Will I Ever Get There??
Trip Start Nov 01, 2006
80Trip End Aug 01, 2007
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This morning's destination is the longest portico in the world. Residing on the other end of town it will be a good warm-up before I actually get there. Having memorized the map, I only got turned around once before I found Via Saragozza, the street leading to the portico. It was a beautiful morning; just cool enough to enjoy my run and hardly a soul on the streets. Making my way down Via Saragozza I reached the piazza and the start of the porta. Stopping to take a couple photos (I always bring my camera on a run) I assessed the next part of my run, all up hill! Ok, yes I have been running at least 3 times a week since backpacking, but not hills!! I opted for hiking this long portico considering it took me 30mins to get to the start, it would be 4km to the top and 4km back down then another 30 min jog back to my hotel... not much thought needed to go into this. For almost another 30mins I continued to hike steep slopes and stairs until, finally, I reached Santuario Della Madonna di San Luca. A magnificent basilica and shrine rewarded my effort at the top, as well as, Water!!!
Only a couple other people had come this early to the top, so I was able to enjoy this moment without the usually tourist hassle. Sitting on a bench reading a paper was an Italian gentleman, Dino, whom I began to speak some Englitalio with (as I like to call it). He didn't speak much English or I Italian, but together we managed and did some picture drawing as well. It was a great way to converse with the locals and practice the Italian I am learning on my Ipod (thanks to LearnItalianPod.com).
Having such a great time with Dino I didn't want to leave, but checking my watch it was getting warmer and into mid-morning. I still had to hike down and jog back, so I said ciao to my Italian friend and began my journey back to the hotel. Only just starting my day and I was back into the grove of travel...
The rest of my morning I tried to visit some of the many museums in Bologna. Home to the University of Bologna, a great academia resides here and makes for interesting museum choices. Unfortunately, Bologna makes things tricky. All museums close by 1pm and the rest of the city; like churches and shops, close down from 1230 - 330pm. I guess with the weather being so hot it's an opportunity to take yet another cold shower before setting out for the rest of the night.
Getting back out into the night things were cooling down and I continued wandering to a list of churches and basilicas around the city. Finally around 8pm I settled into a seat in Piazza Maggiore getting wifi and waiting for the dance performance to begin at 930pm. While I caught up on my email, etc., I didn't have to worry about standing for the performance, I think I will do this gain tomorrow night!
Amores Maratona Di Danza E Danze, the name of the venue, and Spettacolo, the name of the performance tonight was showcasing a compilation of contemporary ballet. Bravo!!! It was one of the best dance performances I have ever been to thus far, with spectacular choreography and music. The dancers were passionate, emotional, graceful, heck, just incredible with everyone right on cue. What can I say another highlight and two thumbs way up for Bologna! Nothing like free entertainment, but amazing is usually not expected, am I right?
Last thought for this blog, I love Italy!!