WDEC 2022 in Bologna, Italy, and summer calendar

Art, history, theatre, music, to immerse yourself in the city of memory and discover its beauties and secrets. The Certosa of Bologna summer calendar, the review of cultural events curated by the Civic Museum of the Risorgimento of Bologna, with the contribution of Bologna Servizi Cimiteriali, returns from May 26th to November 2nd to enhance and promote the knowledge of the historical, artistic and architectural heritage enclosed in the monumental cemetery, regard as one of the most beautiful and important in Europe. 

The initiative launched in Bologna, which has now reached its fourteenth edition, is among the first national and international initiatives in tackling the complex challenge of changing the perception of cemeteries from places dedicated to the burial of the dead to places of significant cultural interest, which preserve a heritage that reflects the history of the city. Today, thanks to an increasingly widespread sensitivity, taking care of cemeteries means reclaiming the cultural dimensions that these places, which are actual open-air garden-museums, can offer as permanent educational environments for different audiences, from citizens to tourists, from adults to young people.  

About sixty appointments are proposed this year, which include guided tours, thematic visits, animated lessons, concerts and plays: about forty of them will take place during the evening. But there will be also activities at other times of the day – in the morning, in the afternoon, at sunset – and they will be capable of offering elements of astonishment, beauty and meditation thanks to the spectacular and precious monumental setting and its unique scenographic backgrounds. 

Every year, with the Certosa summer calendar, the Civic Museum of the Risorgimento renews an interdisciplinary collaboration agreement with the world of cultural associations, third sector and professional tour guides of the city, for a wide and multifaceted dissemination of the approaches of knowledge related to the monumental complex. 

In 2022, the museum has proposed three main topics, through a public notice for the selection of the project proposals to be included in the program: the history of Bologna in the “Long nineteenth century” (1796-1915); Young Italy, young Europe; Ideas, struggles, emancipation; the tenth anniversary of Lucio Dalla’s death. 

Alongside these three strands are other narrative plots, full of fascination and suggestion, which draw inspiration from the testimonies of the past that the place offers: from funeral rituals, as an element of religious and civic identity, to the biographical events of women who lived in different eras and share the courage of social emancipation inspired by Giuseppe Mazzini’s and the partisans’ ideals. From the history of the Pizzardi family, a protagonist of the economic and political development of Bologna, retraced on the occasion of the centenary of the marquis Carlo Alberto Pizzardi’s death, to the work of the sculptor and medalist Renaud Martelli, author of funerary art masterpieces which were made at the Certosa in the 1940s and 1960s. And, furthermore, the Trekking dell’Altro Mondo, with a dynamic and unusual marathon to experience the Certosa in the spirit of the playable city: guided tours dedicated to great citizens of Bologna, such as Ottorino Respighi, Giorgio Morandi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Roberto Roversi; the journey of the sculptor Marco Marchesini to discover, in the days of the summer solstice, the astronomical and astrological coincidences that we can find inside and outside the cemetery; the fourth edition of the multi-sensory performance Sound and Silence; the requiem mass between Marco Enrico Bossi and Ildebrando Pizzetti. The thematic guided tours to discover crimes and passions, arcane and mysterious symbols, are also re-proposed, in a few cases with new itineraries: the audience always follows them with great participation. 

In addition to the programming, there is a new element which contributes to the peculiarity of this fourteenth edition. The stage, made up of a harmonious succession of cloisters, rooms, galleries, aedicles and chapels, with examples of highly-regarded funerary art, an expression of the main styles and artistic currents between the XIX and XX centuries, offers a rediscovered point of attractiveness in the portico, included among the 12 components selected as a representative expression of the urban identity of Bologna and its system of covered walkways, which in 2021 were awarded with the UNESCO World Heritage recognition. 

Highlighting its involvement in an international network for the enhancement of historic cemeteries, the Bolognese event starts on the occasion of the annual Week of Discovering European Cemeteries, organized by the ASCE – Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe to raise the awareness of European citizens on the importance of cemeteries, and present them from a different perspective to all their visitors.

As usual, the calendar will extend beyond the summer season and will end symbolically in remembrance on November 2nd, 2022, the day on which the Day of the Dead is celebrated. 

The Civic Museum of the Risorgimento participates in the SE.F.IT. technical committee, created for the historical-artistic enhancement of the Italian monumental cemeteries, made up of a small group of members of UTILITALIA-SE.F.IT (Servizi Funerari Italiani), among which are the cemeteries of Genoa, Turin, Rome, Ferrara, Milan, Trento, Bolzano, Mantua, Parma and Modena. 

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the death of Giuseppe Mazzini, on May 26th, Bologna, with its wonderful Certosa Cemetery, will be the pilot city where the national project “GIOVINE ITALIA, GIOVINE EUROPA – ideas, struggles, emancipation - 2022 Historical Reenactment”, proposed by 8cento APS and to which the technical committee has adhered, will start. New cultural itineraries, animated by scenes with participants in nineteenth-century costumes, will travel throughout Italy to celebrate the memory of female characters who participated in or contributed actively to write the history of Mazzini. 

The Certosa’s 2022 summer calendar has been created by Istituzione Bologna Musei | Civic Museum of the Risorgimento with: Associazione Co.Me.Te., Coro Euridice, Associazione Dolci Accenti - Educazione e Divulgazione Musicale, Istantanea Teatro, Associazione culturale Memori, Jaya - MetROzero, Cooperativa sociale Mirarte, Gruppo teatrale Più o Meno, Associazione culturale Rimachèride, Teatro Circolare.

With the collaboration of: 8cento APS, ASCE - Association of Significant Cemeteries in Europe, Associazione Amici della Certosa, MIA – Musei Inclusivi e Aperti, Padri Passionisti, Teatro del Baraccano.

In the context of: Bologna Estate 2022, the program of activities promoted by the Municipality of Bologna and the Metropolitan City of Bologna – Bologna-Modena Tourist Territory. 

With the contribution of: Bologna Servizi Cimiteriali

Info and complete programme: www.museibologna.it/risorgimento