Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bologna

This weekend my friend Courtney and I took a trip to three cities - Bologna, Parma and Milan. It was a great weekend!

On Friday we caught an 8:30am train to Bologna from Termini. The trip was three hours long, which wasn't too bad. When we arrived we got a map and set out to find our hotel. Unfortunately it started to rain just as we began our walk, but luckily for us Bologna has covered sidewalks for most of the length of the city so we only had to be out in the rain when we were crossing a street. It would have been miserable to have to walk for twenty minutes like we did in the pouring rain.

We found our hotel pretty easily and it was really nice, but it was definitely strange. It was called Casa Santangelo, and it was basically an old castle/mansion type building that had some rooms for people to stay in - felt like we were in the mansion from Clue :)



We had to enter a gate and then we found the front door...we rang the bell and a woman in regular clothes who spoke zero English started talking to us and told us to get on the elevator and go to the second floor if we were looking for the hotel. We did just that and thanked her, thinking she was another guest. But when we got upstairs and off the elevator (which was even weirder than the one in my apartment in Rome...it held a maximum of two people and had manual doors) the lady came up in the elevator herself a few minutes later. It turns out she works at the hotel, but she definitely didn't look like she did. It was such a strange 20 minutes...I know I'm in a foreign country, and I do speak some Italian, but if you're going to have someone work at a hotel in a well-known town, at least make sure they can communicate with guests. She was very nice, but she had no idea what we were saying.

Anyway though, after we got settled we headed out to explore Bologna. We found a museum near Piazza Maggiore (the main area) that had free entrance and a special modern art exhibit, so we decided to do that. The exhibit had cool photographs that were taken around Italy...


and other parts of it had other types of art, including many representations of Christ on the cross (this one was the most graphic one I've seen.)


The museum was huge, and also had tons of paintings. I really loved this one:


The architecture and decoration of the inside of the museum was gorgeous.


The best part of our time in the museum was meeting one of the workers there. He was probably in his mid-50s and didn't speak a word of English, but he told us that even though the museum was free, we needed to get a ticket so he could rip it. When we came back from getting the tickets, we had a 10 minute conversation with him about ourselves, Italy, America, etc. It sounds cheesy, but it made me feel awesome that I could actually communicate with him, considering that he spoke no English. I know I'm studying Italian and I already knew some before coming to Italy, but when you're put in a situation where you're forced to use it, it makes you realize that you know more than you give yourself credit for. It was awesome to be able to have a conversation with him in only Italian.

Anyway, after the museum, we headed back to explore Piazza Maggiore. Here I am with la Fontana di Nettuno


Basilica of San Petronio...this church was GORGEOUS, but unfortunately they were really strict with enforcing the no pictures inside rule, so I couldn't take any


After my friend Courtney and I explored a little more, we were getting hungry so we decided to get some gelato to hold us over until dinner. Her guide book talked about this little gelateria called Gelateria delle Molline, which they said is a popular student hangout. It also said it's known for its gelato served on focaccia bread. We thought that sounded interesting, so we decided to give it a shot.


Well, if they could make something more fattening, I'd like to know about it. But it was delicious. :) It's obviously not the focaccia bread you think of (with olive oil and herbs and stuff) but instead it's a sweet bread with powdered sugar on to and scoops of gelato in the middle. Oh boy, it was good.

We headed back towards our hotel then to look around the smaller piazza that was across the street from it.

Basilica di San Domenico


We were allowed take pictures inside this one...




From there we headed back to the hotel to shower and get ready for dinner that night. We went to a little place called Enoteca Divinis. We asked one of our program directors for restaurant recommendations before we left and this was one she gave us. It didn't disappoint! It was on a quiet side street and we got a nice table outside. We could definitely tell that our director had given us the place, because we were the only tourists there. The staff was really nice and the food was awesome and inexpensive.

Tagliatelle alla bolognese in Bologna...how fitting


After a long dinner, we walked around Piazza Maggiore a bit more, which is gorgeous at night, by the way:


And we saw a weird performance of some sort...I'm not really sure what it was. There were a bunch of people surrounding a group of performers in weird creepy masks that we beating drums and holding candles...? We were so confused...


Person in a weird outfit/mask


We were so confused as to what was going on, but it was interesting to watch! We headed back to our hotel after this because we were exhausted from traveling, and the next day we had to get up early to go to Parma!

3 comments:

linanne1 said...

I'm so anxioux to see Milan. It's where my Dad's family in from! So much to see Daniella-Bella!

Anonymous said...

Dig-a-lig, I think I had flashbacks of art history looking at your pictures. True story. Well I miss you and we need another skype date sometime soooooon. And stop killing me with the food pictures for realsss. kBYE.

<3 LaurTaur

Danielle said...

LT - when my friend and I went to Milan, we went to this particular museum basically just to see Caravaggio's "Dead Christ" that we studied (she took Fucking Ratface's class too, but she wasn't in ours). Well, what do you know? They didn't have it on display anymore because it got moved somewhere else! Hot mess.

We did see some works by Caravaggio, Rubens and Gentileschi though, and they made me think of you!