Palazzo Pallavicini has its roots in the fifteenth century in Bologna , when under the domination of the Bentivoglio it was owned by the Sala (1493) and then passed over time to the Volta , the Marsili and the Isolani counts, who in 1680 had it restored "in the ways of senatorial architecture ".
They entrusted the task to the architect Paolo Canali , who designed and built the monumental staircase and the hall with a lantern ceiling, the highest in the city, while in 1690 the rooms were lavishly decorated with paintings by Giovanni Antonio Burrini . It was in the brightly lit Burrini hall that on the evening of March 26, 1770, the fourteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , a guest with the father of Marshal Conte, performed in the presence of seventy city ladies and the high European aristocracy: also guests of the Pallavicini , Count Giuseppe of Kaunitz Rittberg and the princes of Holstein and Saxen Gotha attended the concert together with the Bolognese nobility and religious authorities.
The man from Salzburg had arrived with his father Leopold on 24 March, and Gian Luca, a fine connoisseur, had not let him escape. The Mozarts were his guests on several occasions: in March in via San Felice, during the summer in the Villa della Croce del Biacco and again, in the autumn, in the city palace where the antiphons Cibavit eos, Quaerite primum regnum Dei saw the light. and in all likelihood the minuet in E Flat Major K 94. At Palazzo Pallavicini the Salzburger met the protagonists of European music: Misliveček, Vanhalle, Farinelli, the musicologist Charles Burney ("I met the famous little German ... in the palace of Prince Pallavicini") and especially Father Martini, and his stay in via San Felice renewed the musical taste in the city. "From Pallavicino ... on the terrace there were many players who made delicious symphonies" (M. Oretti).
The building, since 2017, is the seat of exhibitions and initiatives of international importance and from the same year, Palazzo Pallavicini becomes the headquarters of SetUp Art Fair , on the occasion of Arte Fiera Bologna .