Mission: Portland Bologna Sister City Association seeks to uncover, nurture and grow the myriad common interests between the citizens of Bologna, Italy and Portland, Oregon for the betterment of our two cities and the world.

How we fulfill our Mission: As a small, independent non-profit organization PBSCA fulfills its mission through a variety of activities. We host our own large and small events throughout the year. Some of these events are social, some are educational and all involve the time-honored Italian tradition of eating, drinking and talking!

We support other organizations and businesses in Portland, particularly in the Italian-American community by co-sponsoring their events, volunteering, attending and spreading the word with active social media.

As a Portland Sister City we participate in related city events and official ceremonies. This includes hosting visiting delegations from Bologna and participation in annual Rose Festival events.

Our largest program is our annual youth exchange in which we host small groups of 16-17-year-olds here in Portland or send to Bologna in alternating years. This program started in 2008 and was able to add  scholarship assistance starting in 2015.

PBSCA has benefitted from an ongoing relationship with Portland State University which houses our part-time Executive Director. PSU also has an official relationship with the University of Bologna and has collaborated with PBSCA on student exchanges, university programs and scholarships.

Over the years PBSCA has carried out numerous special programs, events and exchanges to take advantage of visiting scholars, entrepreneurs and professionals in the arts, food and drink, medicine and other fields of interest shared by our two cities.


Portland Bologna Sister City Association cerca di scoprire, coltivare e far crescere una miriade di interessi comuni tra i cittadini di Bologna, Italia e Portland, Oregon per il miglioramento delle nostre due città e il mondo. Come possiamo compiere la nostra missione: Come una piccola organizzazione che non ha scopo di lucro, indipendente.  PBSCA compie la sua missione attraverso una serie di attività. Ospitiamo i nostri piccoli e grandi eventi durante tutto l'anno. Alcuni di questi eventi sono sociali, alcuni sono educativi e tutti implicano la tradizione italiana consacrata nel mangiare, bere e chiacchierare! Sosteniamo altre organizzazioni e imprese a Portland, in particolare nella comunità italo-americana, collaborando sui loro eventi, il volontariato, frequentando e seminando informazione su canali di social media.

Come Portland Sister City partecipiamo a eventi in città correlati e cerimonie ufficiali. Questo può includere l'hosting qui a Portland delle delegazioni di Bologna e la partecipazione a eventi annuali come la Festa delle Rose. Il nostro programma più importante è l’annuale Scambio Gioventù, in cui ospitiamo piccoli gruppi di studenti di16-17 anni di età qui a Portland, o le inviamo a Bologna negli anni alternati. Questo programma ha iniziato nel 2008 ed è stato in grado di aggiungere una posizione di borsa di studio nel 2015. PBSCA ha beneficiato di un rapporto continuo con Portland State University, che ospita il nostro direttore esecutivo. PSU ha anche un rapporto ufficiale con l'Università di Bologna e ha collaborato con PBSCA su scambi di studenti, programmi universitari e borse di studio. Nel corso degli anni PBSCA ha realizzato numerosi programmi speciali, eventi e scambi per ricevere studenti in visita, ed accogliere imprenditori e professionisti negli arti, alimentazione e bevande, la medicina e altri campi di interesse condivisi dalle nostre due città.


Phillip Potestio

Secretary/Treasurer              Steve Johnson

Jaime Cartales
Catie DiGregorio
Aniko Fulep
Korrie Hoeckendorf Robert Iannacone
Rob Johnson
Gaby Linquist
Amelia McCandlish
Inger-Lise McMillan
Michele Potestio

Executive Director 
Mandy Magaddino

Edward Ferrero


As Emilia-Romagna’s capital, Bologna is a thriving city, whose light engineering and hi-tech industries have brought wealth to the old brick palaces and porticoed streets and squares.
Previously, it was best known for its food – undeniably the richest in the country – and for its politics. “Red Bologna” became the Italian Left’s stronghold and spiritual home, having evolved out of the resistance movement to German occupation during World War II. This rich history designates Bologna as one of Italy’s most historic and beautiful cities.

