Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio, antique home of one of the most important medieval families of Bologna, is the result of numerous architectural additions and interventions.
Its story began in 1276, when Romeo Pepoli bought the first constructions and continued in 1344, when his son Taddeo Pepoli built the first nucleus of the Palace. The Pepoli family, the first to become Lords of Bologna, remained owners of the building until 1910.
During the modern times the Palace’s owners changed frequently and it even housed a tipography for a certain period of time.
In 2003 the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna bought the building and converted it into the Museum of the History of Bologna, with restoration and museum lay-out by Mario Bellini and graphic design by Italo Lupi.
At the centre of the courtyard the architect Mario Bellini placed the “Tower of Time”, a glass and iron structure flooded with natural light from above. The Tower “reinvents” the courtyard and it recalls Bologna of the Towers, making the entire museum itinerary seamless between the ground and the noble floor.
“The buildings’ destiny sometimes is like the one of men. They risk to be forgotten and to fall into an irreversible decay. Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio was risking this fate but today it returns to shine and to show the great history of Bologna in a new and surprising way. This museum for the city was set up, like all my display works, respecting (and separating) the container and the content so that they mutually enhance beauty and meaning. At the centre of the Palace a glass and iron tower reinvents the courtyard so that it regains its dignity and function. It seems like a magic lantern flooded with natural light from above gradually descending into pure transparency. It is almost an epiphany that makes you reflect about the passing of time “.
The Museum of the History of Bologna, located in Palazzo Pepoli Vecchio, was inaugurated in January 2012.
Heart of Genus Bononiae, it represents an innovative museum itinerary dedicated to the history, culture and transformations of Bologna from the Etruscan Felsina to the present city.
An impressive multimedia and sensory journey through 2500 years of history.
Palazzo Pepoli – Italian language brochure