The Two Towers in Bologna
Events

What’s New in Bologna and Emilia-Romagna for 2020

If you’re planning a trip to Bologna and surrounding region of Emilia-Romagna in 2020, here are travel news, events, anniversaries and exhibitions that you may find interesting. 

New Bologna Uncovered Walking Tours!

Clearly the year’s most important news event for Bologna and Emilia-Romagna 😉 

I’m currently working on setting up some new tours, which I’m hoping to launch in the spring.  From the Modena hills (Lambrusco and balsamic vinegar, anyone?) to the Apennine mountains south of Bologna, to the parks and hills just outside Bologna, stay tuned for the latest additions. 

In the meantime, check the tours I currently have, and remember, I can always create bespoke tours for you, so just write me with your ideas: bolognauncovered@gmail.com. 

Bologna, Unesco City of Porticos?

This is the year when the city of Bologna submits its application to Unesco for insertion of the porticos into the World Heritage list. Response on the part of Unesco is expected in 2021. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with Bologna’s most famous architectural feature with this portico-themed tour.

A typical portico in Bologna

Opening of the Clock Tower in Piazza Maggiore

The 13th-century Torre Accursi, better known as Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower) on Bologna’s main square, Piazza Maggiore, is part of the larger Palazzo D’Accursio building. Visitors will be able to climb to the top of the tower for a great view. Less demanding than climbing to the top of the Asinelli tower with its 498 steps, this new attraction also offers the chance to visit the too often unjustly overlooked Palazzo D’Accursio. The Clock Tower takes its name from the large clock that was added in 1444; all other clocks in the city were adjusted according to this one. The opening of the Clock Tower is planned for February.

  • Did you know? Bologna is nicknamed ‘la turrita’ because in the Middle Ages it is said to have had up to 180 towers. Read my dedicated article.

New Fast Connection Between Bologna’s Airport and Train Station (maybe)

After more than ten years in the making, Marconi Express, the service that will connect Bologna’s airport with the train station in seven minutes (everybody here calls it ‘people mover’), may finally begin service in 2020. We don’t know exactly when, as is often the case in Italy, but if you get to Bologna via the airport, remember to check the Marconi Airport website before you arrive. The ticket will cost €8,70 one-way, €16 round-trip, and will be available for online purchase. (A taxi ride between the airport and the city center will cost you approximately €22 one way).

The Fascinating World of the Etruscans, First Settlers of Bologna 

The area of Bologna was settled by the Etruscans, a civilization of ancient Italy, as early as the 9th century BC; they later founded the city of Felsina at the site of present-day Bologna. The Civic Archeological Museum of Bologna is currently hosting a major exhibition on the Etruscans, “Etruschi. Viaggio nelle terre dei Rasna,” which features more than 1,000 objects from 60 Italian and international museums. If you’re fascinated by the world of the Etruscans, this exhibition is for you.

The museum is also home to one of northern Italy’s most important collections on the Etruscans (regular exhibit), as well as one of Europe’s most important collection of Egyptian antiquities.

Open until May 24, 2020. For more information, visit the museum’s website.

Bologna, City of Music

On the second floor of Biblioteca Sala Borsa, which is Bologna’s main city library, a new Sala della Musica (Music Room) is scheduled to open this year as an added bonus to an already fascinating site. In the library’s main hall, accessible to all, a crystal floor allows people to peek through – and walk right above – the remains of ancient Roman streets and buildings.

Why a Music Room? Because Bologna in 2006 was declared a Creative City of Music by Unesco, and this new exhibition space will contribute to the celebration of the city’s rich musical tradition.

New and Revived Long-Distance Walks in Emilia-Romagna

In Emilia-Romagna you can embark on several different, long-distance walks, many retracing ancient itineraries, some going from the Po plain to the Apennine Mountains, all providing a combination of nature, history, and, of course, culinary delights.

View of mountains in the Bologna Apennines
The Bologna Apennines – I can take you there!

A favorite of mine is the ‘Via degli Dei,’ which I walked three years ago, and wrote about in this post. It connects Bologna to Florence, and to understand the thrill you experience leaving from Piazza Maggiore and arriving on Piazza della Signoria on foot, well, you have to try it for yourself! We walk a stretch of the Via degli Dei on my Portico di San Luca tour, and if you wish to organize the entire hike for a group of people,  please get in touch with me.

One long-distance hike in Emilia-Romagna I have yet to take but is on my wish list is the ‘Alta Via dei Parchi,’ a 27-stage trek in the Apennine Mountains.

Two that are getting popular lately (I haven’t personally done them if not short stretches) are:

  • Via della Lana e della Seta,’ which goes from Bologna to Prato, crossing the Apennines like the Via degli Dei. The two cities were for centuries major textile center, the former for silk (seta), the latter for wool (lana), hence the name given to the walk.
  • ‘Trekking Linea Gotica,’ which begins in Tuscany and ends in Ravenna – from the Thyrrenian sea to the Adriatic. It retraces the so-called Gothic Line, the German defensive line during World War II.

Parma, 2020 Italian Capital of Culture

Parma was named the Italian Capital of Culture for 2020. Throughout the year, the city famous for prosciutto and Parmigiano, art and music, located an hour and a half from Bologna, will host a number of events, exhibitions, shows, workshops, food, music and photography happenings, concerts and festivals, and more, all centered around the theme, ‘culture beats time.’

For a detailed and updated schedule of events, visit the dedicated website.  

Be inspired to visit – watch the video below.

Directing Genius: Federico Fellini

2020 marks 100 years since Federico Fellini’s birth. Hailed as one of the greatest directors of all time, perhaps known to you mainly for La dolce vita, Fellini was born in Rimini, a seaside town on the Romagna coast, in the south-eastern portion of the region. 

There will be several events and screenings to celebrate the anniversary, all leading to the major highlight of the celebrations: the opening, scheduled for late 2020, of Museo Fellini, a museum with several Rimini locations related to Fellini’s life (the filmmaker always maintained a very strong bond to his hometown, which was often depicted in his movies). 

Before then, an itinerant exhibition, “Fellini 100 Genio immortale. La mostra,” explores the director’s life and career; after leaving the 15th-century Castel Sismondo in Rimini, where it’s currently on view until March 2020, it will travel to Rome, Moscow, Berlin and Los Angeles.

Check back on this page as I will add more to the list as the year progresses. 

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