Rete civica Iperbole

The Bologna Porticoes Nomination

The porticoes of Bologna have been inscribed on the Italian Tentative List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, in 2006. The nomination document is available at this web address:

The proposal for the nomination has been presented by the Municipality of Bologna to the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali, acting as representative, through the UNESCO World Heritage Bureau, for the list of sites protected as world heritage by the Italian Government.

The leading group, in charge of managing the promotion of the nomination, is coordinated by the Municipality of Bologna and formed by Regione Emilia-Romagna, Città Metropolitana di Bologna, Segretariato regionale del Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo per l'Emilia-Romagna, Soprintendenza Belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Bologna, Modena, Reggio Emilia e Ferrara, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Curia di Bologna, Comitato per il restauro del portico di San Luca, Fondazione Del Monte, Carisbo Foundation, Chamber of Commerce and APT Servizi Regionali Emilia-Romagna.

The nomination has been developed by a scientific committee coordinated by the Municipality of Bologna, which is formed by “Centro Gina Fasoli per la storia delle città” of the University of Bologna, the Department of Architecture of the University of Bologna, Cineca and Mate Engineering.

The porticoes nomination is an overall project dedicated to the international preservation, promotion and protection of the city. The porticoes system of Bologna connects the historic city with the contemporary one through a lively network, with an extent having no equal all around the world. Its distinctiveness is due to the special combination of unique architectural, judicial and environmental influences.

The portico as public space reflects in Bologna significant expressive forms, typifying the entire urban landscape, being the paradigm of a certain kind of social life or relationship, always present, in every age and under any climatic condition.

The request for inscription will be accompanied by a Management Plan, which will describe the different actors, private and public ones, involved in the management system of the property; in agreement with the participatory logics recommended by UNESCO. The city of Bologna has already identified the several participatory actions supporting the drafting and the future implementation of the plan and it can count on the active collaborations of many city associations.

The UNESCO Nomination Process

According to the UNESCO Convention, state parties acknowledge that the properties located within their territory and inscribed on the World Heritage List are part of their heritage. For this reason, the entire national and international community is required to contribute to their protection. The Convention is the expression of a ratified agreement almost universally accepted, with the aim of providing the necessary intellectual and financial resources for safeguarding the properties inscribed on the World Heritage List.

In order to be inscribed on the World Heritage List, a property must be of outstanding universal value and it has to meet at least one out of ten selection criteria; as they are described on the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Both the Convention and the Operational Guidelines for its implementation are available on the Italian website of the UNESCO World Heritage Bureau of the Ministero dei Beni Culturali:

When applying for inscription, a state party must submit a nomination dossier to the World Heritage Centre; then the Centre performs a first assessment about the completeness of the received documents. If the submitted documentation meets the completeness requirements within the given deadline, it is then submitted to the Advisory Bodies for evaluation. The final decision about the inscription is up to the World Heritage Committee, which can decide to postpone the decision, requiring additional information, or to refuse the inscription. The Committee gathers, once a year, in order to decide which property will be inscribed on the World Heritage List.


Fabrizio Ivan Apollonio from the Department of Architecture – University of Bologna and Antonella Guidazzoli, from Visit Lab CINECA Visual Technology Laboratory, conducted a public meeting about the role of new technologies in promoting and protecting cultural heritage. The porticoes 3D models were presented, describing the features of the Graphic Platform hosting them to the audience.

Private property of public use, porticoes have always required constant care. Patrizia Gabellini, Deputy Mayor for Urban Planning of the Municipality of Bologna, presented to citizens the guidelines Portici, Istruzioni per la cura e l'uso, drafted by the Municipal Administration thanks to the contribution of Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna


A public meeting about the porticoes nomination as UNESCO World Heritage was led by Benedetto Zacchiroli - councillor of the Bologna Municipality, and Francesca Riccio - representative of MiBACT. The event focused on the meaning of the words “outstanding universal value” and on the several values expressed by the Bologna porticoes, already considered as City Common Goods.

The international conference proceedings Bologna’s Porticos in the European Context are presented. The volume compares the extraordinary variety of the porticoes of Bologna with similar architectural forms built throughout Europe, supporting their outstanding universal value in terms of representativeness of forms, styles and socio-economic functions.

The Mayor Virginio Merola presented the project 'Bologna Porticoes', a protocol agreement between the Municipality of Bologna, ASPPI and ANACI. This agreement will facilitate the paving maintenance works of porticoes, establishing tax concessions and providing professional support.

Kick-off for ‘Subscribe to Porticoes’, the initiative against  vandalism and graffiti, designed to keep porticoes clean thanks to the subscription, within reach for everyone, proposed by Fare Mondi Cooperativa Sociale.

The Municipal councilor Benedetto Zacchiroli, an expert in international relations, has been appointed as spokeman for the UNESCO porticoes nomination in order to give a new impetus to the course of action which has been already taken by the city for some time now.

A video narrating  the Bologna Porticoes Nomination was presented during the round table dedicated to culture and tourism  “Cultura e Turismo: l’Emiia- Romagna e il Sistema Paese”. The Italian Minister Dario Franceschini, “Ministro dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo”, attended the round table, which was promoted by Bologna and Ferrara and followed by a focus meeting about the porticoes in 3D models.

A new logo  representing  the nomination was disclosed during the annual meeting of Commission 3 of FIG, the International Federation of Surveyors.  The logo has been realised by the students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Bologna and FIG supported the nomination homing its presentation.

The international conference ‘Bologna’s porticoes in the European context’ was held, an event coordinated by the Municipality of Bologna and by the "Centro Gina Fasoli per la storia delle città". Two days of debate in order to  compare different city realities, where the porticoes represent a peculiar element of the urban landscape.

The campaign ‘Un passo per San Luca’ started: a civic crowdfunding project committed to the fund raising for the restoration of the San Luca portico; an initiative promoted by the Municipality of Bologna together with  the Comitato per il restauro del portico di San Luca and developed by the GIGER start-up. At the end of the campaign, more than 339.000 euro were raised thanks to the support of 7.000 donors.


The “project porticoes” came to life: an overall project dedicated to the preservation, the defence and the promotion of the heritage represented by the porticoes system of the city, having an extent of 42 km. The main goal was to set in place a range of initiatives committed to the maintenance and the management of this shared property, which is very valuable for the daily life of the city.


UNESCO officially inscribed the Bologna Porticoes Nomination on the Italian Tentative list, among the properties which could be recognized as a World Heritage UNESCO site, in the future.