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In the heart of Bologna there‟s a small piece of history just waiting to be discovered.
The ancient Prendiparte Tower has become an exclusive retreat for those who are
fascinated by the past. It is an ideal location that will make your next private or
business event an unforgettable experience.

        Extraordinary things can sometimes be found, hidden among the streets that
we walk along every day and the alleys that we know like the back of our hands.
Who would have ever imagined, for example, that in the heart of Bologna all you
need to do is close a door to isolate yourself from the rest of the world and enjoy a
unique and unforgettable experience! Of course, the door in question is not your
average door, but the entrance to one of the tallest towers in the city, the second
tallest to be exact, second only to the Asinelli Tower. But nine centuries of history
and sixty meters of stature weren‟t enough to create this magical mix of emotions,
awe and grandeur that the tower offers to those who visit it. It was thanks to owner
Matteo Giovanardi‟s enthusiasm and creativity that made this historic structure what
it is today; a place where guests become active participants in a truly unique and
personal experience.
        The tower stands tall in the center of the city, yet is well hidden by a maze of
small streets and alleyways. Of the 100 original towers standing in the Felsineo
center the Prendiparte Tower is one of the few remaining in Bologna. It is also one of
the few that rises above the rooftops, while many others, decapitated during wars
and battles, have disappeared within luxurious private courtyards. Thanks to the
many phases of restoration and improvements that have rendered it once again
inhabitable, “la Coronata” (the Crowned one) – a name linked to the crown-like
decoration that embellishes the sides of the tower – has become an ideal location for
countless events not only due to its capacity to add that magical touch to special
occasions, but also its ability to make even a simple visit quite unique.
        Let us now take a step back in history to explain the origins of this ancient
structure. Built in the 12th century by the powerful Guelf family Prendiparte, for a
long time the tower was used as a military stronghold. In 1588 it was sold to the
Mensa dell‟Arcivescovado (Canteen of the Archdiocese and connected to the
seminary located on the west side of the tower.)               When the seminary was
transferred to another location and the tribunal occupied the tower, the structure
was transformed into a prison which operated for more than forty years (1751-
1796). La Coronata’s golden years where certainly its first few centuries of life when
- like all the other fortified structures - it was a vital fortress that offered refuge in
times of danger.
        After its illustrious period, the tower like most of others in Bologna was left
neglected and fell into ruin. The first attempt to restore it took place in the 1750‟s,
but involved only the top of the tower, which was exposed, and the first few lower
levels, while the top floors were left untouched. In 1972 Clemente Giovanardi, a
successful businessman from Bologna, decided to invest in real estate in the center
of the city. He was looking for something out of the ordinary. A real estate agent
proposed the Prendiparte Tower, which at the time belonged to a man from Imola
who was considering selling it due to family problems. The Prendiparte Tower was
purchased by Signor Giovanardi and registered under Matteo’s name, who at the
time was only a teenager. Certainly nobody would have ever guessed that the huge
12-story box in serious need of a costly restoration, would actually end up being
such a good investment. A questionable move at a time when the fascination for the
Middle Ages was at a real low! But thanks to the intuitiveness of the Bolognese
businessman, and after several years and multiple restorations, the tower is alive
again. The new look is the result of a risk that Matteo Giovanardi took: “If my
father had been able to acquire the tower” – he explained – “the least I could do was
improve its conditions. I literally wanted to bring it back to life and, after the
necessary repairs, I made it my home.” Whether it was a romantic dream or a
personal challenge, living in a tower is definitely not an ordinary experience and has
at least a few advantages (aside from the imaginable practical inconveniences).
“Living in a place like this allows you to isolate yourself from the outside world and to
find yourself. It emphasizes your state of being, amplifying your senses. Whether
you are reading a book or listening to your iPod, you are able to let go of your
senses more freely knowing that you‟re protected by walls that are two meters thick
that were built nine centuries ago.” It was most likely this daily exposure to the
medieval structure that allowed Giovanardi to discover the tower‟s true potential.
Now that La Coronata is no longer his personal residence, he enjoys coming up with
new ideas for his “beloved” and gains satisfaction by living vicariously through the
experiences and excitement of his guests.
        Over the past few years the tower has become an „exclusive getaway‟ (as the
owner prefers to call it) where it‟s possible to stay at the Bed and Breakfast, organize
cocktails, entertain, have dinners or meetings, guided tours, birthdays, and even
business breakfasts and private reunions (for a limited number of people, depending
on the event). Last summer thirty lucky visitors attended an Argentinean tango
exhibition, which took place on the terrace, but the tower can also be used for more
intimate events such as a romantic dinner for two, engagements or anniversaries
and it can be an unforgettable gift for a couple to receive.        A company can even
reward one of its employees by offering a night for two in the tower. For artists the
tower can be a retreat in which to find inspiration as well as a unique location in
which to hold performances and exhibitions, with the unique effect of the vertical
instead of the horizontal.
          Though it seems that Giovanardi has thought of everything, the imagination
of his guests continues to surprise him, making the tower‟s possibilities truly infinite.
 (translation by Mara Able, University of California, Santa Cruz, June 2008.)



       LIVING AREA                 SLEEPING AREA                    DINING AREA
      Reference books             Bathroom with                  Continental
      Tour brochures and           shower                          breakfast, buffet
       culinary guide of           Stereo system                   style
       Bologna                     Mini bar                       Kitchen use
      Music CDs                   Linens

It‟s possible to organize:

~   Gala dinners (maximum 12 people)
~   Leisulrely cocktails
~   Business breakfasts
~   Concerts: Classical (spinet, viola, recorder) Jazz (duo, trio)
~   Readings (interpretive literature or poetry)
~   Book signings
~   Press conferences
~   Small art exhibitions
~   Inaugurations of paintings or sculptures
~   Art and culture slide shows
~   New product presentations to clientele and press
~   Business meetings

Special arrangements including catering, as well as other additional services (such as
photography/video/decorations/etc.), can be easily provided.
Maximun event capacity: 40 people.


Matteo Giovanardi
Via Sant‟Alò, 7
40126 Bologna

Tel. and Fax +39 (0)51.589023
Cell +39 335.5616858

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