Social Programme

Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner



We are delighted to announce that the Opening Ceremony and the Gala Dinner will take place at the historic Palazzo Re Enzo located in the heart of medieval Bologna.

All Conference delegates are welcome to join us on the evening of 29th August (7 - 9.30pm) for the Opening Ceremony, which includes a welcome cocktail and an opera concert

Gala Dinner which takes place on Thursday 31st August (from 7.30pm) requires a separate ticket booking which can be completed here: until 20th August or until we reach full capacity, whichever comes first.

Please note tickets to the Gala Dinner can only be obtained by conference attendees. Due to capacity limitations not all delegates will be able to attend the Gala Dinner. Tickets are therefore limited and can be purchased on a first-come-first-served basis.


Ticket  Price in EUR   Price in GBP 
Conference Gala Dinner  €70  £65 

About Palazzo Re Enzo

Located just a stone's throw away from Piazza Maggiore, Palazzo Re Enzo combines the charm of a historic residence with the versatility of a state-of-the-art facility.In 1200, Bologna’s municipality expropriated several buildings to create Piazza Maggiore and erected the first complex of palaces destined specifically for public administrative purposes - Palazzo del Podestà, Palazzo di Re Enzo and Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo.

Palazzo Re Enzo, also known as ‘Palazzo Nuovo’ (New Palace) to distinguish it from Palazzo del Podestà, was built between 1244 and 1246 (at the same time as Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo) as an extension of the other municipal buildings.

Just three years later, it became the ‘residence’ of the King captured during the Battle of Fossalta and was named after him - King Enzo of Sardinia, son of Emperor Frederick II. He lived in the building for twenty-three years until his death in 1272. His figure inspired many legends in popular literature.

The Palazzo del Podestà was the first seat of city government, which was presided over by the Podestà and his judges and officials. Ever since it was first built, it has had a bell tower - known as the Arengo tower - that was used to gather all citizens in case of extraordinary events. The tower is supported by four columns at the centre of the building as well as by four corner pillars that form a ribbed vault called Voltone del Podestà.




On the ground floor, you will find the army’s war machines and the Carroccio (vehicle on which the standards of medieval Italian republics were borne into battle) while the access to the St. Mary of Prisoners chapel, where those sentenced to death used to pray in, is located on the right-hand side of the buildings.

The meetings of the People’s Council were held in the first floor’s loggia, accessed by a covered staircase. The Sala del Trecento (now Sala degli Atti) was created by Antonio di Vincenzo in 1386 and was later used to house the municipal archive. The top floor was completely restored in 1771 by G.G. Dotti. The piano nobile, i.e. the large hall of the Podestà, measures 61 x 14 m and its ceiling is 15 m high. It was also a public theatre between the 16th and 18th centuries and was later used for ball games.

In 1905, the Palace underwent considerable restoration work carried out by Alfonso Rubbiani to restore the Gothic appearance of the buildings - he rebuilt the merlons, ground-floor arches and 15th-century staircase.Surrounded by the magical atmosphere of Piazza Maggiore, Palazzo Re Enzo today combines the charm of the past with cutting-edge technology by hosting congresses, conventions, cultural initiatives, business meetings and exhibitions.

Source: Palazzo Re Enzo e Bologna homepage -

Bologna Tours and Activities

We are pleased to also be able to offer to our delegates an opportunity to experience Bologna via local tours and activities around the city. Choose from historic tour to admire the famous Bologna towers, food and wine tour for a chance to taste local specialities, getting to know local musical traditions or, for those who like to stay active, exploring by bike! You can also find a little bit more about Bologna and the local attractions on our website.