Many of Bologna’s most important works of art are gathered at city’s the National Gallery (Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna). The lion’s share of the collection comprises works by painters from the early Renaissance and baroque periods from the surrounding region and rest of Italy, including Giotto, El Greco, Titian, Raphael, and Tintoretto.
The core of the National Gallery’s collection of 13th- to 18th-century paintings is made up of artworks taken during the suppression of convents and religious guilds after the fall of the papal state, and others that were recovered after Napoleon looted churches and monasteries in Emilia-Romagna during his Italian campaigns. Today, Bologna’s National Gallery is among the city’s most important art collections, and often features in walking tours of the historic center, along with attractions like Piazza Maggiore, the Basilica of Saint Petronius, the Two Towers, and the church of Santo Stefano.
Things to Know Before You Go
- A visit to the museum is a must for art enthusiasts.
- Large bags, backpacks, and umbrellas must be left at baggage check at the entrance.
- Photography without flash is allowed in the museum.
- The National Gallery is wheelchair accessible via an elevator and ramps.
How to Get There
The National Gallery of Bologna is located on Via Belle Arti, about a 15-minute walk from Piazza Maggiore or the city’s train station.
When to Get There
Bologna is known for its wet winters and hot summers, so the quiet museum is a welcome respite from the elements in both winter and summer. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Masterpieces from Giotto to Reni
Highlights of the small but important National Gallery of Bologna include Raphael’s The Ecstasy of St. Cecilia, Perugino’s Madonna in Glory with Saints, and the Pala del Voto and Massacre of the Innocents by Guido Reni.