exchange programs in the city.

Famous people from Bologna

See also

External links

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