Historical building, Bologna
Palazzo Ronzani was built in 1914 after the redesign of an area that previously hosted towers and a portion of Mercato di Mezzo, one of the oldest markets in Bologna. The aim of the government of that time was to expand the central Via Rizzoli and make the Two Towers stand out from the urban pattern.
A a consequence, at the beginning of the 20th century numerous elegant buildings were erected in the place of alleys and market spaces, and Palazzo Ronzani was one of them.
Built on the project of Gualtiero Pontoni and Ettore Lambertini, Palazzo Ronzani can be defined as a mix of different architectural styles and materials. If you observe it from the opposite side of Via Rizzoli, facing the Two Towers, you’ll immediately notice two peculiar features: the corner facade and the art deco iron projecting roof designed by Umberto Costanzini in 1921 as a shelter for the tramway passengers.
Besides its artistic value, Ronzani Palace plays a very important role in the history and memories of Bologna citizens as well. In the year of its construction, a theatre was opened in the basement of the building which later became the Cinema Modernissimo, operating until 2007 under the name of “Arcobaleno”.
The cinema under Palazzo Ronzani was so important for the cultural life of the city that in 2016 the Fondazione Cineteca of Bologna decided to start the renovating works and bring it to life again. After many years of closure, Bologna will soon have its underground cinema again!
The ground floor of the building houses a historical jeweller workshop, while the old entrance of Modernissimo now hosts a clothing shop that has preserved its original decoration.
To complete the history of the building, there remains an anectode to be told. The portico of Palazzo Ronzani that overlooks Re Enzo Square is known as “l'angolo dei cretini” (the corner of the idiots), as the lazybones used to spend all their days in the shade of its arcades, usually to stare at the girls passing by.