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Bologna, Italy - Part 2

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I am glad so many of you enjoyed my first blog on Bologna! Today I would like to share about my two favorite places there, Piazza di Santo Stefano and the Giorgio Morandi museum.

After I left the Piazza Maggiore I told you about on Sunday (the main square), I walked East, passed the two impressive (and a bit scary) Middle Ages towers...

These towers were used to hide like a citadel inside the walled city. As you can see there are hardly any windows, so they weren't used as a regular place to live. There are about 20 left throughout the city, but at some point in the Middle Ages there were as many as 100!

I walked under more arches Via di Santo Stefano and saw some pretty scary faces...

... and finally ended up on Piazza di Santo Stefano.

I said on Sunday that I didn't like Piazza Maggiore much because it was just too big. Well, Piazza di Santo Stefano wasn't tiny, but it was definitely smaller, and so atmospheric!

In the Middle Ages, there used to be 7 churches on Piazza di Santo Stefano. Now, there are 'only' 4 left.

One of the things I would like to do if I go back to Bologna one day is to visit these churches. My priority as I was there for such a short time was to walk around the city (and visit the Giorgio Morandi museum, but I'll come to that in a minute!).

After I left Piazza di Santo Stefano, I walked further East almost to the city's walls (now disappeared, there are only some of the old gates left). I wanted to see the house of painter Giorgio Morandi before I saw his works. Unfortunately his house could only be visited by appointment, but that was ok, I had very little time anyway!

Most of Sunday morning I spent at Bologna's Museum of Modern Art (called MAMbo) where the Giorgio Morandi museum is currently hosted. A word of warning... If you like bright, lively, fun paintings, you are not going to like Giorgio Morandi!!! ;) If you google 'Giorgio Morandi', you'll mostly get this kind of painting, over and over again...

... in different lights, with different containers and using various techniques (all pictures of the paintings found on the Internet)...

You might find them boring after a while. As for me, I had a wonderful morning looking at dozens of his works (there were 250 in total at the museum). But now, as my friend Liz would say, I like minimalism! :)

There were other kind of paintings of course, but Giorgio Morandi mostly painted still lives. He only rarely left Bologna and led an extremely simple life, teaching art and living/painting in the same room all his life (1890-1964).

Let me end with some flowers, as these are among my favorite paintings by him...

VoilĂ ! It was a great 27-hour visit to Bologna, I must say. :) I enjoyed every minute and I would love to go back! The place where I am now by the seaside is great for families with young children but there isn't much to see, not even the beach which is entirely covered with chairs and games (which is fine as I am here for a conference and it is keeping me very busy, talking with colleagues when I am not in meetings!).

Thank you so much for reading! emoticon
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