National Art Gallery of Bologna
An extraordinary collection of Italian and other European Old Masters
Culture vulture central
Located in the Academy of Fine Arts building, the collection of the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna dates back to around 1712, the fruit of a project of Pope Benedict XIV, who as a cardinal campaigned to open a public gallery to safeguard and display works of the best known artists of his day; this was a particularly innovative notion at a time when most collections were private. This collection covers much of the key periods of European art history, divided by floors according to the historical timeline and geography; the ground floor begins with painters of the local Emilia Romagna region of the 13th through 15th centuries. Other European Old Masters represented include Tintoretto, Raphael, El Greco, Titian, and Giotto.