Bologna: A few days in an Italian foodie city!

We arrived by train to Bologna in February and the temperature was posting 4 degrees C ( around 39 F) and coming from Roma Termini my first impression was that of a regional town and also my impressions moments after that was that it also was a University town. We felt a calmness strolling around the parks and green walking areas as well as admiring the monuments and artifacts of history scattered around this city.
We could see flocks of University students crossing en masse when the traffic light allowed their time, but it was amusing to see people cross in different paths, avoiding the zebra crossing (cross walk) as if it didn't exist, with cars waiting patiently!  We chose to follow their style and walk in the same  manner! Bologna is supposed to have the refreshing reputation of being more open minded, more LGBT friendly and politically leaning to the Left! (bravo!)

We had an appointment with a blogging opportunity with a wonderful group, Blogville Emilia Romagna and a private tour of Bologna. Carrying our bags, we found out our meeting point was deep into the centre of historical Bologna and we raced through the longest covered arcade in the world, and found our guides waiting patiently for us.

We enjoyed the eccentric feel to this city of red and white as their proud colours, and to know that it's unique character  of contradictions, politically, religious affiliations, and many others, which started long in the past still holds up to this day.
Our guide Simona was very knowledgeable and humourous! We enjoyed going through churches, squares, and even to a church were the controversial painting which upset people of the Muslim faith (The painting features Hell and the underworld, and the dead Prophet Mohammed, lying in Hell.) that we had to pass through security before entering the church. Later we went into a progressive cafe and had an interesting chat and learned more about    the quirky politics of Bologna and the equally quirky politics of the current Italian government they had. Simona told me that it was easier being a gay than it was being a woman in Italy! I asked her about being a lesbian in Italy and her eyes rolled with grief at me!

Bologna is known as a centre for very good food. We went down the foodie streets where one could buy many kinds of fresh local vegetables which were artistically arranged to catch one's eye and visited many small and unique shops which specialise in certain epicurean delights like handmade tortellini, truffles, pasta shops, different hams, and many other specialties.

(photo credits: )

There was a large gastronomic complex near the foodie streets called "Eataly". This was like a bookstore and gourmet food store (with gourmet prices!) combined with every culinary dream about Italian food coming true.

We enjoyed wandering around back streets and seeing another leaning tower which was similar to the one in Pisa. When we walked through that whole area, it felt like we were stepping into some relics from Old Europe!

We were lucky to stay with a friend for that night in his cozy flat located on the edge of the historic part of Bologna. We enjoyed some nice conversation and made some instant tortellini which was fun, and inexpensive!

Our friend Nicolas, who met us about information for writing blogs also took us both for a lunch to sample different local specialties of Bologna, in a very local restaurant which was enjoyable.

Our time in Bologna was short but my eyes flashed around quickly around the old buildings, cafes, shops with cute looking gay guys, with perfect clothes and perfect hair, who are sales associates at the designer name clothing stores, to have a sneak preview of what we will see when we return to this beautiful city. 

We realise there are many special nooks and crannies around the city as well as the region waiting for us to experience, taste and write about on our next journey here.


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