09 August 2014

Cavorting with the Companion: Historic Centre of Bologna

As I mentioned earlier, we didn't visit lots of museums in Bologna, except for one. What we did instead was walk around a lot, as well as eat in several different trattorias and osterias around town. So this post will be about the things we saw in the city, and I have to say that I was definitely very impressed with this Italian town.

The first set of pictures you see above show the general atmosphere of the historic centre of this city. I like it; there are various historic buildings all over the place, but they don't make it obvious to the passersby. There's a little plaque saying what that building is known for, but unlike in Vienna, it isn't in your face. For all you know, it's just a regular building with no historical or cultural significance whatsoever. I suppose noteworthiness is more modest here.

Some of the pictures above also illustrate this Bolognese trademark of putting sidewalks under the building. The first floor typically extends into the street, and the sidewalk is built underneath. This creates an illusion of a very narrow street, and perhaps this is also done so that there is extra space that can be used within the building.

We also found the tall towers that are landmarks of the city. Yes, these are leaning towers too; Pisa isn't the only Italian city to have leaning towers. In fact, Bologna has several of them! If you see the foundations, you see how it isn't really straight and perpendicular to the ground. A few minutes stroll away from the towers brought us to the market, where there was very interesting produce being sold, even though it was already in the late afternoon.

The two pictures above show the city's main street, Via dell'Independenza. This is a north-south street, that is blocked off and dedicated for pedestrian traffic only during the weekends. I love that idea; people were all over the place, walking, and even though there was no particular occasion, people go out during the weekends in this town. Cafes would extend their dining space and set up tables right on the street. And when the weekend is over, these would all be dismantled, and the buses and cars would go right by again.

Finally, here are some pictures of Bologna's main square: the Piazza Maggiore. This is the plaza that contains the city's main cathedral, as well as perhaps the most famous fountain in the city, the Fontana di Nettuno, completed in 1565. Yep, things are old here. Lots of activity can be seen in this square, and when we were there, there were concerts, street entertainers, and other people hanging around.

There, those were my pictures from Bologna. If you're in the city, make sure to find a good trattoria and sample the famous Bolognese cooking. The next entry in this travel series will be from a different country, so watch out and stay tuned!


  1. There are so many museums in Europe that it can be overwhelming. Walking and eating? Sounds like my kind of traveling!

    1. Zhu,

      Yep, that's is a fun mode of traveling, indeed, especially if there's a foodie in your midst!