In the spotlight

Concerts in San Colombano

The tribute to women in music, the synergy with the cultural institutions of the city, from the other venues of the Genus Bononiae circuit to the collaborations with Bologna Festival, the Conservatory and the International Museum and Library of Music, special concerts for people with hearing disabilities and visuals, the contamination between music and the…

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For your visit

  • via Parigi 5, Bologna

  • wednesday, thursday, friday, saturday, sunday: from 11 am to 6 pm

    saturday: 23rd September 2023, 11 am - 11 pm

  • +39 051 19936366


  • Getting here

  • Parking and ZTL

  • admission tickets

Visitors are informed that baby strollers and prams are not allowed inside the museum, they may be left near the reception desk. Access to visitors with disabilities is guaranteed. Animals are not permitted inside the museum.

The building

San Colombano was acquired by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna in 2005 and inaugurated in 2010. During its full restoration a medieval crypt as well as a 13th century tomb and wall painted crucifixion re-emerged by chance. Today San Colombano houses the antique musical instrument Collection donated by the Bolognese musician and researcher Maestro Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini.

The calendar of events includes evening concerts, a cycle of afternoon concerts and conferences dedicated to music and musical instruments that are usually held in the Oscar Mischiati Library.

Oscar Mischiati Library
The Library includes about 15.000 items donated by the Bolognese scholar Oscar Mischiati, after whom the library itself is named. Besides books, there are repertoirs, musical works, organ specialised texts (some of which are unique in Europe), periodicals, monographs, cds, tapes, vinils, concert programmes and book reviews.It is possible to check the on line catalogue and to get access to the volumes by contacting the Art and History Library of San Giorgio in Poggiale on the phone number: +39 051 19936352.


The Complex of San Colombano is composed of a series of buildings joined together over time, starting from the 7th century. The Church, the oldest part of the complex, was built according to the will of the Bishop of Bologna Pietro I (around 616 A. D.) over a previous monumental structure that dated back to between the imperial and late-antique period.
The building was then owned by different religious orders until its closure in the Napoleonic era.
The adjacent Chapel of the Madonna dell’Orazione was built in 1917 around the image of the Virgin, painted by the Bolognese Lippo di Dalmaso and destination of incessant pilgramages.
The Oratory on the first floor, a true jewel of Bolognese art, decorated by the best disciples of the Carracci, contains what Carlo Cesare Malvasia defined as the Glorious Race: a fresco cycle inspired by the Passion of Christ. During the restoration works, an ancient crypt dating back to the medieval era was discovered together with an important 13th century wall painting, attributed to Giunta Pisano, representing Christ on the cross between the Virgin and St. John the Evangelist.


Today San Colombano preserves the antique musical instrument Collection, donated by the Maestro Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, a Bolognese organist and musician. A unique and precious Collection that includes about 90 functioning instruments: clavichords, harpsichords, organs, spinets, pianos; a collection of wind and folk instruments and a group of automatic instruments.
The history of the Collection started in 1969 when Tagliavini bought a 16th century spinet in Bologna and then the large harpsichord with 3 stops, built in 1679 by Giovanni Battista Giusti and still considered one of the most important pieces of the Collection. From that moment onwards the real collecting research began.
«Each new instrument provided a contribution to the knowledge of constructive or sound characteristics of the harpsichords », wrote Tagliavini more than 20 years ago.

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