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Bologna is boring..and that is just what I needed.

I hadn't really realised how tiring constant travel can be until I arrived at Bologna. I found myself searching through tripadvisor looking for places to go and things to see, and apart from a few churches and half empty museums there was nothing. My host Matteo who took off to see his girlfriend in Switzerland the day after I arrived told me that I had to walk into the centre of Bologna from the apartment, because it wasn't far. So I did. By the time I had walked around the centre it was a six or seven km walk, and I had seen pretty much everything that Bologna had to offer. It is not a pretty place. The old town is quite dark and medieval and looking in need of a bit of renovation. I think they do one every couple of hundred years, so it is due. It's main claim to fame, apart from the sausage, is that the first University was established here in 1080 AD. There is a museum in the square where you can go in and look at the lecture room where for hundreds of years they did the dissections of dead bodies on a table in the centre of the room , so that potential doctors could see what was going on inside a person. It is also a fact that Mozart, at the age of 14, spent a few months here and gained his masters degree in Music. The University is still going strong. Another claim to fame is that the whole city is connected by about 40km of portico'd walkways. A law was passed in 1280 that new buildings had to include a portico, and that it had to be tall enough so that a person riding a horse could easily pass under it. I suppose that the areas between the walkways in those days were possibly open sewers. Anyway it makes getting around the city easy, and I have enjoyed their shelter during a couple of heavy thunderstorms. The other main attraction is two brick towers, built in the 1300's. The tallest one is 100mtr high and has another one of those 500 step internal staircases to climb up and take photos from a platform at the top. The one next to it had to be shortened a fair bit soon after it was built, because it developed a serious lean to one side. It has more of an angle than the Tower of Pisa, but is still standing. In the 1400's it is estimated that Bologna was a medieval New York, with up to 180 brick skyscrapers, and there are still a couple of dozen left scattered around town. I did find a special little church on my travels, one that was founded in 1280 to offer shelter and a hospital to pilgrims, It is on one of the busiest streets of central Bologna, and as you walk through the doors it offers a beautiful little sanctuary from the hustle and bustle outside. What really makes the church special though is that around a corner from the altar is a group of figures which have been called one of the masterpieces of Italian sculpture. The figures that make up the group known as the Lamentation over the Dead Christ, are life size figures that were cast in clay (terracotta) by Niccolo del'Arca in the second half of the 15th century. They are absolutely stunning in their portrayal of raw emotion, and seeing them was the highlight of my visit to Bologna. Tonight will be my fifth night in Bologna and tomorrow is going to be one of those days where I am up at 5.15am to catch a bus, then two trains, then a plane, then another train, then a 1km walk to get to my next place in Athens. For at least half my time in Bologna I have had nothing to do but catch up on my washing, make cups of tea or coffee, and pop across the road to buy lunch or dinner at a couple of really good food shops. I'm talking takeaway cooked chicken, fish, or mince lasagne with good helpings of vegetables in sauce for an average of 6 to 8 euros a meal. My other staple is very drinkable Carrafour red wine in a ltr box for 1.37 euro. I needed time to catch my breath and boring old Bologna has given me that...

from where I'm staying 2km of portico into town

from where I'm staying 2km of portico into town


never need an umbrella

never need an umbrella


part of 40km of porticos in Bologna

part of 40km of porticos in Bologna


porticos in town

porticos in town


That's a tall one from the 1400's

That's a tall one from the 1400's


some upkeep needed in places

some upkeep needed in places


medieval streets

medieval streets


more

more


more

more


more

more


Medieval building by square

Medieval building by square


medieval still works

medieval still works


Entry to Piazza Maggiore

Entry to Piazza Maggiore


basilica of St. Peter

basilica of St. Peter


free concerts in front of Basilica steps

free concerts in front of Basilica steps


Free concerts and movies in the piazza

Free concerts and movies in the piazza


Town Hall

Town Hall


Dean of Bologna University 1763

Dean of Bologna University 1763


Hanging around Neptune's fountain

Hanging around Neptune's fountain


four nymphs at the base of fountain

four nymphs at the base of fountain


Neptune at his best

Neptune at his best


Bologna's two towers

Bologna's two towers


base of taller Asinelli tower

base of taller Asinelli tower


built in the 13th century

built in the 13th century


A couple of hundred stalls

A couple of hundred stalls


something for everyone, but me.

something for everyone, but me.


make up a decent market

make up a decent market


lots of women buying

lots of women buying


very crowded in places

very crowded in places


I nearly bought a hat, but I got two already.

I nearly bought a hat, but I got two already.


My front door

My front door


my big bed

my big bed


my bedroom

my bedroom


my room in Bologna

my room in Bologna


line on balcony outside kitchen

line on balcony outside kitchen


It's a long way to drop a sock

It's a long way to drop a sock


Second load almost dry

Second load almost dry


kitchen

kitchen


Now this is a special bookshop

Now this is a special bookshop


About five windows to peek through

About five windows to peek through


entrance to the bookshop

entrance to the bookshop


It is a University town

It is a University town


the arcade is just full of bookshop

the arcade is just full of bookshop


Sanctuary of Santa Maria della vita

Sanctuary of Santa Maria della vita


I wonder how much they pay them to stand all day.

I wonder how much they pay them to stand all day.


No, just very lifelike 16th century statues

No, just very lifelike 16th century statues


Inside church

Inside church


Interior decoration

Interior decoration


Emotionally eloquent statue grouping

Emotionally eloquent statue grouping


Saint John and two Marys

Saint John and two Marys


Jesus taken down from the cross

Jesus taken down from the cross


Mary Magdelene, and Mary Cleopas

Mary Magdelene, and Mary Cleopas


meanwhile just outside door of Church

meanwhile just outside door of Church


are ten little pidgeons sitting on a wire..

are ten little pidgeons sitting on a wire..

Posted by astrix7 17:00 Archived in Italy

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