Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Stopover in Bologna

Most guidebooks say little about Bologna. But it made a good stopover on our way to Florence, and I wanted to see the colonnades that the city is known for. What's more, Kevin and I enjoy seeing real cities where people are simply engaged in living their lives and are not primarily catering to tourists.

We settled into a pleasant little hotel, the Hotel Atlantic, that was about half-way from the train station and the central piazza. It had been recently updated and offered a comfortable bed,  friendly staff, a good location, and a tasty breakfast--all in all, a good budget find.

The courtyard outside our room at the Hotel Atlantic.
We strolled under the colonnades, which are so sensible, keeping people out of the sun or rain. They add a graceful element to the city too. I wish we had them in Seattle!

Bologna may not be Milan or Rome, but it is up-to-date with style. This store had a striking video loop that flashed beneath the steps where the mannequins struck their poses. (The green area in the photo.)

But the most fascinating style for us was Bologna's old architecture. The two medieval towers pictured below serve as the traditional symbols of Bologna. They are the remnants of 100 towers that stood in the city in the 12th Century, but today there are only 20 left, with these the most  important pair.

The view is less than optimal. Construction in the area means putting up with the ugly fence

Bologna might not be on the list of the travel gurus' top cities to see in Italy, but we were pleased with our brief sojourn there. 

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