Back to Bologna – Day 2 – Part 3 – Porta Saragozza and the Surrounding Area

Bologna is lined with porticoes.  In inclement weather, one can walk from one end of the city to the other, only getting wet when crossing the streets.  Some of the porticoes also have art in the form of frescoes, painted in their lunettes.  I always feel blessed, whenever I am lucky enough to see them, no matter how well conserved they may be.

At Via Saragozza, #71, you will find the Falansterio, a block of buildings built between 1861 and 1865.  Designed by Coriolano Monti, this was one of the city’s first large-scale, public housing projects.  Even after all that time, they still hold up better than New York City’s newer, more modern public housing!

A statue of Padre Pio stands in Piazza di Porta Saragozza.

The Porta Saragozza dates from the 13th century.  The ancient city gate that we see today is due to a reconstruction that took place between 1857 and 1859, to a design by the engineer and architect, Enrico Brunetti Rodati, and then, later, by Giuseppe Mengoni.

In 1982, the interior space inside of the Porta Saragozza housed the “Circle of June 28th,” which made it Italy’s first public space dedicated to gay and lesbian culture, and even today, the city gate is a symbol of the country’s LGBTQ+ movement.

Walking along Viale Aldini, you will find the Giardino di Villa Cassarini.  The site was once the location of the Etruscan city of Felsina.  In the 1700s, the property was owned by the Pallotti family, who sold it to the Cassarini.  The Cassarini family built the villa we see today, using it as their main residence.  The property was sold to the University of Bologna in the 1930s, at which point the grounds were turned into a public park.

The Facoltà d’Ingegneria, the headquarters of the Faculty of Engineering, can be found on Viale del Risorgimento.  Designed by the architect Giovanni Vaccaro, it dates from 1935.  During World War II, the space was taken over by the German command, who used part of the property as a prison.  In this place,  they tortured and killed members of the Resistance, as well as partisans from Bologna and the surrounding area.  After the war, the building returned to its original function, educating young people, instead of breaking their spirit!


Next up: We visit the Palazzo Fava, the Caserma Enrico Cialdini, and much more, as we continue to explore Bologna!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Bologna, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!


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