It was not a game that either home coach Stefano Pioli or his Roma counterpart Zdenek Zeman will have taken particular pleasure in watching given the defensive shortcomings, but the fans certainly got their money's worth from a contest with numerous twists and turns.
Alessandro Florenzi gave Roma the lead in the ninth minute, but Alberto Gilardino levelled in the 17th minute.
Daniel Osvaldo put Roma back in front within a minute only for Manolo Gabbiadini to re-establish parity before the break.
Cristian Pasquato put Bologna ahead for the first time in the game in the 54th minute but Panagiotis Tachtsidis scored the final goal in the 74th minute before Bologna hit the woodwork twice.
Frederik Sorensen missed a good early chance for Bologna, and it was a prelude for what was to come.
Roma took the lead with their first attack in the ninth minute when Francesco Totti set up Florenzi, who managed to thread the ball past a defender and Federico Agliardi into the far corner.
Bologna responded in the 17th minute when Gabbiadini's shot was parried by Goicoechea and Gilardino followed up to poke the loose ball in.
The home side barely had time to celebrate when they found themselves behind once again. Miralem Pjanic's cross picked out the unmarked Osvaldo, who headed Roma back in front from close range.
Bologna levelled again in the 26th minute, with Gabbiadini cutting in from the right and threading his shot through the legs of Nicolas Burdisso and inside Goicoechea's near post.
Gilardino volleyed into the side-netting as chances continued to arrive at both ends of the field, with Michael Bradley flashing a volley across goal and wide of the far post.
It was a familiar story to the second half with Bologna regaining the upper hand just 10 minutes in through Pasquato, who scored his first goal in Serie A after Goicoechea and Burdisso both got in each other's way again.
Five goals were not enough, though, and the next one went Roma's way with Tachtsidis finding room for a free-header to bring the Giallorossi back on terms.
There was even more drama with Agliardi making an instinctive save to prevent Osvaldo from giving Roma the lead in the 83rd minute.
Despite Roma's late pressure, Bologna went closest to snatching a winner with Diamanti hitting the woodwork twice.
In the 87th minute his shot cannoned back off the inside of the far post, while deep into stoppage time he sent a direct free-kick on to the crossbar.