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Home page. This is the beginning of our travel...

In the 15th Century the powerful Bentivoglio family tried to put into practice aristocratic-bourgeois (Florentine) individualism, by beautifying the town with buildings which only interested the highest social class, hence ignoring the portico community.
Are we in Florence? No, this is Bologna during the domination of the Bentivoglio family.
And this is the Palace Sanuti - Bevilacqua, built in 1477 and transferred in 1484 to the Bentivoglio family, the ashlar-work the division of the facade and the absence of the portico show that it is clearly Florentine in style. Infringing the law, many noble families did not build the portico in their residences, because the portico created a link with the passers-by, with the people (that is to say) with the plebeians. On the contrary the nobles aimed at keeping their isolation untouched in a town where the portico represented an important medium favouring social contact.

The first man who really held power in Bologna was Sante Bentivoglio (the Bentivoglio family would draw inspiration from the Sforza of Milan and the Medici of Florence); he was educated in Florence and, in 1460, he ordered1he building of a great palace, the project by Lapo Portigiani da Fiesole, in the area which would be later occupied, but only part of it, by the present Municipal Theatre; a building comparable to the Florentine Medici Palace. At the beginning of the following century, when the Bentivoglio domination came to an end, this palace was destroyed by mob violence (in piazza Verdi only the stables remain which were in front of it). In the following years the Bolognese Renaissance began and reached its maximal glory during the reign of Giovanni II Bentivoglio (1463-1507). Giovanni, with his wife Ginevra Sforza, were able to keep peace in the town for 40 years, sometimes with violence, and start the Bolognese Renaissance; and this was because an oligarchic power had been restored with the institution of a Senate made up of the noble land-owners, the nouveau-riches and the new papal and imperial nobility. The town which already had its own character was made more beautiful by"demolitions", which created squares and open areas and, above all, clearly showed how the straight Via Emilia stretched rightly through the town; the many streams, sources of energy for the silk, hemp and paper industries were controlled; agriculture was implemented and the countryside was linked with the town by means of a canal reaching the "Porto Naviglio" from Corticella; at the same time noble mansions and bourgeois houses were built and the facades of the churches rennovated.
 

 

 

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General - Environment - Iron and Etruscan Age - Roman Age - Patron Saint- The Commune - Alma mater studiorum - Re Enzo - Porticoes - St Peter - Gothic - 14th Century - Piazza Maggiore - Aristocratic palaces - Brick and other stones - Early 15th Century - Archiginnasio - Counter Reformation Renaissance - 16th Century - Great portico ribbons - Frescoes in palaces - The "scenographic" cityNapoleon's republics - Fall of Church power - The Restoration - Haussmann style - The new Century - Floreal style - Rationalism - World War - Active preservation - Around 2000