Bologna is a gritty, bustling, pasta paradise. It's also our next stop on our road trip. With just 24 hours to see it all, and espresso to keep us going, we are off...
First stop, Modena, home of the great balsamic vinegar. But even better,at least for Mike, it's home to many luxury automobile manufacturers, most of them ending in the letter 'i'. Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari....it's a very industrial looking city, picture an Italian Detroit.
Enzo Ferrari opened a museum here in 2012 and it showcases about 15 cars, with signs telling you which celebrity or rock star owns each one. It's a bit indulgent though the beauty of the cars and their evolution was intriguing.
I'd still rather be at Gucci.
Lunch at Eataly, a huge marketplace in the center of Bologna, where you can eat homemade tortellini,drink local wine, shop for pastas from all corners of Italy and buy a coffee table book.
One stop shopping, love it.
It is here I learned that bologna does not exist in Bologna, it is another food name made up on American shores. Here in Italy, it is called mortadella. It's still a meat made of unmentionable parts of the pig,
I'll pass. "More pasta please "
Espresso at the Mercato di Mezzo , next door to Eataly. This market is another food orgy for your senses.
Being so close to each other should be illegal, especially if you are on a diet.
Bike around Bologna. One of our favorite things to do when we arrive in a city, rent bikes, get a lay of the land and see sights we'd like to visit later.
It's also a good way to keep the tortellini off your ass.
Gelato time at Galleria 49. Ricotta with carmelized fig for me and banana with Colombian chocolate for Mike.
When I finished, I wanted to walk the 5 blocks back to get another , that's how freakin good it was.
Dinner at Al Pappagallo ( The Parrot )
A popular Bologna institution, which is a favorite of celebrities. We stumbled upon it in the Piazza Della Mercanzia.
I had guinea fowl, which was crispy and yummy. Mike settled on lasagna, which vanished before I got a bite.
I think he liked it.
I ordered a mixed salad, though the only thing in the bowl was lettuce. I asked the waiter why it was called a mixed salad. He said he could bring me tomatoes if I liked. I told him they should change the name to a lettuce salad.
A view from our table at Pappagallo Restaurant
One more gelato at Galleria 49 before bed. Because...why not ? I ordered the ricotta with fig, again.
Thank god another worker was behind the counter. I wonder how many gelatos a day are considered acceptable here.
The next morning-9:30 am-
We are the first ones in line to climb the 498 stairs of the Torre degli Asinelli (The Asinelli Tower).It's also known as the Due Torri ( Two Towers ), as it has a sister tower next door to it, which is not climbable because it's sinking and leaning.
Climbing the tower is not easy and not recommended if you have heart issues or are claustrophobic. The narrow stairs wind up the inside of the tower, and whoever built them did not intend for my big size 11 feet to climb them . I had to turn my feet outwards for them to fit, like a duck. Going down was even harder, believe it or not. I worked parts of my calf muscle that I never knew existed.
A view from the top, of the leaning sister tower and Bologna
A visit to the Bologna Fotografata- an exhibition of twentieth century Bologna through many photographers images. It was fascinating and heartbreaking to see the devastation during the Second World War.
I've included a couple photographs, one being a bomber plane after it annihilates Bologna and a bike race through war torn streets.
Bologna did not disappoint. It was a mecca of cheeses, hams, vinegars and pastas.
And they were all packed neatly in the back of our Fiat, along with FC Bologna soccer attire for our kids.
On to the next city.