Group History

BolognaFiere is over 120 years old. It has always been strongly linked to Bologna, forming a close and flourishing relationship. The history of Bologna is full of events that merge exhibitions and city life.

It all began back in 1888 with the first “Great Emilian Exposition” in the Giardini Margherita Park, illuminated electrically for the first time on this occasion. A rack railway was built to reach the Exposition’s other site in San Michele in Bosco.

In 1901, the FIRST BOLOGNA MARKET FAIR was held in the EDEN Kursal, which is now the site of the hotel “I Portici” on Via Indipendenza.

But the Exhibition Centre really began it activity in 1927, with construction of the LITTORALE, the city’s most modern site.

In 1948, the first Footwear Exhibition was held in Palazzo Re Enzo.nIn the 1950s, the Centre moved to the Montagnola. But plans were already being made to construct a permanent home, and a competition was announced to achieve this.

On 8 May 1964, the foundation stone was laid for the halls designed by Leonardo Benevolo, Tommaso Giuralongo and Carlo Melograni, and in 1965 the ribbon was cut by Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

Since then everything has changed, but that was the starting point for events such as the Children’s Book Fair, Cosmoprof and SAIE. They formed the basis of future developments.

Fiere di Bologna became BolognaFiere SpA on 16 October 2002.

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