Bologna Inside - Second Edition

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Ranked first in the nation for number of movie tickets sold per capita, Bologna is passionate about cinema. Most foreign films are dubbed into Italian and Italians pride themselves on having the best dubbers in the world. Indeed, the Italian Woody Allen is one of the more famous personalities in Italy. Daily movie listings are found in the local pages of La Repubblica and Il Resto del Carlino. You will also see large posters in many bars and restaurants listing theaters and current show times.

Shows listed as prima visione are new arrivals, those as seconda visione are on their second run. At the city’s various cineme parrocchiale (parish cinemas) you can see selected films at discounted rates. For a complete online list, check out


Currently, there are two movie theaters that show films in original language on various days of the week.


Via Milazzo, 1
Tel. 051.241002


Via Nosadella, 21
Tel. 051.331506

Special discount to IWF members.

For a spicy night out with your partner, there is an adult theater in centro:


Vicolo Quartirolo, 7
Tel. 051.220967


Cineteca, Bologna’s internationally respected film archive, home to more than 18,000 films, operates the city’s art house cinema, Cinema Lumière. Here you can see a vast selection of films and retrospectives dedicated to specific directors and genres from the world over. The inexpensive membership card, necessary for viewing certain films, grants you discounted admission. Anyone can subscribe to their mailing list.


Cinema Lumière
Via Azzo Gardino, 65
Tel. 051.2195311

More so than in other Italian cities where I have lived, Bologna’s main piazza is a stage. Its open space provides a point of exchange for a rendezvous; a history lesson; access to information on cultural activities for every taste and budget; a starting point for sampling the array of bookshops the city has to offer; and sometimes yes, it literally becomes a stage. A tantalizing fountain accents the piazza, a place where citizens, residents and tourists alike are engaged in one place, something that few cities seem to accomplish with such ease. Above all it is a place to be, to watch, to be watched and to take in the city we call home.

Odette Boya Resta


Bologna hosts several film festivals a year. The most popular is the Sotto le Stelle del Cinema, an open-air film festival held in Piazza Maggiore during the month of July. International films in original language are featured; the schedule is posted around town, in most of the local newspapers and on the Cineteca website. An enormous screen with surround sound is erected in the piazza, making for a unique, unforgettable summer experience. Shows generally begin at 22, but arrive beforehand to claim a seat. From June to September, Cineteca also organizes an open-air cinema in the Arena Puccini of the DLF - Associazione Dopolavoro Ferroviario, an association founded to provide after-work activities to railroad workers, now open to everyone. For more information, see the Cineteca or DLF website:

Other Cineteca festivals include Officinema, specializing in the future of cinema and new technologies and a Human Rights Nights Festival held in the spring. The annual Cinema Ritrovato in July is one of Europe’s most important festivals featuring rare and restored films, attracting cinema scholars and researchers from around the world. For more information, see the Cineteca website.