Bologna is not just an unappetizing piece of meat you put on a sandwich. It is also an amazing city in the North of Italy. My family and I were able to visit this past week and my husband now raves about it being his favorite city to visit, even over Florence and Verona. The history runs VERY deep. This poor city was taken over by so many different people it makes my head spin. The Romans, Etruscans, Celtics etc. It therefore has amazing architecture, food and culture. They also have so many "in the world" titles to brag about as well. The oldest university "in the world." The longest stretch of porticos "in the world." The fifth largest church "in the world." It also holds a special place in my daughters heart because it is home to her favorite food dish "in the world." Bologna is certainly a foodie's dream. The ragu sauce that us Americans like to chomp on is a bastardized version of the original Tagliatelle alla ragu or the better known Pasta Bolognese. It it just as amazingly tasty as you would imagine.
Our visit began as we drove to the north of the city and parked in an underground garage under the piazza 8 Agosto. It happened to be market day and we only walked through a small portion because it was enormous but if you are a shoe person, this is your heaven on earth. Rows and rows of beautiful Italian made shoes for much less than you could get anywhere in the States. My husband pushed me along with horse blinders so that I couldn't get distracted. You could easily spend the entire day there.
We walked the gorgeous porticos that seemed to last for blocks taking in the city's architecture, locals and traffic. In Italy you must watch yourself crossing any street. Scooters and bikes and pedestrians buzz around like fruit flies on an old apple dancing around smart cars and buses. It is very chaotic.
We walked straight to the Piazza Maggiore, the heart of downtown. It was almost completely destroyed in WWII but has been beautifully restored.
This is also where Basilica di San Petronio is located. It is enormous and unfortunately they do not let you photograph inside. The front was being restored so no photograph was taken.
The whole piazza feels medieval as if you could see a princess walking about but of course as soon as you walk into the library it's contemporary decor pulls you right back into the 21st century.
That is until you look down through the glass floor and see Roman ruins right under your feet. The city is full of many ruins and open to the public. Two meters under the city is well, an entire other city. The Europeans just built right on top of existing homes and streets, etc. Unfortunately there are no tunnels to take you under but there is so much information available at the library you hardly need to. There are also two or more free museums that I hear are amazing. Next time we are there, that is on our list of things to do!
Of course we stopped for our pasta ragu and a small break for your two very tired troops.
We then headed toward the University to check out the scene. It is like most school campuses. Full of life and graffiti.
We also saw the two famous towers of Bologna.
Then, we got lost. Which I always think is part of the fun because you then see some unexpected gems.
That was the end of our fun day in Bologna. I would recommend 2 days here especially if you want to visit the museums and many church's. I can't wait to go again.