Long shrouded in the mystery of history, the noble Palazzo Boncompagni now stands as an important venue for private and cultural events of absolute prestige. Thanks to the ardent commitment of the Pizzighini Benelli family, an intense study phase is underway which, day after day, reveals new aspects and curiosities, enriching the story of Bologna and its glorious epic.
It was precisely inside this palace that Pope Gregory XIII, previously known as Cardinal Ugo Boncompagni, lived and trained, and lived here until his election to the papal throne on 13 May 1572, followed by his coronation on 25 May of the same year.
Built at the behest of Cristoforo Boncompagni, Ugo's father, shortly after the city of Bologna had passed from the dominion of the Bentivoglio family to the State of the Church, of which it was the second most important city: after Rome, of course.
A plaque, still visible today, testifies that the construction works on the palace were completed in 1548 and, although the original nucleus of Palazzo Boncompagni is attributed to the Sienese architect Baldassarre Tommaso Peruzzi (1481-1536), many scholars agree on the fact that the completion and ornamentation, both internal and external, are to be attributed to Jacopo Barozzi, known as Vignola (1507-1573).
One of the most distinctive traces of the great Renaissance architect is the majestic helical staircase, the fulcrum of the palace. Vignola, a leading figure of Mannerism, is renowned for creating buildings of extraordinary elegance and for having precisely outlined the concept of architectural order in his famous "Rule of the Five Orders of Architecture", one of the most influential and widespread architectural treatises Of all times. On the majestic decorated facade of Via del Monte, dating back to 1545, stands the papal insignia of Gregory XIII, Ugo Boncompagni, accompanied by a winged dragon without a tail, a symbol that did not fail to arouse amazement and numerous criticisms among its most fierce opponents. As evidence of his profound love and unalterable bond with his hometown, in 1575, during the jubilee year, Pope Gregory XIII Boncompagni commissioned a fresco depicting the map of Bologna.
This work was destined to be created in the heart of the Apostolic Palaces, between the Pope's private apartments and the offices of the Secretariat of State, in the space known as Sala Bologna. Among all the buildings, the only one not of a religious nature to appear with a golden roof was Palazzo Boncompagni. A privileged venue in which to set up exhibitions and private events, the Palace reveals its prestigious soul as soon as you enter it: after crossing the large entrance portal you enter the reception room aimed at impressing visitors of every era, then and now: the Pope's Hall, where the Pontiff received the public. Large and majestic, with its exceptional acoustics, a splendid stone fireplace and frescoes by Pellegrino Tibaldi covering the vault and the upper part of the walls, it is a sort of sixteenth-century stage in which to stage the most special day of your life , fascinating guests and friends.
Outside there is the beautiful loggia with arches supported by two columns with a shaft decorated in relief with foliage motifs. The upper part of the Loggia, on the main floor, was closed in the 18th century at the time when the Palace passed into the ownership of the Pallavicini family, when numerous interventions led to modernizations but also the loss of works such as the frieze with the stories of Gregory XIII remembered by chroniclers of the time. In the courtyard overlooking the Loggia it is possible to admire a magnificent Magnolia tree, among the most beautiful today present in the entire city of Bologna.
Palazzo Boncompagni is a unique and prestigious place to organize exclusive meetings in a splendid 16th century residence in the historic center of Bologna, a short distance from Piazza Maggiore and St. Peter's Cathedral. The splendid "Pope's Hall", where Pope Gregory XIII received the public, can be used for private parties, corporate dinners, conventions and conferences: the structure offers sophisticated and rigorously tailor made solutions, managed and supervised by the Staff, for a successful impeccable in an environment of great refinement.