Imola

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This article is about the town in Italy. For the place in California, see Imola, California. For the racing circuit, see Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari.
Imola
Iômla
Comune
Comune di Imola
Rocca Sforzesca.
Rocca Sforzesca.
Imola is located in Italy
Imola
Imola
Location of Imola in Italy
Coordinates: 44°21′12.3998″N 11°42′51.7435″E / 44.353444389°N 11.714373194°E / 44.353444389; 11.714373194
Country Italy
Region Emilia-Romagna
Province Bologna (BO)
Frazioni Cantalupo, Càsola Canina, Chiusura, Fabbrica, Giardino, Linaro, Montecatone, Piratello, Ponticelli, San Prospero, Sasso Morelli, Selva, Sesto Imolese, Spazzate Sassatelli, Zello
Government
 • Mayor Daniele Manca (Partito Democratico)
Area
 • Total 204.96 km2 (79.14 sq mi)
Elevation 47 m (154 ft)
Population (December 31, 2012)
 • Total 68,974
 • Density 340/km2 (870/sq mi)
Demonym Imolesi
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 40026
Dialing code 0542
Patron saint St. Cassian
Saint day August 13
Website Official website
The Cathedral of Imola, the seat of the Bishopric of Imola.

Imola (Jômla in the local dialect) is a town and comune in the province of Bologna, located on the Santerno River, in the Emilia-Romagna region of north-central Italy. The town is traditionally considered the western entrance to the historical region Romagna.

The city is most noted as the home of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari who formerly hosted the Formula One San Marino Grand Prix, (the race was named after the nearby independent republic of San Marino, as Monza already hosted the Italian Grand Prix), and the deaths of Formula One drivers Ayrton Senna (Brazilian) and Roland Ratzenberger (Austrian) at the circuit during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.

History[edit]

The city was anciently called Forum Cornelii, after the Roman dictator L. Cornelius Sulla, who founded it about 82 BCE. The town was an agricultural and trade center, famous for its ceramics.

The name Imola was first used in the 7th century by the Lombards, who applied it to the fortress (the present Castellaccio, the construction of which is attributed to the Lombard Clefi), whence the name passed to the city itself. According to Paul the Deacon, Imola was in 412 the scene of the marriage of Ataulf, King of the Visigoths, to Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius the Great. In the Gothic War (535–552), and after the Lombard invasion, it was held alternately by the Byzantines and barbarians.

With the exarchate of Ravenna it passed under papal authority. In the ninth century it was bravely defended against the Saracens and Hungarians by Fausto Alidosi. In the tenth century Troilo Nordiglio acquired great power. This and the following centuries witnessed incessant wars against the Ravennatese, the Faentines and the Bolognese, as well as the internecine struggles of the Castrimolesi (from Castro Imolese, "castle of Imola") and the Sancassianesi (from San Cassiano). Amid these conflicts was formed the republican constitution of the city. In the contest between pope and emperor, Imola was generally Ghibelline, though it often returned to the popes (e.g. in 1248). Several times, powerful lords attempted to obtain the mastery of the city (Alidosi, 1292; Maghinardo Pagano, 1295). Pope Benedict XII turned the city and its territory over to Lippo II Alidosi with the title of pontifical vicar, the power remaining in the family Alidosi until 1424, when the condottiero Angelo della Pergola, "capitano" for Filippo Maria Visconti, gained the supremacy (see also Wars in Lombardy). In 1426 the city was restored to the Holy See, and the legate (later Cardinal) Capranica inaugurated a new regime in public affairs.

It was later ruled by various condottieri, such as the Visconti, from which era several landmark fortresses remain. In 1434, 1438 and 1470 Imola was conferred on the Sforza, who had become lords of Milan. It was again brought under papal authority when it was bestowed as dowry on Caterina Sforza, the bride of Girolamo Riario, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. Riario was invested with the Principality of Forlì and Imola. This proved advantageous to Imola, which was embellished with beautiful palaces and works of art (e.g. in the cathedral, the tomb of Girolamo, murdered in 1488 by conspirators of Forli). The rule of the Riarii, however, was brief, as Pope Alexander VI deprived the son of Girolamo, Ottaviano, of power, and on 25 November 1499, the city surrendered to Cesare Borgia. After his death, two factions, that of Galeazzo Riario and that of the Church, competed for control of the city. The ecclesiastical party was victorious, and in 1504 Imola submitted to Pope Julius II. The last trace of these contests was a bitter enmity between the Vaini and Sassatelli families.

Leonardo da Vinci's very accurate map of Imola, created for Cesare Borgia.

In 1797 the revolutionary French forces established a provisional government at Imola; in 1799 it was occupied by the Austrians; in 1800 it was united to the Cisalpine Republic. After that it shared the fortunes of the Romagna region.

Main sights[edit]

  • Rocca Sforzesca (Sforza Castle), built under the reign of Girolamo Riario and Caterina Sforza. Now houses a Cinema d'Estate which shows films in July and August. It also is the location of the world-famous International Piano Academy "Incontri col Maestro", founded in 1989 by Franco Scala.
  • Palazzo Tozzoni (Tozzoni's Mansion), built between 1726 and 1738 by the architect Domenico Trifogli, civic art museum since 1981.
  • Duomo (cathedral), dedicated to San Cassiano. Erected from 1187 to 1271, it was repeatedly restored in the following centuries, until a large renovation was held in 1765–1781. The façade dates to 1850.
  • Convento dell'Osservanza, including the church of San Michele from 1472, to which later a convent with two cloisters was added. It houses a sarcophagus of Lucrezia Landriani (1496), mother of Caterina Sforza. The interior has a nave and an aisles, finished in 1942; it houses a fresco attributed to Guidaccio da Imola (1472). In the apse is a Byzantine-style crucifix from the 15th century. The first cloister, dating to 1590, had originally 35 frescoes of stories of St. Francis, 15 of which went lost. In the garden annexed to the church is a precious Pietà in terracotta of late-15th century Bolognese or Faenza school.

Noteworthy are also the Farsetti and the Communal palaces. In the latter is a fresco representing Clement VII and Charles V (1535) passing through the city. The public library was established in 1747 by the Conventual Padre Setti. In the 16th century, the Accademia degli Industriosi flourished.

Notable people[edit]

Medals and awards[edit]

  • On 12 June 1984, Imola was awarded the Medaglia d'Oro al Valor Militare (Gold Purple Heart) for the role of the city in the Italian resistance movement
  • On 2 June 1971, the city was awarded the Medaglia d'oro ai benemeriti della scuola della cultura e dell'arte (Gold Merit Badge of the Art and Culture School).

International relations[edit]

Imola is twinned with:

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ "Međunarodna suradnja Grada Pule". Grad Pula (in Croatian, Italian). Archived from the original on 2012-05-05. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  2. ^ Francis, Valerie. "Twin Town News - Colchester, Avignon, Imola and Wetzlar". The Colchester Twinning Society. Retrieved 2013-07-22. 

External links[edit]