I arrive at Bologona on a Friday night with full moon, and it seems that the whole town has gone a bit crazy. Or maybe it’s just the contradiction with the many previous quiet cities, but at least it seems that everybody in town who is under 30 is out tonight - either in bars or restaurants, hanging outside them or going to or from one. And being a city with a big university, that means a lot of people. It feels very energetic and lively, there’s something about the vibe of the city that reminds of more modern urban artistic cities like Berlin, but the setting for the vibes in Bologna is one of the most gorgeous old towns in Italy. The center is mostly built with red brick, so that gives a certain tint and hue to the scene. And another unique characteristic of the city are the wide loggias, the arcades that make up for the sidewalks in almost all of the city streets. The loggias vary from simplistic to fresco-decorated beauties that rival many churches in details. Many of the loggias are wide enough to accommodate cafes and restaurants, and still let the flow of the people pass by easily.
There would be plenty to explore in Bologna - on top of the historical sights which there are a lot, there’s also e.g. a museum for modern art, MAMbo. On the first night I only have time & energy for a quick tagliatelle bolognese (pretty effin far from what passes as pasta bolognese outside Italy), and in the morning it’s time for a stroll around the city without any plans or map. That leads me e.g. to a really nice flea market where I have a chance to do some shopping for souvenirs. Had I more flexible schedule at this point of the journey, I would have stayed in Bologna for at least one more night. But I have a date in Roma with Nina, who’s flown in to join me for the remaining part of the trip - a long weekend in Rome & Siena. Before I leave, I still have time for a quick ice-cream and espresso at Café Saverio: the combination of pistachio and fig is heavenly, one of the best ice-creams I’ve ever head. But then again, I shouldn’t have expected anything less from a city that’s been (self)-proclaimed as the food capital of Italy. And in Italy, that’s quite a bold claim.
The train ride to Rome is again on a fast Frecciarossa train, where the kilometers between Bologna and Rome fly by quickly. There’s even a free (or 0,01€ to be exact) wifi on the train, that actually works really well and fast. So again a good chance to keep the blog updated, while sipping the complimentary prosecco. This is also the final day of validity for my Interrail ticket, and the final trip with the ticket. There’s still couple of train rides coming up, but those will be covered with cold cash instead.