So, without further ado I give you Bologna -
|Left - part of the University Right - the cathedral|
I hadn't actually researched Bologna before we left home - partly because it was a stop of convenience (it was The Sparky's first day driving on the other side of the road so we decided to make is a short trip) and partly because we didn't want to feel as if we had to rush away from Venice so that we could see ... whatever it was there was to see in Bologna.
Once we were on the road though and there were no more directions to give out for a while I took out my handy dandy guidebook and read up a little. Probably the most intriguing thing I read was along the lines of the fact that the cathedral in Bologna was originally designed to be larger than the Vatican. Approximately 200 years into construction the then Pope decided that that was not on and so authorised the construction of a university next door and in the way (apologies to Lonely Planet, this is a very abbreviated version of what they have to say but I lent my book to Little Bro).
|Apparently they didn't even bother to redesign the cathedral.|
|If you squint you can't even tell there's a giant poster covering the building, can you?|
There was a medieval festival on while we were there which was a very nice surprise! There were people walking around in full costume, including armor and mail which must have been most uncomfortable in the heat. The flag throwers and their drummers were quite fun to watch.
I'm sure this must have some significance as everything around it has been taken down (you can see the end of the walls on each side). Now it just sits in the middle of a busy street.
I've since discovered that these are 'the famous' towers of Bologna. They too were just sitting on the side of a busy street - if it wasn't for a group of tourists and their guide stopped at the intersection looking at them we would have walked straight past!
We also ended up with a new Samsonite suitcase and Bologna was the first place I saw and fell in love with my new rings.
So, despite our lack of interest or enthusiasm for Bologna I must say in the end I'm very glad we went and I hope to get back there one day.
Oh! I can't forget to mention the lovely man that we bought our lunch pizza slices off - he was delightfully helpful, his young son was learning English at school and very shyly said 'good bye' to us as we left (so we introduced him to 'see you later'), they looked up the meaning of a couple of different food words to explain them to us and they introduced The Sparky to 'Chino' (which they sold in bottles the size of which we simply do not get in Australia!).