National Gallery of Bologna

National Gallery of Bologna


National Gallery of Bologna or Pinacoteca is located not far from Le Due Torri (The Two Towers, symbols of Bologna), inside the former Noviziato Gesuita di Sant’Ignazio, a place built in the second half of the 15th century in order to welcome people who wanted to take part of the Society of Jesus.

Apart from the Pinacoteca, the building also hosts Accademia delle Belle Arti and Sopraintendenza per il Patrimonio Storico Artistico ed Etnoantropologico, thus including exhibitions and safeguard, preservation or research activities related to the historic and cultural heritage.


In 1762, Monsignor Francesco Zambeccari donated some of its 16th century paintings to the Accademia Clementina, originating from the prestigious Accademia dei Desiderosi, created by the Carracci family in 1582, thus giving birth to the collection. From 1803 the Accademia Clementina is replaced by the Accademia di Belle Arti, thus becoming Quadreria and acquiring its artistic heritage, later enriched through other donations.

After the suppression of the Institution by the Napoleonic troops, the most important works of art were sent to Paris and Milan, where they were kept until the fall of the French Empire, when they were transported back to their early place, the Quadreria, that later became known as Pinacoteca. This way the current base of the collection was created, the first catalogue with 274 paintings dates back to 1827.

Thanks to further enrichment, the Bolognese Pinacoteca, already prestigious for its religious heritage, acquired many works of art for aristocratic people, thus completing its artistic itinerary between the 14th and 19th century and thus collections in Europe.

Works of art

Pinacoteca di Bologna is now considered one of the most modern and important National Galleries, it originally opened in 1885, after being split by the Academy. Pinacoteca was totally renovated in 1997 and at present it hosts, apart from 30 exhibition rooms, the Sale della Belle Arti and very modern rooms on the basement, thanks to which the building is able to host medium and big temporary exhibitions, didactic activities, seminars and conferences.

The exposition is based on different sections divided according to the different schools and the itinerary collects works of art dating back to the 14th and 15th century, to the Renaissance period (Raffaello, Perugino, Tintoretto, etc.), the Mannerism (Giorgio Vasari, Bartolomeo Cesi, etc.), including also the 16th century large size paintings.


Location: Via delle Belle Arti 56, 40126 Bologna

Nearby sights: Museo di Palazzo Poggi, Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, Museo Geologico Giovanni Capellini

How to get there: Bus: 20, 28, 36, 37, 89, 93, 94, or 99 (to Porta San Donato)

Nearby hotels: Albergo Rossini 1936, Albergo San Vitale, Hotel Accademia

Entrance fees: Full 4 euro, reduction 2 euro between 18 and 25 years old, free admission less than 18 years old

Opening time: Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 am to 1.30 pm, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays from 2 pm to 7 pm. Closed on Monday.

Tel.: +39 051 4209411

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