T-Days In Bologna

T-Days In Bologna

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

What the heck is a T-Day? It’s described exactly in this way, including the “day” in English rather than using “giorno” in Italian. So a T-day is held each weekend and last from 8:00 AM on Saturday until 10:00 PM on Sunday. During these hours the very heart of the city is closed to vehicular traffic completely. No taxis, no cars, no buses, not even the omnipresent motorini (scooters). Of course emergency vehicles must be allowed but the streets are totally devoid of motor traffic and the streets are filled with pedestrians, bicyclists and entertainers of various types. It started last year when I was here, in fact the first one was on May 12th. They proved to be immediately popular and have continued since. They are a delight not only for the hordes of people walking around but certainly for the merchants since Saturday, especially, appears to be a great day for shopping. I’m not sure if they are year round but from some of the videos and photos that I’ve found that may be the case.  The only real downside is that the buses, of course, are rerouted on T-days and obviously no longer run through the center so it can be a bit of a hike to get where you want to go.

Oh yes, I almost forgot. What’s with the “T”? Well, there is a street, well, really two that are contiguous that are right in the center: via Ugo Bassi and via Rizzoli. One flows into the other to make one street. At right angles there is a major street named via Indipendenza that dead ends at the intersection with the other two at Piazza Nettuno . So these form a “T” and this is the area closed to traffic. The map below shows the area of closure.

There are banners that explain what’s going on…

The second weekend that I was in town I went to the center to buy a moka. A moka, you may know is a stovetop coffee maker. Each time that I’m here I buy another one to use for the duration of my stay and to add to my little collection when I return home. Last year I bought one at the Bialetti store that I like a lot and have used every morning at home. This year I wanted something a little different, perhaps a little more elegant, so after a web search I found one from Alessi (a brand with great style) that didn’t cost too much and was available at a department store called “Coin” nel centro (in the center of town).

So now some other photos….

It’s a good opportunity for promotions since it really draws quite a crowd. Keep in mind that these photos were made at around 10:00 AM. The streets get quite crowded in the afternoon. So, BMW was showing off their new all electric car…

Street performers are quite popular. I particularly liked this one. The couple are having quite a lively dance and in the end all is revealed.

By the way, I’m not sure if emails are going out to subscribers or if nobody is actually reading these posts. It would really be nice to get a comment to know if these are just going to the moon or are actually being read.



12 Responses to “T-Days In Bologna”

  1. Joy O'Neal Says:

    I always read your posts with delight, and the photos make me feel like I am there! Keep blogging!

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks Joy. I do try to capture moments outside of the usual tourist commentary. That’s part of the advantage of an extended stay.There are certainly more to come. In fact I’m going to publish a new one in about 1 minute.


  3. Michelle Gabriel Says:

    I”m reading – not all – but many blogs. I love your expresso maker collection.

  4. Joe Says:

    Thanks Michelle. I read yours occasionally too. I’m quite pleased with the new Allessi one.


  5. Ellie Says:

    Oh I miss Bologna a lot.

  6. Joe Says:

    So when are you coming back, Ellie?


  7. Doak Says:

    Joe, yes the emails are coming through. I’m enjoying your posts they are keeping my plans alive. Hope to be there doing the same soon. Please keep them coming.

  8. Joe Says:

    Thanks Doak. Somehow I think that I just replied but maybe it somehow got lost. I think that you’d enjoy a somewhat extended stay in Italy.


  9. Nancy Petralia Says:

    Thanks for this story. Quite a surprise to see the Bologna streets devoid of their usual bustle of traffic. My memories of living there are of constant traffic and zooming motorbikes. Looks like they extended the pedestrian area out from Piazza Maggiore which we always enjoyed, especially on Sundays when the street performers were about. My husband and I just published a book about the year we spent in Italy, called Not in a Tuscan Villa. You can check it out on Amazon.

    I kept up a private website and blog while we were in Italia, so I too know about wondering if anyone’s reading?

  10. Joe Says:

    I will check out the book Nancy. I like it here better than Tuscany although I must say the the Tuscan countryside is certainly prettier and a lot of the little hill towns are jewels and many of those are ignored by any guidebooks – “meno male”.


    P.S. BTW for anyone else reading this comment, while “meno male” literally is “less bad” it really means “thank God” (maybe with a small “G”.

  11. Lia Olivieri Says:

    I read it and cc. to all my “bolognese” friends like me. My brother complained a little bit, because it is attracting some more tourists (and this is not what we “bolognesi” like it !. This is OUR town : please CONTINUE to Florence and leave us alone (ha,ha LOL) !
    BTW I read all your e-mail FYI.

  12. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Lia. I know what you mean about the pleasure of a lack of tourists. Florence and Venice have so many that they feel like a Las Vegas attraction more than the real thing sometimes. It really surprises me that for all of Bologna’s charms it is so little visited. Last year I did a day trip to Verona and it had a LOT more tourists than Bologna. I doubt that I’ll have much influence on the tourist density here in Bologna.


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