Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy which lies in the bellybutton of the country, immediately north of Tuscany. If Emilia-Romagna is dubbed as the food capital of food-crazy Italy, Bologna is the capital of that capital. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Bologna has gained the nickname "la grassa", the fat one. Ragu bolognese, anyone? Bolognese literally means from Bologna.
|Lunch of various specialties at Zerocinquantuno - highly recommended!|
|Mercato di Mezzo, a collection of local eats under one roof. Don't miss it if you go!|
3. Torre di Asinelli
There are a lot more towers in Bologna. In the middle ages, towers symbolize a family's power. Torre di Asinelli and Torre di Garisenda are the two most symbolic ones in the city, with the former being the taller. One can climb all 498 steps to the viewing deck, but I would only recommend it for those who are somewhat fit and are not acrophobic. Once you make it, the views are spectacular!
|Counting the steps to the top|
|Majestic views once you get to the top!|
|L: Unassuming church exterior, R: Holy Sepulchre, inside of which holds the remains of St. Petronius|
|Inside the medieval Basilica of St. Vitale and St. Agricola,|
|Pilate's Courtyard, still inside the Santo Stefano complex|
We had a rental car in Italy, but we parked it outside the city center and walked all over Bologna. It was the best way to see the city any way especially since Bologna is very pedestrian-friendly. The lack of tourists was also noticeable, which for us, was a huge giant plus. At one point, I was trying to find a postcard which I finally found at one place. One.
Roaring to go?
Here are a couple resources to help your trip planning:
1. Bologna's Official Tourism Website: http://www.bolognawelcome.com/en/
2. Blogville Emilia-Romagna, a confedration of bloggers all over the world sharing their experiences about their travels in the region: http://www.blog-ville.com/tag/emilia-romagna/