#10 visiting the Jewish Museum in Bologna

Museo Ebraico di Bologna ~ Reason #10 why I love Bologna.

I have always had a fascination with Italy’s Jewish history. During my visit to Bologna last year, I visited the Museo Ebraico di Bologna (the Jewish Museum) on Via Valdonica, 1/5.

When you arrive at this museum, you will find a locked gate and a sign saying to ring the buzzer. The ticket office is inside the building where the temporary exhibitions are displayed.

The day I visited, there was an exhibit of black and white photographs by Robert Capa from 1948-1950 of Israel displayed. I enjoyed spending time looking at these interesting photographs. Searching the web, I found this link with many of the photos which were displayed in the museum when I was there.

After spending time looking at the photographs, I paid 4 euros to visit the permanent exhibit.


The permanent exhibition is located in the building next door. You are given a set of headphones to use while visiting this part of the museum. Inside the permanent exhibit there are 4 short narrated films along with information on each wall. The films are about the history of the Jewish people, the Jewish religion, the history of the Jewish people in Bologna, and the history of the Jewish people in Emilia Romagna. I enjoyed all four films along with the information on each wall. Although it was a very small museum, I spent quite a bit of time there.

*Edited March 14th – forgot to add this screen shot of the layout of the museum (from the Museo Ebraico di Bologna website)

layout of Museo Ebraico di Bologna .jpg

If you have any interest in learning about the Jewish people of Bologna and Emilia Romagna, I would highly recommend a visit to this museum. Photographs were not allowed inside the museum.

This is a photograph of a few buildings in the area near the museum.


This summer, I hope to visit more museums in Bologna. The museums were closed on the day I attempted to visit last year due to some sort of museum employee meeting. If you are planning to visit Bologna, check out this informative website, which contains information on many of the major museums in Bologna.

6 thoughts on “#10 visiting the Jewish Museum in Bologna

  1. Sounds very interesting. Did you visit the ghetto in Bologna? Last October I went to the ghetto in Venice and took a tour of the synagogues given by the Museo Ebraico. I didn’t see the exhibits because my interest was in the synagogues. The tour was fascinating and very enlightening.


  2. Hi Maria, I walked around the ghetto area but did not do a formal tour and did not visit the synagogue while in Bologna. I might try to do that this summer. While in Venice many years ago, I also took the the tour of the synagogues and found it quite interesting.


  3. This is very interesting, Girasoli. The Jewish museums in Bologna and in Ferrara are definitely on my list of things I very much want to visit in those two cities in June. (After reading The Garden of the Finzi-Contini last year, I’m especially curious about Ferrara!) But Bologna’s museum sounds like it has much to see — I had better set aside a good chunk of time for this museum.
    Thanks for the link — it consolidates useful info like opening days and hours. It’s so strange, though — every time I try to get into the website of Bologna’s Pinacoteca, I immediately get a “forbidden access” message…….very bizarre!


  4. sandra, I think I spent a couple of hours at most in the museum. I would have stayed longer though but my stomach started grumbling and I did not want to miss the lunch hour. The website you can’t get into might no longer be there. Sometimes that forbidden access thing comes up when the link no longer works (meaning they haven’t updated the link). It is too bad we will miss each other this summer.


  5. This was great; we have also visited whatever Jewish sites (musuems, synagogues) we can find when we are in Italy. I am fascinated as well, and only wish I had some Italian as part of my Jewish background. But no, this Italy stuff has to come from somewhere else. Bologna continues to grow up the list of places we MUST visit.


  6. Thanks Marcia, glad you enjoyed the info. I think Italy gets under many people’s skins Italian or not. My Jewish grandmother’s parents were from Russia and the Austrian-Hungarian nation. I have always wanted to know where (reason I started my genealogy research) but never found out much on that part of my family history. I thought it would be cool to go back to the areas they came from but Russia and the area that was the Austrian-Hungarian nation are quite large without me being able to narrow it down at all. Perhaps after I retire, I can resume the research. Bologna is wonderful! I really think you would enjoy it there.


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