Monday, September 24, 2012

Hams and Arches

Today we arrived in Bologna, a mere 40 minute train ride from Florence. We are staying at a lovely little pensione on the 5th floor of a non descript building. We have a beautiful view of the red rooftops of the city - particularly picturesque at sunset we discovered.

hams, bologna

Bologna is (not surprisingly) another attractive smallish city with cobbled streets lined with inviting cafes and shops and dotted with churches and piazzas. What sets Bologna apart is that most of the sidewalks are covered by arched porticos, apparently about 40 kilometers of them. This makes them particularly nice for walking in the hot sun. The other notable thing about Bologna is the hams, which are everywhere. Every second store seems to be a deli of sorts and the ceilings, stair rails and windows are all hung with enormous hams - the sort that an Italian Tiny Tim would have stared at hungrily through the window (had A christmas Carol been Italian, that is). There are fewer vegtarian items on the menus and decidedly less pizza than in the other towns we have visited, but i think we will get by.

arches, bologna

We arrived and did the requisite walk about to get our bearings. Betty-Lou encountered a group of jazz buskers with which she was particularly taken and we had lunch in one of the streets of the Quadriletero district.

Betty-Lou then took the afternoon to rest in the room while i pounded the pavement seeing what there was to see. I visited a few churches, including several simple, medieval ones and walked through the lively university districts which was crawling with students and lined with bookstores and noisy cafes. The walls of the buildings around the university were covered in graffiti, mostly of a political or economic nature (a lot of 'occupy' themed stuff). I picked up a book at an international book store and settled in the Piazza Maggiore with a glass of wine and a cigar and watched the street scene and began reading my new book.

reading 'ham on rye' while looking at arches, bologna

Just now we have returned from an excellent dinner of salad, risotto and pasta and are going to call it a relatively early night. The weather here is beautful, as it has been all through our travels (except for that one night in Gubbio). With one exception all of our meals have been al fresco.

We are in Bologna for three nights, which is remarkable, because in slightly less than one day I have seen nearly everything i wanted to see. We will likely do some day trips in our remaining time here.

That's all for now.

arches & vespas, bologna

cheeses, bologna

graffiti, bologna

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

It all sounds so wonderful. I am trying not to be too envious, especially of your side trip to Cinque Terre