Author: Host Ciao
Date of Trip: December 2012
Bologna to me means mortadella, my favorite cold cut. At home I figure it can only be a special treat; here, which is its home, I’ll indulge all I want. Mortadella sandwich last night and this noon. Tonight I am going to try to find a restaurant that has a special cold-cut platter as and ante-pasta and eat some more. Don’t run out and buy it on my say. One person I ran into at home when I was buying it tried it and was disgusted–“It’s all fat!” Well, not all but each slice has nice bites of fat in it. So there!
Did some church hopping today, both old and famous. Also had intended to visit a special shrine way up the hills, San Luca. Did get on both of the right buses. But after the small one took us around many windy curves and briefly stopped several times to pick people up, two other people and I didn’t realize it was the stop to get off. So we got off at the next stop. The church is at the top of a long, long arcade that pilgrims walk up well over a mile I’d say. Anyway I did walk up from the stop, but by the time I managed up, up, up for I would say at least a hundred yards including several sets of steps, it was after 12:30 and the church was closed. So I went down to the stop I should have gotten off at and got on the bus when it came by an hour later. I had to stop at least 4 or 5 times on the way up, probably more so I’ve done penance for a lot of sins!
Can’t remember what I plan to do tomorrow. My brain is frozen like my fingers. And, yes, Bologna had snow and it still sits on the roof tops though streets are clear. Wednesday I head south maybe to warmth. Right now I’m cold. I promise when I have a more likable climate around a computer to tell you about the dogs of Italy–yes, the ones who bark. I’m taking notes…
In case you think I only see churches, I thought I had better tell you of some other sights-sites. Today I wandered in the Archiginnasio Palace, which was the first permanent seat of the University of Bologna. The building was built in the 1500’s, but the university is the oldest in the Western Hemisphere founded in 1088. Right now 80,000 students live here. The outside halls on the second floor are decorated with coats of arms of professors and students. One of the most interesting sites is the anatomy theater where anatomy was taught with dissection of corpses way back then. That’s the education topic for the day.
I also went to the Borsa, which is built over ruins that you can see under glass in the floor. Here people are working on computers, reading papers and books at tables. I read a couple of stories in Sunday’s New York Times and also saw a copy of the New Yorker. There was a big display on cave exploration, and I don’t know what else. Yesterday I wandered along a block or so Christmas fair one two sides of the area. There were lots of booths of decorations, Nativity scenes (none said “buy me” which I have to use because my collection is running out of room) scarves, gloves, and food. Some made me wish I could cook. The candy counters are wild. I settled on an almond croccante, which is a nice thick whole almond brittle. About a 4 inch square will last me for the next few days anyway.
Speaking of wishing I could cook, I wandered the markets both today and yesterday. I am having a mortadella sandwich for supper. Had another favorite for dinner last night and lunch today–tortellini in brodo. It’s not cheap but the tortellini and broth are both homemade.
One experience was to see an invasion of I would guess middle school kids getting out of school. About 1:30 I was walking down the street and I could see and hear a large group by McDonalds. I crossed the street and from there it looked like the school let out up a very narrow street and kids were pouring down to Macs. Its a counter only place at that spot so the sidewalk was absolutely full and all us oldsters crossed the street. About 15 minutes later I came back that way and the sidewalk was still full of kids waiting (no lines in Italy) and the trash containers on the sidewalk were over flowing and Mac cups piling up beside them. I should have taken a picture.