Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bologna is not full of bologna

We have this saying in the states that Oscar Meyer is spelled b-o-l-o-g-n-a. Well let me tell you something, Bologna is not the same thing as bologna.
We took our next out of Rome trip to Bologna! This time, Dr. Lev was our guide and boy she is a hoot and a half. What a firecracker of a woman! Anyway, in addition to Fr. Carola, I would also like Dr. Lev to accompany me on every trip I take out of Rome. She knows it all, that one.
Anyway, so we get on this bus for our 4 hour ride to Bologna and at about hour 3, we go through this tunnel for a minute and when we come out on the other side, there are snow covered hills as far as the eye could see. I, and many of my fellow Bernardians, thought we had stumbled into a portal that led us to Narnia. We still haven’t figure that one out, but either way, shortly thereafter, we made it to the city.
So, after getting dropped off about 15 blocks away from our hotel (I don’t know why either), we begin the treck to our hotel. As I walked along the bricks of the city, I realized that Bologna was also much different from Rome. It had an interesting clash of old school architecture meets graffiti and downtown St. Paul. It was quieter than Rome, but a much more shopping and fast past city than Siena. Once we got to  the hotel, we were pleased to be greeted by warm rooms and both warm and cold water (something that much of Italy seems to lack). Before we knew it, we were out on the town with Dr. Liz Lev!
As we met in the main piazza, Dr. Lev strained her voice as there was a concert being set up right where we were standing. So, to accompany her discourse on the development of Christian art in the 17th century, we had some weird Italian slow jam as her soundtrack. Once leaving that piazza, we saw some beautiful art and churches including the church of St. Dominic which held his tomb and the chapel of the Holy Rosary. The first Mass that we attended I’m pretty sure we all got frost bite because it was most definitely below freezing in the church, but it definitely gave a different meaning to the penitential rite.
At the hotel
Aside from the churches and art we were able to view, we had some nice Bolognese cultural experiences. Apparently it is the food capital of Italy, so we were ready to eat. First, I went to a small bar (aka café) which had great Panini and hot chocolate. However, the 3 of us there definitely were able to leave our mark. Each one of us took a turn at knocking a picture off the wall, spilling packets of sugar all over the table, and then knocking a table which made the container of sugar and napkins noisily tumble and scatter over the ground. Humility, humility, humility. After that, we went on a search for a watch but only a couple went into the fancy store while a few of us just stayed out. We were freezing and pretty much dressed like hobos, so you can imagine the amount of looks exchanged were plentiful. Humility, humility, humility. Once that was over and we got to go back to the cute hotel to freshen up (Oh, best part of the hotel? Heated towel racks. Definitely something to think about putting in the future house), we were swept across the street to a restaurant for a 5 course meal that was delicious and all the more delicious because it was paid for, and we had to make no decisions about what we had to order. Italian cuisine made easy.
The next day, our breakfast was basically a 5 year old girls dream with a tea party like set up serving cake and muffins. After we ate, we did some more browsing of art and architecture, and then hopped back on the bus. It was a long ride back because we got stuck at one point for an accident, but the company was splendid so it wasn’t so bad (plus we stopped at a rest stop and loaded up on cookies and candy).

To sum up Bologna, it was a great trip, and I'd say that I liked the city quite a bit. Bologna, I'm sorry I ever compared you to bologna.

And yes, I definitely over used the Bologna-bologna pun on the trip too :)

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great, a tad cold, and yet a very fine experience..

    I like the idea of the free food and warm towel bars, cookies and candy..!! definitely a plus....and theres no bologny in that!!! Knocking things into the floor.. well...not too kosher for American ladies.... ha..

    Over all, It sounds like a great trip...
    Glad you got to go..

    Love and hugs. Mamasita...

    Love you..