The street where I live

The street where I live

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Well, it’s not really exactly the street where I live. My house is on a little side street. La casa “house” in Italy is the place that you call home rather than “house” as a structure. In fact most Italians, at least in the cities, live in apartments. Apartments are in a “palazzo”. Yes, the idea of living in a palace is very nice but actually a palazzo is simply an apartment building. The word for building “edificio” is reserved for office buildings and the like. So la casa mia is in a palazzo with 6 apartments in the area of the city called Saragozza. It is quite a lovely area and my palazzo is on a little side street 150 meters up the hill from via Saragozza so it’s very quiet, which I really appreciate. No traffic noise at all and there is a nice park right across the street. One advantage of apartment living is the same as in, say, New York or San Francisco. The population density is such that there are lots of services in the neighborhood. So I consider my street to be Saragozza. It has a bunch of bars (that’s a caffe to you), tabaccaie (tobacconists), trattorie, edicole (book and newspaper stores) , parrucchiere (beauty shops) and a number of specialty food shops for bread, meat, cheese wine and liquor, pastries and fish.

There are also a travel agencies and several real estate offices. All of these are within easy walking distance. There are probably others but those are all that I remember from my walks along the street.

As a side note, a tabaccaia of course sells tobacco products but much more. You can recharge your cell phone, buy bus tickets, stamps, envelopes, gum and mints, lottery tickets, tissues, send faxes and god knows what else. Yet another side note, most people pay for a certain number of minutes usage on their cell phone and when it is running low you go into a tabaccaia, give them your number and 10 euros and presto you’ve added a bunch of minutes (in my case about 50) to the minutes available for calls and messages on the phone. There must be 50 shops of various varieties within a kilometer walk (0.62 miles) from where I live so I took some pictures of just a few. They are roughly in order starting from the Porta. I’ve also included a map. Click on any image to be able to see a larger version.

16 Responses to “The street where I live”

  1. Nina Says:

    It looks fabulous! Even a shoe store (so important!).

  2. Joe Says:

    I think that I’ve seen a couple of clothing stores too. At least three beauty shops. I love the street.


  3. Victor Miller Says:

    I am having my phone jail-broken this week. Are you having any problems downloading your stuff? VM

  4. Joe Says:

    The iPhone is working perfectly. I’m so glad that I had it unblocked.


  5. Mary Says:

    Hi Joe – As always, looks fantastic. I’m betting your Italian is improving by leaps and bounds. Sorry about the weather. It was 90 degrees here yesterday. Cooling off, but still pretty warm. Nice to be out at night and not be chilled; so rare for San Francisco.
    Would you be able to get me one of the small Bialetti Moka coffee pots, if you can fit in your luggage on your return? I think Mike would love one that came from the Centro Storico of Bologna.
    I’ll check back later.

  6. Joe Says:

    Well, the Italian, at least for me never goes by leaps and bounds. It’s a slow process but it is indeed improving. And, yes, I can manage to bring back a moka. Do you like the style from the previous post and would you like one a bit smaller or the same size?

  7. Gabriele Says:

    Ben tornato, con un mostruoso ritardo, in quel di Bologna 🙂

  8. Joe Says:

    Grazie di nuovo. Davvero sono in mostruoso ritard. Vorrei che il tempo sarebbe meglio!

  9. Gabriele Says:

    Bentornato in Bologna 🙂

  10. Joe Says:

    Grazie Gabriele!

  11. Debby Says:

    The place looks beautiful. Your pictures look to be professional quality. It is really quite charming with everything one could want from life. How long will you be there? I’ve forgotten, was it two months. How the time must fly in such a lovely and friendly place. If Florence is prettier then there must be two heavens. I have not purchased my tour yet. Your trip makes me almost reconsider about going solo but of course I have no friend in Italia. So there is no question about the travel. A man alone is so different. All the shops looked very inviting. How do the prices compare to here? I hope I will be able to speak with you upon your return. Debby

  12. Joe Says:

    I personally prefer Bologna and think that it is more beautiful. It doesn’t have the art that Firenze has but it also doesn’t have the tourist. It does have the portici which are REALLY handy when it rains. You can walk all over the place and barely get wet.

  13. Nancy Says:

    I stumbled onto your blog and have enjoyed reading through many of your posts. Like you, my husband and I moved to Bologna for a time. On paper it was the perfect Italian city to live in for our year in Italy. But we had quite a different experience in the city from yours. We lived just up the street from where you are now, overlooking Saragozza. Unfortunately, our apartment was terribly noisy from the traffic and there were several other issues with it. After a 3 months we moved to Parma and fell in love. If you haven’t already, you must take a trip there. We spent the next 8 months in a lovely apartment not far from the city center.

    My favorite part of Bologna (aside from some friends we made there) was Madrelingua, the school where we studied Italian. It sounds much like yours. They had lots of extra-curricular activities that were fun and educational. We still keep in touch with a couple of the teachers and one of my classmates is coming to visit us in the USA in about 2 weeks.

    Hope you have a wonderful experience this time. Be sure to go to Osteria Traviata, via Urbana 5, on a Thursday. That’s when you can sample three of their homemade and outrageously wonderful pasta. Ciao per adesso.

  14. Joe Says:

    Thanks so much for the comment, Nancy. I also have lived in an apartment that was really noisy. I can see that it really pays to have an apartment that is on a side street like mine or one that fronts on a courtyard so it is not exposed to street noise. I have visited Parma. I spent a day there with Gabriele last year. It is a lovely place but I missed the porticos of Bologna.


  15. Deanne Spears Says:

    What’s the name if the language school where you are studying in Bologna? I wonder if it’s the one based there but also in Arezzo called Cultura Italiana.

  16. Joe Says:

    The school is A.L.C.E. and is at only one location. You can just Google “ALCE Bologna” to find it.


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