Bologna: La Città dei Portici

Exploring the picturesque porticoes of Bologna, known for their cultural and architectural significance

by Tom Weber
Words Tom Weber

Bologna, the capital city of the Emilia-Romagna region of central Italy and the heartbeat of the affluent Po Valley, had until recently three distinct sides to its personality: La Dotta (The Learned) because the oldest university (1088) in the Western world – where Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarch were enrolled – was founded here; La Rossa (The Red), because of the terracotta roofs and, to a lesser degree, its penchant for left-leaning politics; and La Grassa (The Fat) because of all the tempting cuisine found within its postcode, like ragù, lasagne and mortadella paired with Lambrusco and Pignoletto wine.

Established by Etruscans in 6 BC, the tripartite division of Bologna has stood the test of time, but now there’s a new moniker nudging its way to the forefront – La Città dei Portici (The City of Porticoes).

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