Bolognese ‘Umarells’ finally get their own Piazzetta

Term makes it onto the official local lexicon

Piazzatta degli Umarells

Piazzatta degli Umarells

Bologna has its very own ‘Piazzetta degli Umarells’. The term ‘umarells’ is known in Bolognese folklore as a ball-busting, grumpy pensioner and the word enters the city’s official toponymy,

So, what is it exactly, or rather which type of person does it characterize?

It’s generally a pensioner with hands clasped behind their back, observing, controlling and even criticizing everything they see, especially, when it comes to road works. They are all over Italy, but under the Two Towers they are specifically referred to as umarèlls, which can be translated into little men. After books, apps, prizes and even desk-shaped statuettes, Bologna has now dedicated a public square to them, in the fenced off area along Via Mario Musolesi, between the Via Libia and Scipione dal Ferro, on the outskirts of the city.

“It’s a way to say thanks to the many people who every day commit themselves freely to the common good,” remarked Councilor Matteo Lepore wearing the official colours of the Mayor at the inauguration. The word however, was brought to life by the blogger and writer Danilo Masotti, and it is now in daily use around Bologna.


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