The sectional Society of Gymnastics in Bologna was founded on January 17, 1871. It was born, in the evening, at the technical school San Domenico, what would become the Sef Virtus Bologna. The initiative was of the gymnasiarch Emilio Baumann. Later, the name was changed to the Bologna Gymnastic Society, and as a symbol were chosen 4 F arranged in a Roman cross: strong, frank, firm and proud, the virtues that the true gymnast should have.
The arrival of the charismatic figure of the lawyer Gianluigi Porelli, who became president of the company, anticipated an imminent turning point for Virtus. The Madison became a sort of basketball theater, and the people launched into a real “season ticket race”. Porelli called to coach Virtus an American coach, until then not very well known, who was the coach of the Chilean national team. Dan Peterson, who arrived in Bologna, brought the Black V’s back to the victory of a trophy, the first Italian Cup, in 1973/1974. After two years, and twenty of waiting, the Scudetto was won again. The 80’s were not the best years for Virtus. The decade was ennobled by the conquest of the tenth title, the Scudetto that allowed Virtus to wear the gold star on its undershirts. It was 83-84, and Alberto Bucci was on the bench, who also won the Coppa Italia that year.
The bench of Virtus was entrusted to the thirty-year old Ettore Messina, already Bucci’s deputy in the “year of the star”: in the debut season Messina was able to win again the Italian Cup, as well as the Cup Winners’ Cup. From 1993 to 1995, the black and white Knorr and Buckler army will win three consecutive championships, all under the sign of the Serbian ace Predrag “Sasha” Danilovic. In 1998, the legendary foul by Dominque Wilkins on Danilovic’s three-point shot (made) took Virtus to overtime and then to title number 14. In addition to the Scudetto, the Bianconeri also won the Euroleague, beating Aek Athens in Barcelona. In 2000, the club wanted to bet on young players: Jaric, Smodis and Manu Ginobili: 33 consecutive victories between the championship and the Euroleague. Coppa Italia, Championship and Euroleague: the grand slam, a result with which Virtus, the strongest team ever, signed a historic feat for Bologna and Italian basketball.
In September 2003, the Sabatini Group carries out a complex operation that avoids the bankruptcy of Virtus Pallacanestro Bologna and takes over the ownership and on April 26, 2009, after 7 years, the Bianconeri reopen their trophy case with the conquest of the EuroChallenge.
On September 4, 2009, Virtus mourns the passing of one of its symbols, Honorary President Gian Luigi Porelli: the greatest president in the history of Virtus was greeted by thousands of people in Saint Peter’s Cathedral. The Virtus gym in Via dell’Arcoveggio will be named after him.
In July 2012, ownership passed into the hands of the Virtus Foundation, a pool of important entrepreneurs and personalities. The following year, the presidency passed to a flag in Virtus history: Renato Villalta, the captain of the 1984 Italian Championship.
The 2014/2015 season is the year zero for Virtus, even though the bianconeri conquer the play-off after an almost clear path in the home games. After this goal, however, in the following season comes the saddest moment in the black-and-white history: Virtus relegates to Serie A2. A purgatory from which it is very difficult to rise again. However, Virtus, with Segafredo as its sponsor, changed because Massimo Zanetti’s commitment to the Foundation became more and more important, and the industrialist from Treviso, who has always been close to Bolognese sports, became the main shareholder of the company, a good sign for the future. The team is entrusted to Alessandro Ramagli, who, far from the spotlight, brings home an A2 Italian Cup and immediate promotion to Serie A after a playoffs ride that was almost without history. The following year, the arrivals of Alessandro Gentile and Pietro Aradori are the preamble to remarkable steps forward for Virtus. In fact, in the 2018/2019 season Virtus comes back to win in Europe and does it immediately after the arrival of Sasha Djordjevic on the bench: the Basketball Champions League is black and white with the victory at the Final Four in Antwerp where the V nera beats Tenerife in the final, bringing an Italian team back on the European top after many years.
The Segafredo project is ambitious and the following summer, the arrival of Milos Teodosic puts Virtus back in the spotlight: the Serbian ace, together with a team built by GM Paolo Ronci and the black and white coach, dominates the Italian championship, always remaining in first place. Segafredo’s path in EuroCuo is full of satisfactions too and culminates with the entrance in the playoffs for the title.
While the team wins on the field, Virtus Segafredo presents the new project in collaboration with Fiere di Bologna: the Virtus Segafredo Arena is born, the new home of the black and whites that hosts almost 10 thousand spectators and becomes the home parquet of the black Vs.
The 2019/2020 season remains unfinished and is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In spite of the problems linked to the pandemic, however, the black and white project continues and in the summer of 2020 the Virtus purchasing campaign is one of the most important. After the first part of the season, in which the V wins a lot, especially in the EuroCup, at the end of November, Segafredo makes a big splash. Marco Belinelli, after 13 years in the United States, returns to Italy, to his native Bologna, wearing the black and white colors.
In the 2020/2021 season Virtus Segafredo Bologna, after a third place finish in the regular season and an undefeated ride in the playoffs, wins its sixteenth italian championship beating Olimpia Milano 4-0. In the summer of 2021, Sergio Scariolo, the reigning world champion coach, is entrusted with the prestigious bench of the Vere Nere and on September 21st Virtus wins the second Italian Supercup in its history. Despite a season troubled by injuries and a change of format, Virtus Segafredo Bologna on May 11, 2022, lifts the EuroCup to the sky after beating Bursaspor in the final at Segafredo Arena. With this win, Segafredo team also rightfully returns to the Euroleague.