The itinerary, called Genus Bononiae. Museums in the City, was created in 2010. Its purpose is to illustrate the genus or origins of the past and present people of Bologna. Through works of art, documents and records, it presents the history, life and dreams of a city that for centuries has been a strategic centre of trade and a crossroads for learning, for visual arts and music.
Seven buildings set within easy walking distance punctuate the visitor route (just over 2 km long) of an outdoor museum that uses the streets as passages and palaces and churches as exhibition rooms.
Genus Bononiae is a museum of great extent and extraordinary variety and richness. The whole itinerary covers an area of some 20.000 m2,with 15.000m2 consisting of exhibition facilities, cultural institutes and museums. The collections comprise 15.000 exhibits including works of art, sculptures, drawings and engravings, plus 60.000 items in the photographic collections, a total of over 115.000 books, ancient and modern (including 1.940 from the 16th century and 3.438 from17th), and 563 musical instruments from the 16th to 20th centuries.
The itinerary includes Palazzo Pepoli – Museum of the History of Bologna, Palazzo Fava – Exhibition Centre, churches of San Colombano – Tagliavini Collection and Santa Maria della Vita, Art and History Library at San Giorgio in Poggiale, Casa Saraceni and Santa Cristina.
Palazzo Pepoli – Museum of the History of Bologna, inaugurated in January 2012, is an innovative, interactive museum dedicated to the history and changes of Bologna. The museum is very close to the Two Towers and represents the heart of Genus Bononiae.
Palazzo Fava – Exhibition Centre, inaugurated in January 2011, is now the exhibition centre of Genus Bononiae and represents a place of art and experimentation, where the splendid Carracci frescoes at the first floor dominate from above and dialogue with the works on show in the exhibition rooms.
San Colombano – Tagliavini Collection, inaugurated in June 2010, hosts the collection of antique musical instruments belonging to Maestro L. F. Tagliavini, which are played regularly at concerts. The restoration works brought to light a 13th century mural crucifixion attributed to Giunta Pisano, a medieval crypt and a XIII century tomb.
Art and History Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale, inaugurated on 2007, it is a deconsecrated church housing a rich heritage of books from 1500 and a location for cultural events.
Chiesa di Santa Cristina, with its rich collection of art works and used for classical music concerts.
Santa Maria della Vita, home to Niccolò dell’Arca’s Compianto sul Cristo Morto (Lamentation over the Dead Christ), an artwork that has always drawn pilgrims and visitors and is considered by many scholars the most important terracotta sculpture of the Italian Renaissance.
Casa Saraceni, considered to be one of the most interesting buildings in the city from the Renaissance period towards the late XV century, today is the headquarters of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna (the bank Foundation that established Genus Bononiae).