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City (pop., 2004 est.: 373,539), capital of Emilia-Romagna region, northern Italy. Located north of Florence, it lies at the northern foot of the Apennines. Originally the Etruscan town of Felsina, it became a Roman military colony c. 190 BC. It was subject to the Byzantine exarchate of Ravenna from the 6th century AD. It became a free commune in the 12th century. Incorporated into the Papal States in 1506, it was the scene of the crowning of Charles V in 1530. After a brief period of French occupation, it was restored to the Papal States in 1815, and in 1860 it was united to the Kingdom of Italy. The University of Bologna is among Europe's oldest. The city is a road and rail centre for traffic between northern and southern Italy. It is the site of excellent medieval and Renaissance architecture and is famous for its cuisine. Locally, it was governed by leftists in the second half of the 20th century.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Bologna, visit Britannica.com.