Bologna Miscellanea

Bologna Miscellanea

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I’ve now been in Bologna for 5 weeks and continue to enjoy the city. I’m sure that I’m not risking a flood of American tourists suddenly appearing here by recommending this city as one of the prime destinations when visiting Italy. Sure, Florence has great art. It’s worth a visit but you must navigate the hordes of tourists emerging from the parking area full of a hundred buses. Naturally the prices are high in such an environment. Now on to the second of the big three, Venice. Again, definitely worth a visit. Take a vaporetto (like a bus on water) down the grand canal and marvel at the beauty of the palazzi. Go to Piazza San Marco and take in the beauty (and be assaulted by the pigeons). Wander around a bit in a town with more tourists than residents. Next onto the last of the big three – Rome. I prefer it to the other two since it is large enough, like New York, to absorb a lot of tourists without seeming overrun. If you venture outside the very center it’s a “muscular” city that feels very Italian. It has tons of history on practically every corner and I like it a lot. However for me the real Italy always seems to be elsewhere – in smaller cities and towns. I’ve found Bologna to be just about perfect. It’s neither too big nor too small. In terms of population it’s almost exactly as the same as the city where I live – Oakland. It’s smaller in area of course as Italian cities generally are. When you take a look at a map you can see kind of an egg shaped area which once was enclosed by walls. Most of the walls no longer exist but the 12 gates to the city have been largely retained. The roads through these ports converge in the center of the city near the Due Torre (two towers) that are a symbol of the city.  From the southern side (which I like the most) it is just about a mile walk from Porta Maggiore along one of my favorite streets, Strada Maggiore. It’s a magnificent city and I think that you will like it. It was founded 189 BC and has the oldest university in Europe (and possibly the world) founded in 1088. So Bolgona U. was founded over 500 years BEFORE the first American colony was established.

So now a variety of semi-random photos around Bologna. Don’t forget that you can click on any photo to see them in a larger size. Sometimes they appear cropped in the post and you see more when you click on them

One day I took note of an interesting door lock door. The doors are pretty plain but  the locks, handles  and knockers often are not so…..

Of course Bologna is famous for it’s porticos. On the introductory tour of the city on my first day at school the teacher conducting the tour talked about the origin of the porticos. As the city grew space became short and some enterprising property owner had the bright idea of extending the building outward over the sidewalk to provide more living space. The first photo is one of the earliest that clearly shows these origins. It became such a popular idea that within the walls there are over 38 kilometers of them. Unless it’s really raining hard you don’t really need an umbrella – just take a quick walk or sprint through the gaps in the porticos at intersections.

I thought that I had taken photos of the famous Fountain of Neptune in Piazza Nettuno but I can’t find them so a grabbed these from the web.


When the shop is closed and they roll down that door often they put that nice space to use for advertising.

And finally, it is, after all Italy. You really should click on this one to see the entire sign since what you see is cropped.


2 Responses to “Bologna Miscellanea”

  1. Joy O'Neal Says:

    Your photography and writing skills are outstanding. Some high-end travel group should be paying you to do this!

  2. Joe Says:

    Magari! In this case that word is used as in “I wish!”


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