is a city with a thousand vocations. Located in the city centre, the Grand Hotel Majestic già Baglioni
is the ideal base for a number of themed tours. Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, hence of the so-called Motor Valley
, home to marques such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Ducati and Pagani.and it is also at the very centre of Food Valley
, whose gastronomic traditions can be explored by frequenting its restaurants and delicatessens, walking through its markets, or visiting FICO
, its “agrifood park”.
The Majestic, a historical palazzo filled with works of art, hence a veritable “hotel-cum-museum”, is a point of departure to discover this effervescent city and its artistic and historical inestimable heritage. A good way to do this is to take advantage of the many exhibitions and cultural itineraries open within walking distance, in the city centre and the immediate environs.
The Majestic, a witness to centuries of history
The city of Bologna preserves traces of past civilisations. Starting with the Etruscans
– it was one of their most important centres – and the Romans
. There are many signs of the latter’s passing inside the hotel itself, a stretch of Roman road
(the Flaminia Militare, built in 187 BC) having been discovered in the basement. The period of greatest splendour for the city began in 1200 with the founding of the university and proceeded in the 17th century in particular with the success of artists such as the Carraccis
, some of whose works are still visible in our hotel, Guido Reni and Il Guercino
. It is a past that relives today in old palazzi like the one that houses the Majestic, whose history is intertwined with that of the adjacent Renaissance Palazzo Fava
. Inside the hotel, it is still possible to admire the Camerino d’Europa
, a jewel of a room whose frescoes depicting episodes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses are the first known work by the Carraccis. This is why Bologna was the first stage on the Grand Tour, the ritual journey romantic artists and writers from Füssli to Goethe and Stendhal
used to embark upon in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Bologna’s cultural fame is also linked with 20th century legends such as Giorgio Morandi and a number of avant-garde artists: the founder of Futurism, Tommaso Filippo Marinetti
, for example, used to stay at the Majestic and organised his celebrated exhibition-cum-blitz, the first public showcase
for Emilian and Bolognese
artists close to the movement, in 1914. A symbol of the counterculture of recent decades, Bologna is a city that is always alive and in motion, a leading player in Italian culture.
Palazzi and exhibitions
Around the Grand Hotel Majestic spreads out one of the largest and best-preserved old town centres in Europe, a labyrinth of roads and lanes dotted with Renaissance and baroque palaces
and monumental gates, which can be visited almost entirely by walking under a network of old porticoes
that has recently been granted UNESCO World Heritage status
. We thoroughly recommend a visit to the Museo civico archeologico
, a short walk from Piazza Maggiore and the hotel, where it is possible to discover the most remote history of the city, from prehistory through the Etruscan period to the Roman age and Celtic rule. In addition to the remains found in local archaeological digs, the museum also houses extensive interesting collections, such as the one dedicated to the ancient Egyptians.
A few metres away is the 16th-century Palazzo Archiginnasio
, once the seat of Bologna University. Inside the palazzo is an original arcade decorated with thousands of old coats-of-arms realised by students, priors and deans. Besides the common library, which is packed with antique volumes, it is also worth taking a look at the Anatomy Theatre
, constructed for anatomy classes in the 17th century.
After a few minutes’ walk, we come to the MAMbo
, Bologna’s Museum of Modern Art, housed in a converted bakery. The museum tells the story of Italian art through the 20th century and over the last two decades, devoting a great deal of space to research and experimentation. The MAMbo also accommodates both the Museo Morandi
, the largest and most important public collection of the works of the great Bolognese painter Giorgo Morandi, and Casa Morandi, his house.
Also in the centre of town is Palazzo Albergati
with its imposing façade houses precious 17th- and 18th-century frescoes. A veritable treasure trove of beauty, it is currently staging an exhibition dedicated to the brilliant comic artist Andrea Pazienza
. In it, more than 100 works from the archives of his friends and relatives tell the story not only of the artist but also of an era, a generation and, above all, a city, Bologna.
Last but not least, a few kilometres outside the city centre it is possible to visit the exhibition spaces of , the Fondazione MAST
, the innovative Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia, or Arts, Experimentation and Technology Factory. Until September 19, it will stage “Displaced”
, the first anthological exhibition of the works of the Irish photographer Richard Moss. His pictures, midway between documentary and photography and contemporary art, focus on themes of large-scale social and economic upheaval, such as migrations and climate change.
For all present and future exhibitions in Bologna’s museums, our concierge is always on hand to provide information, purchase tickets and organise tours for our guests.