Desy is home from work today, so that I decided to take the day off myself, and finally get to see some of “Bella Italia” which – for some reason – I’ve been neglecting so far. We had not much time for planning our trip during the past week, and I’ll have to work tomorrow, so that we’ve decided to pick a destination which is easy (and quick) to reach, and small enough, so that it can be seen in a day. Of course, we don’t mean seeing it entirely, but get a glimpse at a fairly good part of its center, passing by all of its main attractions.
After contemplating Ferrara, Reggio Emilia, Mantova, Parma and Modena, we opted for Bologna, considering that it was the closest to us. And a mandatory stop towards most other cities anyways. It’s in fact a sort of hub for trains connecting North and South of Italy, so that we could easily reach it in several hours from Codroipo. It can be reached in little more than 2 hours from Venice Mestre station, hence it can be a good midway stop option, if you plan to go from Venice to Rome, or the other way round, by train.
We got to Bologna at about 12pm, and immediately started walking through Via dell’Indipendenza. Shops (brand stores, I mean) were more abundant than good sights, and the gloomy atmosphere caused by Fog did not tempt me to get my camera off its case too early. Believe or not, we went by Piazza Maggiore, the Statue of Nettuno and the Palazzo del Podestà without a single shot. There were actually ongoing maintenance works on some of the buildings, so that I was even less tempted to go for a click. After we got into Piazza Maggiore, we entered small traditional alleys (Via Clavature and Via Marchesana, in particular) though, and here I was finally compelled to take my camera out from its bag. My attention was caught at first by some wall signs, which I think might’ve been left there from WWII. First pic taken!
After a quick look at Galleria Cavour, its expensive shops, and its surroundings, we headed towards Piazza Santo Stefano; there were repairing works to the church here as well, so that no pictures were taken. We kept on walking until we got to Piazza Ravegnana, where we found ourselves in front of the two towers (Asinelli and Garisenda), the landmark of Bologna. A shot was mandatory here.
After a couple of shots from the ground up, we decided to climb the Tower of Asinelli. We thought that the 3€ entrance fee was fair enough and that we could’ve got a great city overview from top.
So we started climbing…
As we were reaching the top, windows started allowing us to see some of the landscape below, giving us a constant motivation to proceed upwards, without feeling the fatigue.
As we reached the top, a magnificent 360° view of the city rewarded us, and
immediately soon made us completely forget about our effort to climb.
Despite the fog, which we’ve now started to treat as an additional special effect for pictures, it was nice to be completely surrounded by ancient interesting architecture.
After a few shots and a little extra pause to enjoy the scenery, we started to descend. With a few stops to take a few more pictures from within the tower.
As soon as we got back to earth, we got a quick snack (it’s really easy to find a place where to get a quick bite in the city), and then started walking towards the University district. It’s been easy to recognize when we’ve reached it, because of the young population hanging around, and the characteristic wall graffiti we’ve found ahead of us. Supporting Arabic revolutions in this case.
After a quick walk around, the time to catch the train ride back home came, and hence we started walking back towards the train station, through Via Zamboni and then Via dell’Indipendenza again.
As an aftermath, we liked the city. It was pretty dirty and there were too much ongoing works in progress for our taste, though. The fog certainly didn’t make things much more appealing. Nevertheless, city history could be perceived everywhere, with ancient buildings and cool photo opportunities at most (if not all) corners.
Certainly, before we decide to come back, we’re sure, we’ll be wanting to check out other places mentioned before, since there’s been nothing which really prompted us to tell ourselves “We gotta come back”, as it’s been with other cities we visited in the past.