During last weekend, from 6th to 8th April, the Unipol Arena in Casalecchio di Reno, just outside Bologna, was filled with tattoo enthusiasts. Why?

Well, because Bologna Tattoo Expo is in fact a highly anticipated appointment by artists and lovers of this art. After the historical editions of the 1990s (from 1993 to 1999), the event had left the capital of Emilia, leaving behind nostalgia and disappointment: many considered the Bologna one of the best convention on tattoos ever made. So the one that has just ended, marking the tenth anniversary of its creation, has been a pleasant return to its origins.

I’ve been to this convention both this year and in the previous two editions, and what I love the most is being able to meet my fav artists (those I stalk on Instagram all the time haha) and friends that I can see on a very few occasions.

Bologna Tattoo Expo

It’s true, over the years the tattooing world (and of course its business) has exploded and more and more often we see commercial events without any real tattoo artist.

But it is right to support those who still manage to organize events of this kind, like Genziana and Marco Leoni. The two have in fact a thirty-year experience between travels, conventions, passionate studies, and bring respect for the trade.
This is what matters if you, like me, believe in this value.

Virginia Ottinia, Italian tattoo artist
Virgina Ottinia and her next client, right before positioning the stencil

During the 3 days, 300 artists attended this huge convention and made their part. The convention was full of many foreign tattooers like Filip Leu, Tin Tin, Jondix, Shawn Barber, Kikupunk, Luke Atkinson.

I had the pleasure to see Gippi Rondinella at work and meet Mr. Fercioni. Real fangirling over there! I mean, who cares about tattooed models when you can meet the guys who made the history of tattooing in Italy?
For those who may not yet know it , I’m talking about the pioneers of the tattoo art. Gian Maurizio Fercioni opened his Queequeg Tattoo in Milan in 1970 and Gippi Rondinella inaugurated in Rome his Tattooing Demon Studio.

Mr. Gian Maurizio Fercioni and I

Tattooing is not fashionable, it’s a fucking attitude that comes from within.

This year I have chosen to mainly focus on some of the artists based in Italy, this is a selection of the pictures I took the tattoo convention in Bologna.


I have to say the convention is always very easy to reach, and I travel from Venice. There is no problem, whether you come from the airport or from the train station. Please, keep in mind I can send you some suggestions if you want to come visit it in the future.
So, if you are reading this, I hope I’ll see you next year at Bologna Tattoo Expo!
Thank you for reading this blog!

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16 aprile 2018

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