The characteristic of this town, the second largest city in the province of Bologna, is in the age of its territory: the Via Emilia preserves a sinuosity that gives the primacy of housing during the pre-Roman era.

After the advent of the Romans, like many Po Valley provinces, its territory suffered various damages from the barbarian invasions, the Marcomanni, the Goths and the Lombards later. Its extension was very limited and even during the Middle Ages it had to contend with the larger towns of Bologna and Faenza, which always claimed its ownership.

Around  1300 a plague hit a third of the population, while it was towards the end of 1700 that part of the territory was occupied by the French revolutionary forces, but with the Restoration it returned under the Papal State. Another noteworthy situation was its participation in the Second World War which caused considerable damage to the city and its citizens. However, it was in the post-war period, around the 1960s, that Imola saw great industrial growth with the construction of new neighborhoods thanks to which it was the protagonist of rapid economic development.


Cloister of the Bishop Palace

The current bishop’s complex constituted a centuria, or a perfectly rectangular portion of the city. The area was donated to the bishop by the city consuls in 1187. The buildings were built around a large garden and two courtyards, which became the Main Courtyard and the Scuderie Courtyard.

The current architectural forms and characteristics date back to the second half of the eighteenth century, when a general reconstruction of the palace was ordered by the Cardinal Giovanni Carlo Bandi (1752-1784). The design of the works was entrusted to the Imola architect Cosimo Morelli. The interventions involved the atrium, the hall of honor and the stair that give the access to the main floor of the building. The works were carried out in 1766. The imposing monumental staircase, decorated with large windows, pilasters and Doric capitals, was built on the right side of the courtyard.


Palazzo Vescovile: Piazza Duomo, 1 – 40026 Imola (BO)


Municipality of Imola – cultural office: Ph. +39 0542 602 428

Iat – Informazione Accoglienza Turistica: Ph. +39 0542 602207