Category Archives: why_bologna

Bologna La Dotta (The Learned)

One of the three famous names for Bologna is “the Learned.” Easy to guess why! Founded around 1088, Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world. Its history is one of great thinkers in the sciences and the humanities, making it an indispensable point of reference in the panorama of European culture. Noteworthy students present at the university in centuries past included Dante Alighieri, Francesco Petrarca, Thomas Becket, Pope Nicholas V, Erasmus of Rotterdam, and Copernicus. With its five campuses in five cities of Emilia Romagna (Bologna, Rimini, Forlì, Cesena and Ravenna), UniBo today counts close to 100,000 students.… Continue reading

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Bologna La Rossa (The Red)


Bologna owes the name “la Rossa” to its famed red buildings and to the fact that it is the birthplace and the home of Italy’s political left. With streets like embroidered cloth threaded with arches of continuous colonnades, now a UNESCO world heritage site, the heart of Bologna is a giant cloister. Above and behind its porticoes, Bologna is a rose-red city of unique churches and undiscovered palaces. The E.C.Co. program’s aim is its students’ cultural and linguistic immersion in the Bolognese and Italian social environment. We encourage students to explore the city, travel to other cities and towns around Bologna and take full advantage of everything the region has to offer!… Continue reading

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Bologna La Grassa (The Fat)

Bologna is renowned for its cuisine. Tortellinitagliatelleragù and many other traditional dishes draw visitors to Bologna from every corner of the world. The E.C.Co. program helps students experience this delicious aspect of the local culture by offering an unforgettable cooking course with the chef Rita Mattioli.  The students meet with Rita for three lessons and learn to prepare traditional (but also non-conventional) dishes. After each cooking session, there is a dinner for all participants, where students taste excellent wines and share their views on food, diet and well being in general. Rita Mattioli’s cooking course has always been one of the highlights of the E.C.Co.… Continue reading

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If art is your focus

Giorgio Morandi

Bologna has an extraordinary artistic and historical heritage. Aside from its treasure-filled churches, Bologna’s world-renowned Pinacoteca Nazionale is home to some of the greatest Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces in the country, including works by Raphael, Lavinia Fontana, the Carracci brothers, Guido Reni, Guercino, and many others. The E.C.Co. course Renaissance and Early Baroque Art in Bologna: From Vitale da Bologna to Domenichino and Guido Reni takes students out of the classroom and into the churches, palaces, and museums to investigate Bologna’s key role in the art world between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Students wanting to focus on modern art at the University can take courses in Semiotics of ArtModern European Art, and Museology and Collecting among others.… Continue reading

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For cinema buffs…

Federico Fellini and Marcello Mastroianni

Bologna is home to a world-renowned institution devoted to the promotion, study and preservation of film, the Cineteca di Bologna. Its Cinema Lumière screens a huge selection of movies throughout the year, with a rich program that features independent movies, rarities, classics, animated and silent films (sometimes with live music). Next to the theatre is the Renzo Renzi library which boasts a collection of 38,000 books, 1,100 international and Italian film journals from the Silent Era to the present, 18,000 audiovisual materials, 200,000 movie posters and more than 1,500,000 photographs.  [The catalogue of its books and journals is available online, along with that of the audiovisual materials.]… Continue reading

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If interested in Science

Bologna,_Museo_di_Palazzo_Poggi,_cere_anatomiche_(2)When you think of Italy, your mind probably goes straight to art, literature and the other liberal arts. But did you know that Bologna was the birthplace of experimental science? Science has been taught at the university since the sixteenth century. Eminent Bolognese scientists include Renaissance naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi, who created one of the first botanical gardens in Europe and whose collection of bizarre animal specimen can be seen at the Museo di Palazzo Poggi; biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi, the father of microscopical anatomy; physicist Luigi Galvani, one of the founders of bioelectromagnetics, and physicist Laura Bassi, the first woman in the world to earn a university professorship in a scientific field of studies.… Continue reading

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Major in Computer Science?

Computer ScienceWhen you think of Italy, your mind probably goes straight to art, literature, music, and the other liberal arts. But did you know that the University of Bologna has 39 world-class science departments, as well as science museums and specialized libraries? The Department of Computer Science and Engineering in Bologna is no exception. It consists of more than 60 professors, 44 PhD Students, 41 Permanent Research Fellows, 7 Temporary Research Fellows, and 18 Technical and Administrative Staff and promotes scientific research in all areas of Computer Science.


The CS curriculum is very similar in the US and Italy.… Continue reading

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If you are interested in Education

classroom-2093744_640With the oldest university in the western world and a unique European Museum of Students (MEUS), “the Learned” Bologna is most certainly a city focused on education. Only a few miles away, the internationally recognized “Reggio method” of early childhood education was developed by Loris Malaguzzi and can be explored at the Reggio Children Foundation. An E.C.Co. student interested in education can choose from a wide range of courses offered by the Scienze della Formazione school at Unibo, such as: Children’s LiteratureIntercultural PedagogyDevelopmental Psychology. E.C.Co. students also have a unique chance to get to know the Italian public school system from within by conducting an internship at an elementary or middle school.… Continue reading

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Interested in Human Rights and Gender Studies?

Human-rightsStudents interested in human rights and social justice can count on both in-house and UniBo courses, as well as the opportunity to volunteer at one of many local and international organizations. E.C.Co. offers the course Rights, Welfare, Justice: Human Rights and Welfare State in European and Italian History, which includes visits to the key sites of the city’s legacy of resistance and struggle for social justice. A wide range of courses are available at the University of Bologna, covering the humanities, social sciences, gender and race studies, law, international relations, sustainable development, and much more. These are just a few examples: Fundamental RightsHuman Rights and Political InstitutionsEurope and Africa: Cooperation and SecurityMigration to and from EuropeHumanitarian CommunicationWomen and Social Science.… Continue reading

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Opportunities in International Relations

Photo: DIRCO, Flickr. CC BY-ND 2.0

The University of Bologna is home to a prominent Department of Political Science and International Relations. With students coming from many countries around the world and its prestigious faculty, it is one of the best departments of its kind in Italy. Within SPBO (Scienze Politiche Bologna), E.C.Co. students can choose from a wide range of courses in the fields of political science, international relations, gender studies, law, and history. Students particularly interested in Asia, Africa, and Latin America may find such courses as Politics of Contemporary AsiaHistory and Institutions of the Modern Middle EastInternational Relations and Development in AfricaComparative Analysis of religious-right basedExternal Relations of the EUDiplomacy in a Global WorldHistory and Institutions of Latin America, and many more.… Continue reading

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If you are interested in Urban Studies/Architectural History

commissione urbanisticaIn 1806, the British writer George Tappen wrote in his description of Bologna: “The most remarkable feature in this city are the arcades on which the houses are built […]. In rainy weather the inhabitants may walk from one end of it to the other without the least annoyance from wet, and in the summer season they are defended from the heat of the sun.” Besides the uniqueness of its arcades, Bologna also represents an interesting case-study to understand the urban and architectural history of Italy. The E.C.Co. program offers an unique in-house course on this topic, To Read a City: Urban History of Bologna since the Medieval Period, taught by prof. … Continue reading

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