|Plazza d Accusio Bologna|
|Towers of Bologna|
With winter seeming to drag on endlessly, it is a good time to look back to another part of our wonderful tour of Italy last fall. I still have thousands of pictures which require editing. I completed a bunch celebrating Rome, Tuscany, and Florence, so it seems a good time to show some of my images from the next phase of our trip, Bologna and Lake Como. It is frustrating that I have so many pictures that I haven’t had the chance to work on, but I want to show a taste of the rest of our trip, Bologna, Lake Como and finally wonderful Venice.
|Street Market, Bologna|
Four days exploring Florence wasn’t nearly enough and I was reluctant to board the train west to Bologna. For some reason I pictured a dull, working city, but Bologna was the biggest surprise of our trip.
Bologna is a relatively quiet University town with a wealth of well preserved Medieval and Renaissance architecture. It is home to Italy’s oldest university, founded in 1088, and currently has over 8o thousand students. Bologna is also famous for its nearly 40 kilometers of porticos. In medieval times, these were built to expand the floor space of upper stories, but they became a valuable addition to public space. In 1288 the city passed an ordinance requiring all new houses to have porticos. The structures were required to be tall enough to allow a man to ride through on a horse.
|Basilica di San Petronio Festival|
|Soaring, Basillica di San Petronio|
|Moon-Rise Piazza Maggiore|
On our second day we had a private tour of the city with Giamoco, a wonderfully friendly and knowledgeable native of the city. The tour was as much about the local food as the architecture, but I especially enjoyed a tour of Bologna’s old medical college. The elegantly wood paneled dissection theater was a tasty supplement to our dining stops.
|Garisenda and Asinelli Towers|
Bologna is known for its many towers. In Medieval times a family’s status was often measured by the height of the tower on their house. During the 12th century Bologna had over 100 towers of which 24 are still standing. The two most famous are the Garisenda and Asinelli Towers, both of which are leaning. They are still safe to climb, but there was no way I could convince Susan to scale one, even if they weren’t leaning.
|Student Parade, University Quarter|
The greatest attraction of Bologna was the chance to wander the ancient narrow porticoed streets. We explored the large University District and met Abby and Grayson for a drink at a bar which was converted from an ancient church. From here we finally broke away from the kids, but it was wonderful to share so much of our journey with our children. Bologna was a pleasant surprise and, as was true for all our stops, we could have spent much more time there.
|Endless Street Cafes|
The next morning we got up early for a train to Milan and then a car to beautiful Lake Como.
|Como and Swiss Alps from Brunate|
|Lake Como Ferry|
We stayed in a lovely hotel on the lake. It was just up the shore from the town of Como and had panoramic views up the lake and to the town. On our arrival the winds were quite blustery and it kicked up a serious chop on the lake. On the next day, the winds had calmed allowing a comfortable boat tour up the lake. The cozy villages and extravagant lake-side villas were lovely.
|Torno, Lake Como|
|Brunate in Moonlight|
After more exploration of Como, I was actually able to get my height adverse wife to ride the Tram up to the hill-top village of Brunate. The view took in Como, the lake and the snow covered Alps and Susan actually survived the trip. Lake Como reminded us of the mountains and lakes of New England.
We were beginning to feel ready to get home, but there was one more stop on our itinerary, wonderful Venice.
|Basillca di San Petronio|
More to See:
- Jeffrey Newcomer