Still Alive – The precious string instruments of the Vázquez Collection

San Colombano , from 16/06/2020 to 10/01/2021

From 16 June 2020 to 10 January 2021, the San Colombano Museum – jewel of the Genus Bononiae museum circuit, and home to the Tagliavini Collection – hosts the exhibition Still Alive, showcasing the string instruments from the collection of Prof. José Vázquez, director of the Orpheon Foundation in Vienna.

Over 80 historical string instruments from the Vázquez Collection (Orpheon Foundation), dating from 1550 to 1780, all restored to their original conditions, are displayed alongside the harpsichords and spinets belonging to the collection of Maestro Luigi Tagliavini, generating an ideal, timeless dialogue between bowed and keyboard instruments.

The largest in the world of this kind, the Vázquez Collection comprises violas da gamba, violas d’amore,  violins,  violas, cellos, violone and barytons. A cello built by Simone Cimapane (1692) and played in the orchestra of Arcangelo Corelli in Rome, a rare viola da gamba by William Bowelesse (London, ca. 1590) thought to have belonged to Queen Elizabeth I of England, as well as a viola da gamba created by Gasparo da Salò (Brescia, ca. 1570) stand out among the most precious specimens.

Ample space is given to instruments built in England in the age of William Shakespeare and Henry Purcell, and in the Habsburg Empire by generations of luthiers such as Thir, Leidolff, Stadlmann and Posh. As an ideal homage to the Emilian city, the exhibition features several instruments from the Bolognese school, including a violin created by Gian Antonio Marchi (ca. 1770) and a viola da gamba by Giovanni Fiorino Guidantus (18th century).

Starting from October 2020, a rich programme of concerts, conferences, and guided tours, together with events dedicated to schools, universities and conservatories will accompany the exhibition. Further information will soon be available on our website and social media.


The San Colombano concert season, previously suspended due to the Covid-19 emergency, will also resume in September with several events:

– Stagione Musicale 2019-2020

– Attività a San Colombano 2019-2020

– Pomeriggi Musicali 2019-2020

Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 September will mark the ten-year anniversary of the San Colombano Museum, opened in 2010. The theme of the usual “Festa della Musica”, now in its sixth edition is “Music and musicians in Bologna from the 14th to the 18th century”. The celebrations will include concerts, conferences, poetry recitals, dance performances, puppet shows and a display of ancient prints and manuscripts.


San Colombano Museum – Tagliavini Collection

Via Parigi 5, Bologna

Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday, 11am-1pm, 3-7pm.


San Colombano

via Parigi 5, Bologna

Admission tickets

Full ticket 7

Reduced ticket 5

-Visitors aged 70 or more
-Visitors with disabilities
-Teacher with a current ID
-Groups of min. 15 persons (+ 1,5 € pre sale)
-Holders of another Genus Bononiae ticket (within 6 days)
-Young people and students (with student ID) aged between 19-26
-Journalists with badge
-Conventions (Tper)

Reduced tickets school - children 4

-School groups (1€ pre sale)
-Young people aged between 6-18

Free admission

-Children up to the age of 5
-Disabled carers
-Group leaders (1 each group of min. 15 persons)
-Tourist guides with badge
-Membership Card Genus Bononiae Holders
-Bologna Welcome Card Holders
-Cultura card Holders

Audio guide included in the ticket price

Educational Services

  • At the moment there are no educational proposals of this kind