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Wandering through Museums

Wandering through Museums

For museum lovers, Bologna is brimming with cultural sights to see.

Museo Civico Archeologico

Bologna's Municipal Archaeology Museum is housed in fifteenth-century Palazzo Galvani in Via dell'Archiginnasio, and it has kept the same exhibition style it had when it opened in 1881. One of the most important archaeology collections in Italy, it is highly representative of local history, from prehistory to the Roman age. Its collection of Egyptian antiquities is one of the largest in Europe.

Museo Civico Medievale.

In fifteenth-century Palazzo Ghisilardi, one of the most significant architectural examples of the Bolognese renaissance, the Municipal Medieval Museum is a must-see to understand the history of Bologna at the height of its splendor. Some rooms in the museum feature frescoes by the Carracci family. The most interesting section gathers together examples of the city's medieval heritage; but the section dedicated to the artists working in Bologna in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries and the section on illuminated manuscripts are also quite striking.


he Museum of Modern Art of Bologna, which opened in 2007, is home to the Istituzione Gallerie d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, an institution which also includes the Morandi House and Museum, Museum for the Memory of Ustica, Villa delle Rose, and the Sandra Natali Residence for Artists. It houses a collection of over 3,500 sculptures and paintings from the nineteenth century to the present, with a special focus on the Italian art movements of the late post-war period. Alongside the permanent collection, the museum organizes extensive solo shows dedicated to major artists in Italy and beyond.

Museo Morandi.

Founded through a donation from Maria Teresa Morandi, the museum dedicated to Giorgio Morandi holds the largest and most complete collection of works by this Bolognese painter and etcher.

Pinacoteca Nazionale.

ologna's National Picture Gallery is steps from the Two Towers and housed in the former seventeenth-century Jesuit Novitiate of Sant’Ignazio. One of the most modern and important National Galleries, it features works ranging from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries. The gallery opened to the public in 1885 and was completely refurbished in 1997. Among the masterpieces by Raphael, Tintoretto, Titian and Caracci on display in the gallery is the Bologna Polyptych by Giotto: the Virgin is stately and majestic, while the Child caresses her cheek; standing at her side are the Saints Gabriel, Michael, Peter, and Paul. The gallery is in Via delle Belle Arti 56.

Musei universitari.

Along Via Zamboni, the university street, are several museums belonging to the university's network of museums. Some are located in sixteenth-century Palazzo Poggi, which has been the headquarters of the Alma Mater Studiorum since 1803, with exhibits on the sciences, art, anatomy, natural history, and military architecture.

Museo ebraico.

Built in the former Jewish ghetto at the foot of the Two Towers, this multimedia museum seeks to tell the rich architectural, artistic, literary, and human story of the Jewish communities in Emilia Romagna. Its Foundation offers the option to book a tour of Jewish Bologna.

Museo della Resistenza.

This museum is housed in the complex of the former Convent of San Mattia, built around the mid-thirteenth century near Porta Saragozza. The display includes archival documents, works of art and photographs, manifestos, and other media that bear witness to the history of anti-Fascism, of Bologna's Resistenza and its meaning in the Republic of Italy. The museum provides a snapshot of local and general history from 1919 to the present. It also houses the Center for Historical and Political Documentation of Terrorism, the Luciano Bergonzini Institute for the History of the Resistenza and Contemporary Society in the Province of Bologna, and the National Laboratory for History Education. It is located in Via Sant’Isaia 20.

Museo Ducati.

Located adjacent to the historic Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, this museum is dedicated to the Ducati company and is one of the most popular in Bologna, retracing over 90 years of legendary history. The museum winds along three routes that travel through the gallery of Ducati standard model motorcycles, the display of Ducati racing motorcycles, and the timeline of Ducati Moments.