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Bologna

The secret Italian school for migrants

Hidden behind the graffiti and street-art walls of an abandoned warehouse in northern Italy, migrants gather in a classroom to learn Italian. This is Scuola di Italiano migranti – the Italian school for migrants.  “This place is beautiful. I…

Gender Bender: can art talk about gender identity?

Daniele Del Pozzo is artistic director of Bologna’s annual Gender Bender festival. It aims to explore perceptions of gender through art, theatre, debate, music and culture. “I moved to Bologna when I was 18 to study art, music and theatre. I…

Habesha: bringing the taste of Ethiopian food to Bologna

Originally from Ethiopia, Germanish owns a Habesha restaurant in Bolognina, an inner-city district of Bologna with a thriving migrant community. “We’re like a big family here. The restaurant is going well, thank god. We cook Habesha food. We’re…

Social Street: unselfish socialising

Welcome to Via Fondazza, a long porticoed street in the crayon-red historic centre of Bologna. This is where Federico Bastiani first opened Social Street, a Facebook page, in 2013. His aim was simply to make new friends. After posting a…

Ritmo Lento: the silent rebellion against time

Ritmo Lento – ‘Slow Rhythm’ in Italian – is the name Pasquale and Alessandro chose when they founded a meet-up for young adults. Together they opened a self-funded bar in the San Carlo district of Bologna, where they hold regular talks and…

Yerevan Tapes: the return of the cassette

Cassette tapes are enjoying a revival, and in Italy the comeback is being led by Andrea, owner of Bologna‘s Yerevan Tapes. “Together with my girlfriend, Silvia, we started Yerevan Tapes,” Andrea told Portraits from Italy. “It’s quite experimental. We make ambient,…

Babilonia: the best falafel and kebab house in Bologna

During term-time, Bologna‘s Via del Pratello teems with students enjoying the pubs, bars and cafes – not to mention a falafel and kebab house called Babilonia, owned by Masood. “I’m Persian. I moved to Italy in 1978. I had…

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