There’s something very exciting about visiting a city for the first time, not knowing what to expect and looking forward to each and every discovery. Usually I do a fair amount of research before traveling to a new city or area. I do not make a lot of plans, but I prefer to have an idea of what I’d like to see and do. I’m not sure why, but I really didn’t do any reading about Bologna. I did get a great overview of the city from my friend Palma, the Bologna expert and off I went.
Immediately after settling into my room in Bologna I took off to find Piazza Maggiore, the main square in the center of the city. Ten minutes later and I walked into this grand square surrounded by buildings constructed between 1200 and 1400. It is tremendous and the perfect gathering place for tourists and locals alike.
I did take a walking tour of the city one morning and much of it took place in this piazza. I heard a lot of great information on the history of Bologna and of the buildings in the square, but truth be told, I don’t remember most of it! I do recommend the tour and you can get the information at the tourist office located right in the piazza. One of the things I loved about the tour is that if there are English and Italian speakers in the group, the guide does the whole tour in both languages. It gave me a chance to test out my comprehension-more on that later.
I found myself in Piazza Maggiore a few times every day-sipping a cappuccino, having a gelato or sitting on the steps of the the Basilica of San Petronio just taking a breather and watching the action. I miss all these things-are you surprised?
May 23, 2012 at 1:36 am
Are these buildins still standing?
May 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm
June-the town that had most of the damage from the earthquake is north of Bologna, closer to Ferrara.
May 23, 2012 at 3:56 am
Beautiful photos Janie…I love the colours of the buildings in Bologna. All those shades of red so suit the mood of the city don’t you think?
May 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm
Janine-thank you! I loved seeing those red shades all over the city. I can’t wait ot return here with my husband.
May 23, 2012 at 5:35 am
The walking tour is great. I’ve done it twice and had completely different experiences. The first guide showed us lots of things with not a great deal of history. The second hardly left the Piazza and gave us lots of information. Both were good.
Bologna is a fascinating city. It is called the red city because of its communist leanings as well as for the colour of the buildings and La Grassa because of the use of fat rather than oil in cooking, and because of the great food you get there.
It is a city I love to go back to often.
May 23, 2012 at 2:03 pm
Debra-thank you for telling me about the tour. I enjoyed it. I also did the bus tour one day which was great since I got to see other areas of the city that I wouldn’t have walked to.
May 23, 2012 at 6:11 am
The earthquake did much damage, primarily to the medieval buildings in the city centre, and I wonder how many of those you saw are in a sad condition today. On another note, didn’t you see or learn anything about the university? Cindy Sguazzin
May 23, 2012 at 2:05 pm
Cindy-I did walk through the university area various times. What a great place to go to school. As for the earthquake, I believe most of the damage was outside the city.