Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Italy again

I don't think I've been very fair to Bologna – I don't mean on this blog, where I haven't even mentioned my recent(ish) holiday, but certainly in conversation.

I spent three days there in late October and then another 3 days in Florence and I’ve been so full of Florence – which from the paper shops to the bridges to the views across the historic city has a magic all it's own – that all I've had to say about Bologna is that it rained but I went up the tower anyway and they're big on food. 

And yet it is a place with considerable charm and history. The statuary may be more solid and less antique, and the transport hub for train and bus has been laid out with considerably less consideration for the natural beauty of the area than you would find at - say - Charing Cross, but the vast square in the old town has immense and beautiful buildings and the view across the city from the tower is well worth the climb. 

One of the beautiful buildings. 

I also stumbled across the old University. Established in the 11th century (10 years or so before Oxford) it not only had an anatomical theatre but gorgeous crests painted on the walls and ceilings of the halls and what I want to call cloisters - but apparently only religious buildings can have cloisters so I can't. 

Here's a favourite anyway:  

 and here are some more:

Even in the older parts the city feels solid and prosperous and well fed and yet I kept finding small decorative snippets I wanted to snap. 

So although Florence has captured me romantically it's Bologna I've been looking up to see what I missed in my 3 days there. Only this evening I stopped looking because of course I'm going to go back and find out for myself. 

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