|Comune di Imola|
|Metropolitan city||Bologna (BO)|
|Frazioni||Cantalupo, Càsola Canina, Chiusura, Fabbrica, Giardino, Linaro, Montecatone, Piratello, Ponticelli, San Prospero, Sasso Morelli, Selva, Sesto Imolese, Spazzate Sassatelli, Zello|
|o Mayor||Marco Panieri (PD)|
|o Total||204.96 km2 (79.14 sq mi)|
|Elevation||47 m (154 ft)|
(31 August 2022)
|o Density||340/km2 (880/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|Patron saint||St. Cassian|
|Saint day||August 13|
Imola (Italian: ['i:mola]; Romagnol: Jômla or Jemula) is a city and comune in the Metropolitan City of Bologna, located on the river Santerno, in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. The city is traditionally considered the western entrance to the historical region Romagna.
The city is best-known as the home of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari which hosts the Formula One Emilia Romagna Grand Prix and formerly hosted the San Marino Grand Prix (the race was named after the independent nation of San Marino which is around 100 km to the south), and the deaths of Formula One drivers Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger at the circuit during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. The death of Senna (three-times world champion) was an event that shocked the sporting world and led to heightened Formula One safety standards.
The name Imola was first used in the 7th century by the Lombards, who applied it to the fortress (the present Castellaccio, the construction of which is attributed to the Lombard Clefi), whence the name passed to the city itself. According to Paul the Deacon, Imola was in 412 the scene of the marriage of Ataulf, King of the Visigoths, to Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius the Great. In the Gothic War (535-552), and after the Lombard invasion, it was held alternately by the Byzantines and barbarians.
With the exarchate of Ravenna, it passed under papal authority. In the ninth century, Fausto Alidosi defended the city against the Saracens and Hungarians. In the tenth century, Troilo Nordiglio acquired great power. This and the following centuries witnessed incessant wars against the Ravennatese, the Faentines and the Bolognese, as well as the internecine struggles of the Castrimolesi (from Castro Imolese, "castle of Imola") and the Sancassianesi (from San Cassiano). Amid these conflicts, the republican constitution of the city was created. In the contest between pope and emperor, Imola was generally Ghibelline, though it often returned to the popes (e.g. in 1248). Several times, powerful lords attempted to obtain the mastery of the city (Alidosi, 1292; Maghinardo Pagano, 1295). Pope Benedict XII turned the city and its territory over to Lippo II Alidosi with the title of pontifical vicar, the power remaining in the family Alidosi until 1424, when the condottiero Angelo della Pergola, "capitano" for Filippo Maria Visconti, gained the supremacy (see also Wars in Lombardy). In 1426 the city was restored to the Holy See, and the legate (later Cardinal) Capranica inaugurated a new regime in public affairs.
Various condottieri later ruled in the city, such as the Visconti; several landmark fortresses remain from this period. In 1434, 1438, and 1470, Imola was conferred on the Sforza, who had become dukes of Milan (Lombardy). It was again brought under papal authority when it was bestowed as dowry on Caterina Sforza, the bride of Girolamo Riario, nephew of Pope Sixtus IV. Riario was invested with the Principality of Forlì and Imola. This proved advantageous to Imola, which was embellished with beautiful palaces and works of art (e.g. in the cathedral, the tomb of Girolamo, murdered in 1488 by conspirators of Forli). The rule of the Riarii, however, was brief, as Pope Alexander VI deprived the son of Girolamo, Ottaviano, of power, and on 25 November 1499, the city surrendered to Cesare Borgia. After his death, two factions, that of Galeazzo Riario and that of the Church, competed for control of the city. The ecclesiastical party was victorious, and in 1504 Imola submitted to Pope Julius II. The last trace of these contests was a bitter enmity between the Vaini and Sassatelli families.
In 1797, the revolutionary French forces established a provisional government at Imola. In 1799, it was occupied by the Austrians, and in 1800, it was united to the Cisalpine Republic. After that, it shared the fortunes of the Romagna region.
The main sport venue in Imola is the Imola Circuit, which was opened in the 1950s and holds many racing events every year. The circuit has hosted Formula 1 in the 1980 Italian Grand Prix, from 1981 to 2006 as part of the San Marino Grand Prix and from 2020 as part of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix. The city has dedicated multiple memorials and public spaces to Ayrton Senna and Roland Ratzenberger, who lost their lives in the circuit during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
The city's professional soccer team, Imolese Calcio 1919, plays in a stadium located inside the Circuit, "Stadio Romeo Galli".
Other buildings include the Farsetti and the Communal palaces. In the latter is a fresco representing Clement VII and Charles V (1535) passing through the city. The public library was established in 1747 by the Conventual Padre Setti. In the 16th century, the Accademia degli Industriosi flourished.