Founded in 1088, Bologna’s University is the oldest in the Western world and has earned the city the epithet “Bologna la Dotta” (Bologna the Learned).
Since the time of the illustrious students Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio, over the centuries the University of Bologna has firmly established its role as a centre of knowledge, while the large numbers of Italian and foreign students enrolled at the university today enrich the city’s cultural and social life.
This lively cosmopolitan atmosphere has been a distinctive feature of the city ever since the Middle Ages and helped to earn it the title of European Capital of Culture for 2000. Alongside illustrious Bolognese natives such as Guglielmo Marconi, the Carracci family, Giorgio Morandi, Luigi Galvani and Lucio Dalla, Bologna has always attracted leading figures from the worlds of science and culture. Copernicus, Goldoni, Pascoli, Carducci and Pasolini are just a few examples.
Today the city’s cultural life is supported by numerous public and private institutions, including the Teatro Comunale (Municipal Theatre), the Cineteca (film archive), the MAMbo (Bologna Museum of Modern Art), the Genus Bononiae network of museums and buildings, and the Lamborghini and Ducati museums which pay tribute to the excellence of the local automotive and mechanical industries.