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Bologna is the largest city and capital of Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, located in the heart of a metropolitan area officially recognized by the Italian government as a città metropolitana of about one million.

The city, the first settlements of which date back to at least 1000 BC, has always been an important urban centre, 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.

Home to the oldest university in the world, University of Bologna, founded in 1088, Bologna hosts thousands of students who enrich the social and cultural life of the city. Famous for its towers and lengthy arcades, Bologna has a large well-preserved historical centre 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 war.

An important cultural and artistic centre, its importance in terms of landmarks can be attributed to its homogeneous mixture of monuments, buildings and architectural styles as well as works of art which are the result of a first class architectural and artistic history.

Bologna is also an important transportation crossroad for the roads and trains of Northern Italy, where many important mechanical, electronic and nutritional industries have sited 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.

Bologna is also 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”. Bologna is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country: in 2011 it ranked 1st out of 107 Italian cities.

(Source: Wikipedea)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6111 W: 61 N: 17754] (79973)
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