quarta-feira, dezembro 14, 2016


I spent a few hours in Bologna on the way from Ravenna to Genova, and it was a good idea. Bologna has lots of what I love in European cities - great architecture, art, and a bustling modern life. I always love to be in historical places that feel still very much lively, so much more interesting than pretty places made up as a kind of museum towns for tourists. Bologna it's certainly authentically lively, with a big university - the oldest in Europe - which attracts lots of young people, and all the rest that comes with a big modern city. And all that in a beautiful scenery of old buildings - arcaded streets, big palaces, old churches, and all in reds, yellows and ochres that give it a characteristic colour, like Rome (also like Rome, it features a huge amount of motorbikes).

I left my bag at the train station, and headed to the city centre, along the via dell'Independenza - majestic arcaded buildings - reaching the Piazza Maggiore, a big space with eautiful buildings on all sides. I visited the Bailica di San Petronio- free, but you have to pay 1 euro to take pictures... and then roamed around the busy Quadrilatero area, full of restaurants and food shops, passing the two towers - one leaning probably as much as the tower of Pisa!

It was a sheer pleasure just walking around the busy and noisy streets, almost all arcaded, passing a beautifully frescoed chapel on the way to the old Jewish ghetto, then the University quarter, a food street market on the way to the San Domenico piazza.

Then, passing by the 16th century seat of the University, I walked in to see the courtyard, and was curious to visit the anatomical theatre. Glad I did it, because it's truly wonderful - all in carved wood, the marble dissection table in the middle like a sort of scientific altar, the beautiful wood sculptures - of famous doctors, mythical gods related to Medicine and two skinless men. The paintings and shields on the corridors' walls witness a long tradition of people from all over Europe coming there for knowledge, and the ceremonial room is impressive, especially the glimpse one has of a seemingly endless library that all book lovers cannot but love.

Then back to the train station, passing the tombe dei Glossatori. The Italian trip was a really beautiful experience!

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