This is a preview of the content in our Bologna + Modena Art & Culture app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Use the in-app Map to find sites, and add custom locations (your hotel...)
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play

Bologna: 1000BC-1000AD

Early Days

Villanovan harness trapping, 9th-8th C BC

Villanovans and Etruscans

The area around Bologna was settled perhaps as early as 1000 BC by the people of the Villanovan culture, who occupied much of north-central Italy; Villanova di Castelnaso itself, with the site that gives these people a name, is just outside the city.

The Villanovans, once believed to be an Italic people who were conquered by the Etruscans, are now generally accepted simply as an earlier phase of Etruscan culture, before its great economic expansion of the 8th and 7th centuries BC brought it into the mainstream of Mediterranean civilization and opened it to influences from the Greek world.

The Etruscans homeland, however, was not here but in what is now Tuscany and northern Lazio. They expanded over the Apennines sometime in the 6th century, and founded the town of Velzna, or Felsina (Bologna) c. 510 BC, over what had been a Villanovan settlement. The finds on display in the city's Museo Civico Archeologico are sufficient testament to the wealth and sophistication of Etruscan Velzna in the century that followed. Even though the city and the rest of the settlements in the Po valley were only frontier outposts, they developed cultural traditions and styles of art quite different from those of Tuscany.

Read the full content in the app
iOS App Store Google Play

Bologna History and Sidelights

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by LACMA, Public Domain