Parco della Montagnola
The 'Pincio di Bologna'
This is Bologna's oldest park (1662), the only sizeable one in the centro storico, and the only 'hill' north of the Piazza Maggiore. The Bolognesi take it as a symbol of their love of liberty – it’s really a mound of building debris, from the fortresses that stood here and were destroyed by the people on five separate occasions. The pile was covered in earth and landscaped in 1806, ironically on the orders of the new tyrant, Napoleon.
A fair, the Espozizione Emiliana, was held on the grounds in 1888, and after that the park took its currrent shape. The highlight is a grand stair and fountain from the 1890's called the Pincio di Bologna, which overlooks some of the castle ruins.
The park holds a series of open-air concerts throughout the summer.