Hello dear Sparkfriends,
I am in Italy! I'll be attending a meeting for work this week on the coast near Rimini. But I thought I would stop in Bologna for the weekend before it.
This is the little street where my hotel is located, Vicolo del Falcone. It is a 10-minute walk from the heart of the city, and such a little haven!
Here is the view of where I am sitting this afternoon as I write these lines (the breakfast area):
Oh and in case you are wondering, I am listening to Pergolesi's Stabat Matter on my Ipod. :) One of my favorite classical pieces ever, and so appropriate here. Yesterday though, I arrived from the airport late morning, left my luggage at the hotel and immediately walked to the city center.
You don't need to walk far to get a feel for the city, the area around the hotel, like all the city, is lovely and very atmospheric. And there are these beautiful arches (38 kilometers of arches) everywhere! Very good when it is hot as it provides some shade.
Some have some gorgeous ceilings too!
My guide book had suggested I start at 16th-century Fontana del Nettuno (Fountain of Neptune), the very heart of the city. So I did!
It is located on Piazza Maggiore (Main Square), which was very impressive but not my favorite place: I tend to prefer smaller places.
This is a very partial view of the square, as seen from the Palazzo d'Accursio (on the left to the Fountain). It is actually really big.
I loved 13th-century Palazzo d'Accursio (also called Palazzo Communale, as it is the town hall)!
I went inside and spent some time admiring its beautiful architecture - oh and I admit making the most of the coolness and shade too!
I had planned to visit the Morandi Museum (Giorgio Morandi was an Italian painter from the 20th century). It is usually on the 2nd floor of the Palazzo...
... but it had been moved temporarily to the Museum of Modern Art (so I went there this morning, it was wonderful, I'll tell you more in my next blog).
In the back yard, some teenagers were playing cards...
... and lovers were hugging...
Refreshed, I left the Palazzo for a walk in the area.
There is something I forgot to tell you. Don't go to Bologna in August, ever. About 90% of the shops are closed, it is worse than Paris! All the shops owners are on vacation, and it makes the city feel pretty dead (and depressing at times in my opinion!).
This situation has a strange impact: when you suddenly see a shop that is open, you feel that you absolutely need to buy some plums or cheese or postcards or whatever they are selling! :)
But I simply continued my walk in the area...
... until finally I gave in and had some gelato!!! Ohhh it was well worth the wait, it made a perfect (very) late lunch -- and completely unhealthy, I agree... but it was still lovely! :)
Now I am sorry I'll have to end here my first blog on Bologna as I must catch my bus for the station to take the train to the coast! I'll try and post my 2nd blog tomorrow or on Tuesday. :)
Many thanks for reading, and many thanks for your patience with me these last few weeks. It has been a really stressful time (it is so good to be away from it all here in Italy!), and I haven't even taken the time to thank you all for your kind comments on my last blog. I am sorry!