Monday, October 3, 2011

Bologna, Italy and More

Sunday morning I got up and decided to go to Bologna. Two hours later, a stop for a coffee and many stops to look at the map, I ended up back at the house. I love how everyone says "it's easy to find" - right! Anyway, I started again and took the correct streets this time and found the station. We got to Bologna and I took a look around so I could find the train station again and we headed off. Seymour has been riding in his sling and is getting better with it. I think he is thrilled that getting in the sling doesn't mean going into the supermarket in Montepulciano.

There was a festival going on - yep it seems that they are going on everywhere! This was for a Saint (and you know that I don't know which one). There was another mini parade with this casket and women lighting candles and incense around it. At first, I wasn't sure if I should take a picture because what if it was a funeral? But then I thought it looked to fancy for a regular funeral. You can decide:

This is a pretty big city. I think I read that there are over 350,000 residents. I am glad I didn't stay in this town. Part of it is full of wonderful buildings and churches and part is full of graffiti. The tour book I'm using describes the town as "Boasting one of the country's great medieval cityscapes - an eye-catching ensemble of red-brick palazzi, Renaissance towers and arcaded porticoes. ."

It does have lots of porticoes. That was a fact I didn't realize until I tried to use the landmark of the porticoes to find the train station again. That's a later story. More pictures - this is one side of the square where the festivities were held.

Here are some of the porticoes - or covered walkways around town. They are everywhere!

One of the churches on the square:

Statues and other stuff:

I really like that when they are restoring old buildings in Europe,they wrap it in a cover showing what it is going to look like. They may do it in big cities in the USA but I haven't seen it.

Seymour and I walked around for a couple of hours. One of our problems is that we hit towns during the "pausa" when the stores are mostly closed. But we can - and do - eat lunch. I found an outdoor restaurant that looked good and had my Moretti beer and pasta with a cream asparagus sauce. It was delicious, but I am finding that cream sauces aren't sitting well with me here. The two new things I've tried and love are fresh figs and fresh olives. I am not a fig newton person but I really liked the fresh figs. And at the restaurant they put a plate of olives down - and I ate all but one. They look black in the picture but they are really green:

So now I am lost, feeling sick, finding out that my comfortable sandals are causing blisters on the bottoms of my heels - and needing a bathroom. As with my last trip to Italy, the phrase I use the most is "Dove la stazzione" which is "where is the station?" They usually know which station you are talking about, but if necessary I add "de trena". Excuse all of my spelling errors - English and Italian.

We didn't find the station, but did find a supermarket where I stopped to buy some dog food, cheese,etc. and asked "Dove la stazzione" one more time. This time we got good directions.

Finally, we stumbled to the train station and had to wait about an hour for the next train. I still needed to find a bathroom - none in site. We did make it home with no directional problems this time and Seymour and I both slept over 12 hours last night - and we both had a chance to use the bathroom - his outdoors, of course!

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