Bologna is known as the red city mainly for two reasons:

  • The typical bricks

  • Its political past 

But there is something more curious about the link between the city and this color.

Let’s see in detail what makes the city of Bologna so red.

Red as your bricks

The town hall, the palace of King Enzo, the towers, the 7 churches of Santo Stefano and San Petronio, are just some of the most emblematic buildings in the city that show this preponderant use of terracotta that gives a red color to the entire city.

On the facades, arches and columns, the mottled stone is carved and moulded to create rich decorations, which ennoble this traditionally humble building material. It can be seen clearly on the façade of the town hall in Piazza Maggiore, or in the palazzo della mercanzia, where brick also alternates with minor marble decorations.

Piazza dei Mercanti Bologna. Arquitectura italiana. Freetour Bologna.

The red of comunism

The second meaning attributed to the red of the city, no doubt, is that which refers to the political history of the city, and the region it heads.

Since red has always been the color of the left in Italy as in many cities of the world and Bolonga has always been a city of the left.

Numbers in hand since 1945 the mayor of Bologna (elected every 5 years) has always been on the left except once (1999-2004) when he won an independent candidate but closer to the center right.

This says a lot!

And if we look at the presidents of the region, well, they’ve all been left states without exception!

Ducati Panigale moto color rojo. Ducati Panigale red motorbike.
Ferrari coche y logo. Ferrari car and logo.

El rojo de la velocidad

Most recently, the red of Bologna has been associated with the Italian red par excellence, Ferrari, since Bologna is the capital of the region where he was born.

Also the Ducati was born right next to Bologna, and many of its bikes like the iconic Panigale are usually red.

But as these brands are much more recent than the traditions of the city and the region, I always doubt that Ferrari and Ducati chose red precisely because they were born in a red region.

Some notes more:

However, many historic buildings whose facades are painted and do not show exposed terracotta, such as the Achiginnasio, are colored with warm shades of yellow, red and orange that increase the color uniformity of the city.

The typical curtains of the city of Bolonga, traditionally used as dark in summer, are bright red and are still present in many historical buildings in various areas of the center. He thinks that today who has one of these tents can not remove them by law because they are part of the history of the city and its image.

Finally, when you walk through Bologna at night you will notice that the lights are warm throughout the center and if you walk through the main square you sometimes get the impression that it is lit by torches, as happened in the Middle Ages.


In three words word:

Bologna the Red.