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Bologna

Published Sun 31 August 2008 21:07 (+0200)
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  • italy (4 posts and 31 photos)
  • bolgona (1 post and 6 photos)
Due Torre (Two Towers - both on a lean)
Due Torre (Two Towers - both on a lean)
Neptune's fountain
Neptune's fountain
Bologna porticos
Bologna porticos

After London and Oxford I spent a relaxing few days in Bologna staying with a friend from the company I used to work with who lives there.

It's a nice city, not yet overrun by tourists such as myself, though unfortunately a lot of it was closed as it was the summer holiday season and most of the students, who make up a quarter of the 400k inhabitants, were away. Still it was interesting to tour around, the walking tour was worthwhile giving some good background into the symbology and history of the buildings, town, and decorations.

The most famous landmark is the Due Torre (Two Towers), which are on a lean (Pisa-style), but a close runners up are the sexually-charged Neptune's fountain and the extensive system of covered porticos which aside from looking good are a godsend in hot weather (they were actually originally created via tax breaks set up to provide overflow sleeping space while also doubling as comfortable pavements supporting both pedestrians and mounted riders).

Contents: 7 churches
Contents: 7 churches

The whole city has a lengthly history – most of the stuff in the city square is older than my whole country – and a lot of it is intricately built-up; the buildings shown in this photo actually contain no less than 7 churches (assuming you share their definition of church) from different times, all interconnected.

Window on 'hidden' canal
Window on 'hidden' canal
Not-so-hidden canal (and Bologna not Venice!)
Not-so-hidden canal (and Bologna not Venice!)

The city also once had an artificial canal system very important to its merchantile power at that time; now while some of it still remains it's mostly underground or under buildings. However as Mary and Charles found there is a window through a wall onto such a “hidden” canal… but note that you can then just go across the road and see it in open view :). I discovered too late on my last night that they actually do night-time rafting down the underground canals through town! Looked like it was run in Italian only which might be an issue for tourists but still very cool.

After catching up on work matters I went on to Venice!