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Italian comune
Official nameComune di Bologna
Province  (BO)
MayorVirginio Merola
Total Area54.3 sq mi (140.7 km2)
Total Population382460 (31 March 2011)
Elevation177.2 ft (54 m)
Patron saintSt. Petronius
Saint dayOctober 4
Area code+39051

     Home | City | Bologna

Bologna (-itboˈloɲɲa-It-Bologna is the capital city of Emilia-Romagna, in the Po Valley of Northern Italy. The city lies between the Po River and the Apennine Mountains, more specifically, between the Reno River and the Savena River.

It is the seventh largest city in terms of population and it is the heart of a metropolitan area (officially recognized by the Italian government as a metropolitan city) of about 1,000,000 inhabitants. The urban sprawl of Bologna Modena, whose metropolises are adjoining, is continuously expanding. Home to the oldest university in the world, University of Bologna, founded in 1088, Bologna hosts numerous students who enrich the social and cultural life of the city. Famous for its towers and lengthy porticoes, it has a well-preserved historical downtown (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 damage done by the urban demolition at the end of the 19th century as well as that caused by wars. The city, the first settlements of which date back to at least one millennium before Christ, has always been an important urban center, first under the Etruscans (Velzna/Felsina) and the Celts (Bona), then under the Romans (Bononia), then again in the Middle Ages, as a free municipality (for one century it was the fifth largest European city based on population).

An important cultural and artistic center, it is rarely recognized as such, as it does not possess a world renowned "masterpiece" that would attract tourists en masse; that having been said, its artistic importance and its importance in terms of landmarks can be contributed to homogenous mixture of monuments and architectural examples (medieval towers, antique buildings, churches, the layout of its historical center) as well as works of art which are the result of a first class architectural and artistic history. Bologna is also an important crossroads of the roads and trains of Northern Italy, where many important mechanical, electronic and nutritional industries have their headquarters. According to the most recent data gathered by the European Regional Economic Growth Index (E-REGI) of 2009, Bologna is the first Italian city and the 47th European city in terms of its economic growth rate.

It is home to prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions as well as one of the most impressive trade fair districts in Europe. In 2000 it was declared European capital of culture and in 2006, a UNESCO “city of music”. The city of Bologna was selected to participate in the Universal Exposition of Shanghai 2010 together with 45 other cities from around the world. Bologna is also one of the richest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country: it was ranked 5th in 2006, and 12th in 2007, out of 103 Italian cities. Bologna is a lively and cosmopolitan Italian college city, and it has spectacular history, art, cuisine, music and culture.

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