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Festivals & Events

The people of Bologna love to celebrate. Any event is an excuse to throw a fiesta. In the olden days, they streets would fill with revelers in celebration with every victory in battle, for overthrowing a pope or a tyrant or any of their invaders. It is safe to say that the people love to party. Currently most of the festivals and events in Bologna follow the religious calendar.

The opera and ballet season in Teatro Communale is excellent. Running from the end of October to Early June, it is a favorite source of entertainment and culture. It is an excellent venue for enjoying music and culture unique to Italy.

Late in January, the Fiera di Bologna is held. It is an international exhibit created to show the contemporary arts of the city. Over 250 galleries participate in the event.

Music lovers will look forward to attending the Bologna Festival. It is held twice a year in various venues in the city, including the Teatro Communale. It is held first between March and May, and then again between October and November. The concerts have been going on for over 20 years and have brought a number of international artists to Bologna.

The most important religious festival in Bologna is held in Easter. This is the celebration of the Madonna di San Luca. The practice began after the image was brought to Bologna in 1433 and the heavy rains miraculously stopped. Since then, the image of the Madonna is brought through the city to the Basilica di San Petronio for the blessing before it is returned to the Santuario de San Luca.

Bologna is the home of the Ducati and Lamborghini factories. In May, these companies as well as Ferrari, Maserati and a few others compete in the San Marino Formula 1 Grand Prix at the Imola racetrack. This is a major event in a country that loves speed. Trial runs are made on Friday and Saturday with the main event happening on Sunday.

In the summer months, the city council itself encourages activities. In fact they encourage the creation of events. The museums, theatres and organisations create activities designed to encourage everyone to participate and enjoy the history and heritage of Bologna — be it its sculptures, paintings, music or dance. These events are held not only within the premises of these establishments, but also in the major piazzas and gardens of the palazzos.

Made in Bo is one of the events organized by the city council. It lasts all summer and is marked by music and art shows. Among the much awaited events are the rock concerts: Flippaut Concert in June, and the MTV concert in September.

Bologna has been called La Grassa (the fat). After a trip to the city and tasting their delicious cuisine, you’ll wonder no more at this nickname. The people of Bologna love food and every meal here is a feast. So it is unsurprising that in October they a festival dedicated to gastronomy. Selected squares are utilized as centers for the display of cooking skills, cooking shows and of course there is food for sale. This is one of the best times to visit the city, and one of the most delicious.


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