Exploring Bologna with Photographer Davide Pretto

As part our Grazie series we’re taking a closer look at the most exciting artists, designers, chefs and creatives inspired by Italian style.

Italy is home to some of the most beautiful cities and regions in the world, from the majestic history of Rome and the romance of Venice to the rolling hills of Tuscany and the captivating Amalfi Coast. One of its most spectacular cities, though, is Bologna – a historic city with a rich food legacy, a vibrant culture and plenty of architectural marvels. One person who knows all about its charm is designer, photographer, and Bologna local Davide Pretto. Davide, who founded the marketing agency Garage Raw, moved to the city to study and loved it so much he never left. We caught up with him to get an insider’s view of Bologna’s beautiful secrets.

Hi Davide. How long have you lived in Bologna?

I moved to Bologna in 2000 to attend university, and after finishing my studies I decided to stay for many different reasons. Bologna is a city with a peculiar feel – people are open-minded, and cultural initiatives and happenings make the city lively. That, on top of the great food and nightlife, makes this place unique.

Can you tell us about your favourite place in Bologna?

Bologna is located really close to the hills. On one of these there is a church called San Michele in Bosco, and in front of it, there is a terrace overlooking the entire city. It is a perfect place to take a walk, chill and take a good picture with your camera.

Are there any hidden gems you don’t mind revealing to us?

If you walk into Bologna’s music museum you will find a small court that, incredibly, is home to a little jungle of banana plants. These hide another treasure, an old wall painting.
But there are more surprises yet to come – if you take the stairs leading to the museum itself, remember to look up.

Why should people visit Bologna?

I would suggest that people visit Bologna because here you can experience the authentic Italian lifestyle. Further to that, do not forget that Bologna is the Italian food capital!

If you weren’t living in Bologna, where would you live?

From the share of the world that I have seen so far I would definitely choose San Francisco, a place where I have already lived. Why San Francisco? Take London, where I also loved living, add an extra 15 degrees in temperature, a few palm trees, smiling happy people, the ocean, blue sky, sun and voilà – welcome to the Bay area!