The City is set against verdant green hills overlooking the vast agricultural lands of the Apennine Plain in Northern Italy. It has an international airport and is a hub of rail and road transportation. It is famous as the culinary capital of Italy. Its cuisine is known for cured meats, rich sauces for fresh pastas, and gelato. Crowded market streets showcase the bounty of the region in a festive atmosphere.  Nearby are found the producers of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Prosciutto di Parma Ham, Balsamic vinegars and Sangiovese Romagna wines.
The University of Bologna is the western world’s oldest university. It is famous for its pioneering medical research. Bologna is a trade center for Italy and Europe with a major convention complex hosting trade fairs in all industries. The Emilia Romagna region is home to Ferrari, Ducati, and Nike’s Italian Headquarters.

Bologna is a city of dramatic architecture rendered in brilliant orange brick and red stucco.  In keeping with medieval tradition, buildings are distinguished by their porticos and colonnaded arcades which form continuous covered passageways along its winding streets. Its piazzas are adorned with sculpture and framed by magnificent palaces and churches. It is noted for its modern efforts to harmonize with the environment through careful planning that places an emphasis on sustainable development and mass transit. Bicycles, motor scooters and pedestrians fill streets closed to cars in the center city.

Bologna is home to approximately 500,000 citizens with one-fifth of the population coming from its renowned university, and an enlightened local government. In this lively city there is always something happening – be it theater, music, the summer festivals, or the daily café and bar scene, which happens to be among northern Italy’s most gregarious. As a city in a European Union member country their currency is the EURO and because of Bologna’s central location it serves as a great jumping off point to explore all that Italy and Europe have to offer.

Why we love Portland and Bologna:


If Bologna has long been known as the “La Grassa” (the fat) for its rich cuisine, Portland has become known for its own, Northwest style food scene. You can find many comfy spots with native ambience to share long conversations with friends over locally-sourced, internationally lauded libations or food in our sister cities. We both like our food “slow,” and love to linger in our Farmer’s Market, or Mercato della Terra.




You can’t go to our sister cities and not experience local music. Whether in a medieval piazza on a summer night or in a Depression-era ballroom with a padded dance floor on a misty winter evening, you can dance your way around a visit here. Or take in a film.  In the summer enjoy movies on a huge, outdoor screen in the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna.  In the winter take in as many of the 100 plus films of the Portland International Film Festival.  Large, outdoor concerts and festivals abound in both cities and offer countless opportunities to enjoy music, art, and dance.



Portland and Bologna offer sporting events and activities on both a large and small scale.  From professional basketball and soccer in both cities, including the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League Champions the Portland Thorns, to the individual sport of bicycling; a visitor to either city can be as active as they like.  Bicycling, whether for sport, recreation, or transportation, unites the two cities in their vision of an active, slower-paced, sustainable city culture.



Carefully prepared, local food calls for artisanal beverages to go with it and both Bologna and Portland have some of the best beer and wine in the world.  While Italy has been crafting wine for centuries, the Portland area is now known internationally for its wines – particularly its Pinot Noir.  And while few would be surprised to hear of Portland’s love of micro-brews, Bologna too is a city of beer and hosts a “Heretical Brewers Fest” every spring.


Hilly Portland and the river plain of Bologna may not seem to have much in common, but look just beyond to the mountains surrounding us. The abundant trails and vistas of the Cascades and the Appenines are both huge attractions for hikers and campers.


The University of Bologna, Alma Mater Studiorum, is the western world’s oldest university, founded in 1088, and is the longest continuously running institution of higher learning in the world.  With one hundred thousand students, one-fifth of Bologna’s population, the university is the source of much of the region’s economy and its energy.  Founded somewhat more recently in 1946, Portland State University is nonetheless also a cultural and civic force within Portland.  The two universities have had a formal relationship and student and faculty exchanges for a number of years.