Bologna is the largest city (and the capital) of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy, located in the heart of a metropolitan area (officially recognized by the Italian government as a città metropolitana) of about one million.
Bologna is home to numerous prestigious cultural, economic and political institutions as well as one of the most impressive trade fair districts in Europe. In 2000 it was declared European capital of culture and in 2006, a UNESCO "city of music". The city of Bologna was selected to participate in the Universal Exposition of Shanghai 2010 together with 45 other cities from around the world. Bologna is also one of the wealthiest cities in Italy, often ranking as one of the top cities in terms of quality of life in the country: in 2011 it ranked 1st out of 107 Italian cities.
The University of Bologna, founded in 1088, is recognized as the oldest university in the western world, and one of the largest in Italy (with about 90,000 enrolled students). It is organized in a multi-campus structure divided into 33 departments and 5 operating sites (Bologna, Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini).