Bologna - Eat Eat Eat!
Trip Start May 20, 2009
15Trip End Jun 04, 2009
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The two old towers called Due Torri are unmistakable landmarks. The shorter, fatter tower is closed off and leaning heavily towards the east. It has braces and wires preventing total collapse. Next to the leaning tower is a very skinny, taller tower that you can climb. You know me, I can't resist the chance to climb an open tower or dome in Europe. This tower was probably one of the most intimidating I've climbed because the staircase up was wooden and attached to the brick sides of the tower. So you could see straight down the middle of the staircase if you chose to look down. The wood stairs were also worn down by time and a little creaky. Great bird's eye view of Bologna made the sweaty climb worth it and I didn't plunge to my death on the way up or down!
The big attraction of Bologna is the food stores. Parts of the old center feature streets and lanes with only food stores with big glass displays showing off their fresh meats, pastas, pastries, cheese, and other local specialties. One narrow lane was all fruit and vegetable stands apparently there everyday for the last 800 years. The displays are so inviting that we decided to assemble a lunch and dinner picnic of morta della (good tasting bologna), rotisserie chicken, tortellini pasta with meat sauce, marinated artichoke salad, shrimp and squid sticks, and fruit and mixed lettuce. All for the price you might pay at Whole Foods. Not a lot of English is spoken here by the merchants, so I got to practice my Italian which is decent enough to pick out foods and know how much to pay. I'm looking forward to trying out more food today this afternoon.
Today it's a daytrip to Ravenna, about 80 minutes to the east to see lots of mosaics from the Dark Ages, around 600 A.D. The sun is shining once again, so time to sign off for now.