PLACES OF PAPA GREGORIO XIII

450° ANNIVERSARY

PLACES OF PAPA GREGORIO XIII

Pope Gregory XIII was a fundamental figure for the city of Bologna and his “tracks” can be found not only in the Palace that was his home until his ascent to the papal throne, but also in many other places in the city of Bologna.
Some churches, villas and halls of power carry the sign of his papacy and his works, either by the presence of statues, images or symbols that refer to him directly or to the Boncompagni family, and also because he or his family members were responsible for the construction of prestigious buildings in the Bologna area. To follow in Gregory XIII’s footsteps, the artists Ester Grossi and Amalia Mora, who have been living for some time in the artistic residency at Palazzo Boncompagni, have created a very special map distributed to all visitors to the Palace.
Below we offer a list of places and an interactive tour itinerary of Bologna.
DISCOVER THE ITINERARY ALSO ON GOOGLE MAPS

PALAZZO BONCOMPAGNI

Stemma Boncompagni
1.
PALAZZO BONCOMPAGNI
Via del Monte, 8
Birthplace of Pope Gregory XIII, XVI-XVIII century
 
The building was built upon the initiative of Cristoforo Boncompagni, father of Ugo, shortly after Bologna was passed from the lordship of the Bentivoglio family to the state of the Church. The design of the original nucleus is attributed to Sienese architect Baldassarre Tommaso Peruzzi (1481-1536), but you can also notice the touch of Jacopo Barozzi, known as Vignola (1507-1573), and Ottaviano Mascherino (1536-1606). A plaque states that work ended here in 1548, but in reality it continued for a long time after.

Busto Papa Gregorio XIII

Mezzo busto papa Gregorio XIII
2.
MUSEO CIVICO MEDIEVALE
Via Manzoni, 4
Bust of Gregory XIII Boncompagni (Alessandro Menganti, 1575)

 
The sculpture is kept in the Bronze Collection of the Bologna Museum and is attributed to Alessandro Menganti, the author of another famous bronze statue of the same pontiff, located in the entrance portal to the Town Hall.

Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro) in Bologna.

Cappella San Pietro
3.
CATTEDRALE DI SAN PIETRO
Via Indipendenza, 7
Boncompagni Chapel, 1725

 
Its real name is the chapel of San Rocco but it is known as the Boncompagni chapel as a result of the restoration process ordered by Cardinal Giacomo Boncompagni around 1725.
The work was entrusted to Giuseppe Antonio Ambrosi; the altar was made by Camillo Rusconi (1658-1728), author of the funerary monument of Gregory XIII in San Pietro, Rome, and the altarpiece above it, painted by Marcantonio Franceschini, depicts the Holy Family with St. Rocco and S. Giacomo Maggiore (1727/1728).

PALAZZO D’ACCURSIO Bologna

Scultura Palazzo d'Accursio
4.
PALAZZO D’ACCURSIO
P.zza Maggiore, 6
Statue of Pope Gregory XIII (Alessandro Menganti, 1580)

 
Made in 1580 by Alessandro Menganti, in 1796, to avoid the “fury” of the Napoleonic army, the statue of Gregory XIII was “disguised” as San Petronio, whose name can still be read in the base.
Only in 1895 was it restored to its original state and Gregory returned to bless the city from the top of the town hall.

Basilica San Petronio Meridiana

Meridiana San Petronio
5.
BASILICA DI SAN PETRONIO
P.zza Galvani, 5
Sundial (Gian Domenico Cassini, 1657)

 
The Sundial that can be seen today in San Petronio was built by the astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini, after the original one was destroyed in 1653 during the extension of the church.
The first, created by Egnazio Danti, a Perugian Dominican professor of mathematics at the University of Bologna, in 1576, was used by the commission Gregory XIII appointed to revise the calendar, in order to determine the precise date of the Spring Equinox and correct the errors of the Julian calendar.

Biblioteca Archiginnasio Bologna

Archiginnasio Insegna Araldica
6.
BIBLIOTECA COMUNALE DELL’ARCHIGINNASIO
P.zza Galvani, 1
Heraldic insignia of Cardinal Girolamo Boncompagni, XVII Secolo

 
In the Stabat Mater room, the great hall where law students once gathered, there is, amongst other decorations, the heraldic insignia of Cardinal Girolamo Boncompagni. It is characterized by a dragon and therefore the other coats of arms around the monument are also in the shape of small dragons. In the center, instead, St. Jerome with the lion is depicted.

