Archive for August, 2010

Italian trip, day 1 – Bologna

August 24, 2010

As summer is coming to an end, we decided to go on a trip. We are visiting Italy, and I am very excited, as it is my first visit to this lovely country. As we wanted to combine sightseeing with sunbathing, we are travelling through Tuscany and Liguria.

Our first stop was in Bologna, which is actually in the region of Emilia-Romagna. It is dominated by red colour, as most building are built with red brick or covered in red render.

Bologna streets

Bologna street

We only have time to visit the center of the city, as we spent only one day in Bologna.  There are several imposing and beautiful palazzos on the main square, which are unfortunately, closed to the public.

We visited one of Bologna’s landmarks, Le Due Torri, two leaning towers. I wonder what is it with Italy and towers, but it seems that one can find a tower in every city or town here. You can actually climb one of the towers, Torre degli Asinelli. It is nearly 100 meters tall (for comparison, the most famous of the Italian towers, the Tower of Pisa, is only 56.70 m (186.02 ft) tall).  To get to the top, one have to climb 498 rather steep and narrow steps (after all, it wasn’t built with tourists in mind), but you are rewarded by a beautiful view.

Tower stairs

Tower stairs

Bologna, Piazza Maggiore

Bologna, Piazza Maggiore

There are only 15 towers left in Bologna today, but at some point in history, there were as many as 180 different towers. Unlike other places, where towers were built as a bell tower for a church, in Bologna towers were built for completely different reasons. At first, local families built them as part of fortifications, which allowed to shot the enemies of the family from the safety of a tower. And with time towers became symbols of wealth and prosperity.

I absolutely loved dark and cool arcades which stretch along many streets of Bologna (apparently, there stretch for more than 40 km). It seems that one can walk all around the center of town without stepping on the street, which is absolutely brilliant in summer heat.

Bologna arcade

Bologna arcade


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