Bologna for me is one of the best cities in the world. I had a feeling that I was in a classic fairy tale with flying dragons wanting to save lots of Rafunzels on top of tall towers. I was easily mesmerized by Bologna’s medieval and magical look.
This is medieval Europe at its best. Impressive architecture! “Unbelievable sight, unexplainable feeling” I haven’t seen such a charming city, and with not too many tourists. At first, I just wanted to see my dear friends again, but to my surprised, I extended my stay because I cannot get enough of this old city.
Most people I know had been to the Bologna Train Station only, well, they thought it had nothing to offer. But the moment I went to see the spectacular view from my friend’s place – Incredible! If only I am a painter, I would love to sit on the roof and just paint the whole day whole night. Bologna is Italy’s hidden gem.
Bologna is a tower town. According to my friend, in the medieval time, the height of the tower was associated with family’s power and wealth. I climbed the tallest Asinelli’s Tower, in the heart of the city; it was a test of patience and determination, like trying to climb the Empire State Building in New York using stairs. But the moment I reached the top, all I wanted was to fly and freeze in the air. Overlooking Bologna was incomparable.
My friend’s glamorous mother brought me to Pinacoteca Nazionale or the National Art Gallery of Bologna. I am not a fan of museums, but this one, I was alta sociedad appreciating art at its best; the museum and its wall. Its roof was actually part of the collection with huge and incredible work of art. Outside the museum was Christmas lights giving joyful life to the medieval buildings surround the magnificent Piazza Maggiore, the city center. The Piazza is really the right place to walk around – the city hall and other Palazzo, and the Gothic San Petronio Basilica, the fifth largest church in the world (thanks Google); and the University of Bologna, the oldest Western university in the world (thanks Google).
Bologna is a college town. The Teatro Anatomico at the University of Bologna is the first ever classroom for medical students in the world. The old classrooms were like a study room for the kings and queens, and the university library was a masterpiece – its walls, its roof was all part of a journey going back to the medieval time. Pope Innocent IX, Pope Alexander VI and Pope Gregory XV are famous alumni of the University along with Dante Alighieri (memorized his poem in high school) and Nicholaus Copernicus, who formulated that the sun is the center of the Universe.
But nothing will beat the best feeling, walking inside alleys that full of gelato stores, pizza and coffee houses, specialty shops and of course, the loud speaking voices of Italians and their hand gestures. Most of Italy’s signature dishes are from Bologna – pasta, pizza, gelato, tortelli, tagliatelle & lasagna. Bolognese is the best in Bologna, for obvious reason.
Bologna, I will name my daughter Bologna (or Felsina, its classical name), but first let me find a wife.
And during the day
Now, I will bring you on top of the tower
Welcome to the oldest university in the world – University of Bologna
Inside the Museum