Certosa of Bologna designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the porticos of the city

On July 28, 2021, the porticos of Bologna were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The candidacy process began in 2006, when they became part of the Italian list of candidate sites. The property includes 12 groups of porticos and the surrounding built-up areas, located within the Municipality of Bologna.

This architectural typology is undoubtedly the most representative of the city and extends for a total of 62 kilometers. It is, in fact, considered an element of urban identity - as the Italian Minister of Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini underlines, highlighting how its unique nature deserves to be promoted. 
In the course of 2020 the candidacy dossier has been revised, enriched and strengthened by including other places in the fabric of the city of historical, architectural and artistic importance closely related to the porticos selected, such as the Palazzo della Mercanzia, the Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Baraccano, the system of Piazze (Maggiore, Re Enzo and Nettuno), the stretch of the plain of the portico of San Luca up to the Arco Bonaccorsi, the Pinacoteca Nazionale, the portico of Alemanni and part of the monumental area of the Certosa Cemetery

With this recognition, the Certosa of Bologna Monumental Cemetery becomes a World Heritage Site
The straight porticoed structure over seven hundred meters long that connects the cemetery to the portico of San Luca - the longest in the world - is a unique example of a modern sepulchral portico, built between 1811 and 1834 thanks to the generosity of its citizens. Ercole Gasparini's project was to physically connect the city of the dead with the city of the living, continuing the centuries-old local tradition of connecting places outside the city center to the city. 

The Certosa Cemetery was founded in 1801 after the Napoleonic edict of Saint-Cloud, on the model of the ancient Roman sepulchral roads, converting the Carthusian convent built in 1334, of which today the church of San Girolamo remains. The monumental complex is the result of an articulated stratification of loggias, cloisters and buildings belonging to various chronological phases, whose fulcrum is represented by the Chiostro Terzo, which is influenced by the local neoclassical culture. Inside, there is a noteworthy repertoire of paintings and sculptures made by the most virtuous Bolognese artists active in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

In the cemetery are housed some important local and national figures: among them the statesman Marco Minghetti; the painters Giorgio Morandi and Bruno Saetti; the Nobel Prize for literature Giosue Carducci and the writer Riccardo Bacchelli; the opera singer Carlo Broschi, the composer Ottorino Respighi and the singer Lucio Dalla; the general Giuseppe Grabinski and the prime minister Taddeo Matuszevic; as well as the founders of the companies Maserati, Ducati and Weber and of the publishing house Zanichelli

Throughout the nineteenth century, the Cemetery was a privileged destination for visitors to Bologna, whose most illustrious names include: Lord Byron, Jules Janin, Charles Dickens and Theodor Mommsen.
It is, therefore, an exceptional place from the historical and cultural artistic point of view in the national and international panorama, worthy of the highest form of protection and promotion. The Portico of Certosa was designed by Ercole Gasparini between 1811 and 1834. In the original idea, the building was meant to be longer, but only the section from the Arco del Meloncello to the Reno Canal was built. In reality, there are traces of another segment, totally distorted and incorporated with the subsequent enlargements: it is a short corridor that runs along the west side of the courtyard of the Monumental Entrance and that preserves some nineteenth-century tombs. Gasparini's idea was that the portico should connect seamlessly with the Certosa, reaching its center, giving real form to an ideal union between the city of the living and the city of the dead. 

The area selected as UNESCO heritage is the one that has more relevance both from an architectural and theoretical point of view with Gasperini's project. Some areas of the twentieth century are thus included because they were built respecting the urban form of the nineteenth-century cemetery (Chiostro VIII, Chiostro IX for example) or because they conclude an idea that was never realized. The Chiostro VI or of the Great War was completed almost a century after the Portico della Certosa, but it traces the area and the spirit of what should have been the 'Chiostro del Pantheon' which was only realized in the south side, then demolished and preserved only for the monuments that had been built in the meantime. It is not by chance that in this part of the VI Cloister there are some tombs dating back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, such as the one dedicated to the sculptor Alessandro Franceschi, whose presence would not be explained otherwise.