Torre del Tempo

Torre del Tempo icon
7.
PALAZZO PEPOLI MUSEO DELLA STORIA DI BOLOGNA
Via Castiglione, 8
Tower of Time (Mario Bellini, 2012)

 
The main entrance of the Museum of the History of Bologna houses a faithful reproduction of the largest Renaissance “portrait” of an Italian city: Bologna. The original fresco, commissioned in the 16th century by Pope Gregory XIII, is normally inaccessible to visitors as it is placed in a space adjacent to the Pope’s private apartments.
At the center of the courtyard of Palazzo Pepoli, the architect Mario Bellini has placed the Torre del Tempo (Tower of Time), a glass and steel structure flooded with natural light from above.

Monte del matrimonio

Monte del Matrimonio
8.
MONTE DEL MATRIMONIO
Via Altabella, 21
Pension Fund for Family, 1583

 

Thanks to the great generosity of Gregory XIII during his reign, in particular towards poor girls and young people, we owe the birth of the Monte del Matrimonio, a social security institution where anyone who wanted could donate to support the marriage dowry of deprived girls.

Mitra e pastorale di San Petronio

Museo del risorgimento
9.
MUSEO CIVICO DEL RISORGIMENTO
P.zza Carducci, 5
Miter and pastoral of San Petronio, 1796

 
There are two elements that transformed the statue of Gregory into that of San Petronio at the end of the 18th century to save it from possible damage at the time of the Napoleonic conquest: the miter that had replaced the triple crown and the pastoral staff that had been added to the blessing arm.

MUSEO DI PALAZZO POGGI

Collezione Aldovrandi
10.
MUSEO DI PALAZZO POGGI
Via Zamboni, 33
Ulisse Aldrovandi Collection (cousin of Pope Gregory XIII on the mother’s side), 1605

 
This is the naturalia collection that the scholar collected at his home. It is one that still amazes visitors due to its specimens of crocodiles, puffers and snakes. It is kept in a room of the museum of Palazzo Poggi in ancient showcases.
The bond of Pope Gregory XIII with his distant cousin Ulisse Aldrovandi and their common love for nature and science characterize the Pontiff’s activity.

Cappella San Martino Bologna

cappella san martino
11.
BASILICA DI SAN MARTINO
Via Oberdan, 25
Boncompagni Chapel, XV-XVI century

 
The chapel, built during the restoration and enlargement of the church at the end of the 1400s and restored in 2008, houses unusual decorations for a sacred place, signed by the great protagonist of the 1500s in Bologna, Amico Aspertini.
Cristoforo Boncompagni, father of Gregory XIII, subsequently enriched its prestige with commissions such as the Adoration of the Magi by Girolamo da Carpi in 1530.

VILLA GUASTAVILLANI bologna

12.
VILLA GUASTAVILLANI
Via degli Scalini, 20
Residence of the Cardinal Filippo Guastavillani (nephew of Gregory XIII), 1575

 
Located on Monte di Barbiano, it was built by Cardinal Filippo Guastavillani in 1575. In 1927 it was used as a welfare facility for poor and frail children, while after being hit by air raids in 1944, the villa became a sanatorium.
In 1992 the villa was acquired by the Municipality of Bologna. It was later sold to the University of Bologna and converted into an advanced study center.
Today Villa Guastavillani hosts the Bologna Business School.

Villa Cicogna

13.
VILLA CICOGNA
Via Luigi Fantini, 2 | San Lazzaro di Savena (BO)
Residence of the Marquis Giacomo Boncompagni (son of Gregory XIII), 1578

 
The construction of the sumptuous villa is thanks to Giacomo Boncompagni, son of Ugo. The design is traditionally attributed to the architect Jacomo Barozzi, known as Vignola, to whom it could never be officially ascribed due to his sudden death in 1573.
In the eighteenth century the property of the villa passed to the Princes Colonna and Pepoli who commissioned the decoration of the internal rooms to the landscape architect Carlo Lodi and the figurist Antonio Rossi. Together they created 40 frescoes on biblical history, myth and the war events of Europe during the eighteenth century. Since 2012 it has been part of the Unipol Group’s real estate assets.

EVENTS

May 2022

450 years
of Pope Gregory XIII

1572-2022

On May 25th, 450 years ago, Ugo Boncompagni was crowned Pope and given the name “Gregory XIII”, after a very short conclave held on May 13th 1572.
On the occasion of this symbolic anniversary, the Palazzo Boncompagni Foundation is organizing a rich program of activities.