Jun 01 2008

This Ain’t No Oscar Mayer Weiner

Published by at 5:00 pm under Bologna & Emilia-Romagna,Italy

Bologna isn’t on the tourist agenda for most Americans.  Though our stay here was brief (a day and a half), we saw enough of the city to know that it *should* be on the agenda.  It’s a beautiful city that feels so vital and young, even though many of the buildings are over 500 years old.  I guess one of the things I like about it is it’s very real – the people we see in restaurants, cafes, and on the streets are mostly locals – not tourists.  I know I just said that tourists should come here, but of course, I like it *because* there aren’t many tourists.  This line of thinking makes my head hurt a little.  Anyway, the atmosphere reminds me a little of Boston – I guess to a certain extent, student towns have something in common even when in different countries.  I’d like to come back to Bologna – we’ve really enjoyed the short time we’ve had here.  Also, not that we’ve been suffering everywhere else in Italy, but they say Bologna is the gastronomic capital of the country.  We certainly have eaten some very good food here. 

While we were here, we met one of my PTC colleagues from the office in Bologna.  Maria is a wonderful person.  She brought her two boys into the city after work and we met her husband at his office, and then we went out for drinks and appetizers.  They showed us some of the city after dark, and we finished the night with some gelato.  Super fun.

Here are some pics from the city:


Bologna is filled with arcades.  It didn’t rain while we were there, but if it had, we would have stayed nice and dry.


Bologna’s leaning towers: they’re not as famous as Pisa’s (even though one of them leans more), but instead of tacky souvenir shops surrounding them (like in Pisa), there are great restaurants and gelato places.


Statue in front of one of the towers.


The Neptune fountain in Bologna caused quite a stir when it was unveiled.  It’s still pretty racy today with Neptune in all his glory and water spouting from the mermaids’ breasts.


Our hotel bordered on this street – pretty cool.


Mmm…prosciutto and cheese.


A businessman buys some fruit and veggies on his lunch break.


This fish monger was across the street from our hotel.

– Meredith

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