UNESCO City of Music

since 2006

Bologna is home to the oldest University of the Western world, funded in 1088 and now hosting 84.000 students. The city can boast a vibrant cultural life and an emerging creative economy.

It offers a rich and varied cultural scene: in continuity with its glorious past, in Bologna music acquires an extraordinary relevance thanks to the presence of  leading institutions.

The city stands out for its widespread creative fabric dedicated to musical fruition and production, structured in a series of International Festivals of great relevance, promoting a continuous cultural consumption. The remarkable classical music seasons, the contemporary music program, jazz music played in various places, children-targeted initiatives, the presence of song-writers and rock-bands and so much more, they all contribute to make a unique music scene.

Bologna has identified cultural and creative industries as one of the strategic axes for its local development plan.

As a City of Music, Bologna will continue to develop specific actions connected to the support for internationalization of music projects that wish to go international. A strategic tool for positioning a creative Bologna in a worldwide context is an annual public, which enables musicians and other workers in the sector to perform on an international stage and also welcomes artists from other UNESCO Creative Cities of Music to Bologna. Support to the music industry is further manifested in a constant activity of international relations, communication and promotion.

Moreover, new calls in collaboration with the project Incredibol! Creative Innovation of Bologna with a specific theme will be launched open to creative cities in each sector, for the participation in important cultural events in the city.




Valentina Lanza
Bologna UNESCO City of Music
Creative industries and tourism division
Municipality of Bologna
Piazza Maggiore 6
40124 Bologna

Phone: +39 051219 4059 – 5166 – 4684

Facts and Figures

The City of Bologna, is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna Region and of the Metropolitan Area, as of January 1, 2015, and is currently heading the metropolitan authority including 55 municipalities.

The history of the city starts around the year 1000 BC, when the first settlements are dated; in the following centuries it developed as a flourishing urban center, but it’s only under the the Romans that it was given the name that it holds now (Bononia, then Bologna).

In the Middle Ages it was a free municipality, hosting the fifth largest population in Europe for about one century. Home to the oldest university in the world, founded in 1088, Bologna is renowned for its towers and lengthy porticoes, which have been inscribed on the Italian Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in 2006.

Its historical centre is well-preserved and one of the largest in Italy, thanks to a careful restoration and conservation policy which began at the end of the 1970s, on the heels of serious damages caused both by the urban demolition dated the late 19th century and the  by the two world wars.

The City area covers more than 16,000 hectares, whereas the metropolitan area amounts to some  370,000 hectares, including all the 55 cities of the metropolitan authority.

Population (City)

Population (City Region)

Latest Music Projects

cartolina dunedin
Bologna project | 3 Apr 2017

Bologna welcomes Dunedin to the 2017 Children’s Book Fair

Bologna welcomes the Erika Deák
Bologna project | 27 Jan 2017

Bologna welcomes the Erika Deák Gallery to Set Up Contemporary Art Fair 2017

Bologna project | 1 Nov 2016

Bologna flies to Hamamatsu for musical education