Walking through the Portico del Pavaglione, if you enter a seemingly insignificant alley, Via De' Foscherari, one comes across a majestic, very modern building, which stands out violently against the consistent architectural perspective of Bologna. It is Galleria Cavour, an urban virtuosity of the engineer Giorgio Pizzighini, who in the fifties decided to launch an ambitious project on the foundations of a luxurious palace that extends from civic number 9 until 17 of Via De' Foscherari, situated right at the corner of Vicolo della Scimmia, (now Via Massei), destroyed by the bombings during War II.
The technical report of the engineer Pizzighini, states: "The urban solution will completely isolate the new building, promoting also the traffic circulation of the area, which is currently too limited." The project’s function was therefore the revitalization of the historic downtown area, promoting also the restoration and arrangement of the neighboring structures.
Galleria Cavour emerges in a central district, adjacent to ancient and famous monuments, just like an element of detachment from the irreverent structural harmony. The execution of this great real estate work had a direct impact on the urban context of the center of Bologna, joining with a seamless continuity, Palazzo Vassé Pietramellara, and like this, we arrive to overlook Piazza Cavour. The initial project was a gallery with an attached cinema, following the design of the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery in Milan and Galleria San Federico in Turin, but in the end this concept was abandoned in favor of a complex of shops, apartments and offices. Apart from that, the gallery would have to have two entrances on the Pavaglione, (one where is currently situated the Max Mara boutique and the other where we find Amuleti), in order to create a single structure with the Pavaglione itself. The Fine Arts oppositely, blocked this project because of the discovery of historical artifacts, which made unfeasible the realization of two access points.
With the final design established, the bulldozers begin to work in the spring of ’57. It had been just over a year, in the fall of 1959, when the first signs were switched on.