The city of writer Umberto Eco isn’t short of nicknames: “la Dotta”, “the learned city” because of its university; “la Rossa”, “the red city” in reference to its former status as a stronghold of the Italian Communist Party; and also “la Grassa”, “the fat city” thanks to its economic prosperity. It’s known as “Basket City” by sports’ fans as a result of Virtus Bologna establishing itself as one of basketball’s most successful standard-bearers, culminating in its Euroleague victories in 1998 and 2001. Turning to cycling, Bologna was the finish town for the first stage of the inaugural Giro d’Italia in 1909, the riders having started in Milan. On the race’s last visit for the 2019 Grande Partenza, Primož Roglič pulled on the first pink jersey after winning the prologue.


  • First-time stage town
  • Capital of the Emilia-Romagna region
  • Population: 395,000 (Bolognese)  


  • Region of northern Italy
  • Surface area: 22,510km2
  • Population: 4,460,000 (Emilian-Romagnols)

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