After leaving Paris, I had to (eventually) end up in Italy to help Diana get to Florence where we would meet the rest of the family. To kill a few days, I decided to head over to Bologna for a couple nights.
I stayed at the Hotel Astoria, which was right in the middle of the old city and REALLY close to the train station. My first night I had been traveling for hours (I flew into Milan and took the train to Bologna), so I was exhausted. The next morning I got up early and left to wander into the city.
One really cool thing about the city are the covered walkways. The arcades cover almost sidewalk in the city, which is really convenient if it rains, snows, or is really hot. Luckily for me, the weather was RIDICULOUSLY beautiful!
I made my way to the Piazza Maggiore which has the city hall on one side. The red flags aren’t on the building all the time, but it was Liberation Day, so there was a parade and logs of people in Military uniform.
On the left side (facing the city hall) is the Duomo, the Basilica of San Petronio, which is apparently the 5th largest church in the world. Unfortunately, the interesting part of the facade was covered for whatever reason, so all I got was bricks. I didn’t take any pictures inside but I got some postcards, which I might post later.
And on the third side, across from the Duomo, were some cafes where I had a cappuccino.
After my cappuccino, I decided to check out Asinelli’s Tower. There are two, famous, leaning towers in Bologna built in the early 1100s. The shorter one was cut off in the 1300s because it was leaning too far over, and currently leans about 10 feet off center. The taller one (Asinelli’s) only leans about 7.5 feet off center. I climbed the 498 steps to get to the top (about 98 meters high), which gave me an amazing view of the town.
Since it was still early after I got down from the tower, I decided to wander around and go to San Stefano’s church which was really a complex of churches/cloisters/chapels haphazardly arranged around each other. The cool part about this was the Romanesque church that was SUPER old and may be the first Romanesque church I’ve ever been in.
I then wandered back to my hotel room for a little break. I really needed a siesta, so I hung out and read for about an hour before going back out to explore the town. I discovered, by accident I’m ashamed to say, that St. Dominic is buried in Bologna. Because he was Spanish, I assumed he was in Spain, but no, I was wrong. So I first went to see the Chiesa San Francesco, which wasn’t all that impressive, finally moving on to San Domenico.
After leaving San Domenico, I had a bit of a camera scare. I had put it down when I was in front of the saint’s tomb and forgot it when I left the church. I got all the way to the Piazza Maggiore before I realized that it was there. Normally, this is just something that stinks, but a camera is easily replaced. Unfortunately, because of my computer issues, the last week’s worth of work in the archives was on that camera and it really would have been a disaster. Luckily some one had turned it into the guard and I got it back with no problems.
I finished up the day having dinner at Trattoria Anna Maria on Via delle Belle Arti, which was delicious. I got a lasagna with a different kind of sauce and tiramisu, which was ridiculously delicious. I walked back through the Piazza Maggiori at night and it was really lovely.
The next day, my train to Perugia left around 1pm so I ended up wandering over to the university part of town. I didn’t take any pictures, for whatever reason, but it basically just looked like the rest of the city. Then I picked up my stuff, hopped on the train, and headed south.