Churches and Squares, Bologna
I stole this term from my Polish colleagues who invented it to describe their favourite research and pastime, as opposed to all those other activities ending in –ing which have adapted from English by other languages. Befitting the location, we then translated it into Italian as “Chiesare” ;-)
Bologna is full of churches, big and small. San Petronio, Santo Stefano and San Domenico are listed in any guidebook but there are many more. I recommend poking your nose into those you come across by coincidence during your walk of the old town. Most of them are open in the daytime. (Please don’t disturb if there is a service going on.)
Fondest memory: Hidden art treasures can be found in many of them, sometimes works of the greatest artists of their time, for example the Madonna by Cimabue in Santa Maria dei Servi. The vast majority of churches are, as can be expected, Roman Catholic. A couple of other Christian confessions also have their own small church, like the Protestants or the Ucrainian Greek Catholics.
The 15th century church of Madonna di Galliera is located in Via Manzoni, very close to Via dell'Indipendenza. This old and beautiful church, which is almost hidden between the medieval houses, is worth of seeing. The church feature a great facade but its beauty is almost invisible because it is covered by atmospheric pollution. This church used to belong to the monastic order called Filippini or Padri dell'Oratorio. Adjacent to the church still stands an ornate oratory, which was built by Alfonso Torreggiani.
Fondest memory: Unfortunatelly it seems that the church is closed for the visitors. In occasion of my next visit to Bologna I was more lucky because the church was open for the visitors.
Favorite thing: My favourite thing to do in Bologna was to jog through the city in early morning.. The historical center was full of covered walkways.. so the pedestrians are protected even when it's raining.. Point to the two towers as the central of historical city, there are streets spread out finish at the Viali, a circular road around the city. There is a gate (porta) at each ending. Every morning I chose a street to run through then came back on a different one.. at the end I made to discover all the porta. To me it was no better way to explore Bologna.. I am sure you will find your own favourite way ;)
Favorite thing: Piazza Galvani is beautiful city square situated right behind the Basilica of San Petronio. In medieval times it was called Pavaglione, which comes from a dialect word "pavaglio", with which people would refer to the lucrative cocoon market. The statue to Luigi Galvani, first man to conduct studies on electicity, stands in the central position of the square.
Favorite thing: The Church of S. Stefano is a complex made from more buildings of various ages. The Seven Churches, (now they are only 4) are an interlace of churches, courtyards, cloisters, chapels, crypts, which together look out on to Piazza Santo Stefano. Remember to visit the tomb of S. Petronio and the beautiful Romanesque cloister.
Walk through the centre of the town. In few hours your can visit the whole old town.
It's worth: Piazza Maggiore (the Main Square), the enchanting Piazza Santo Stefano,
the old Jewish Ghetto, the churches of San Domenico and San Francesco, the
University.... and obviously pass under the two towers, the symbol of Bologna,
the oldest skyscrapers you can imagine...
Fondest memory: .... and when you are tired, find yourself a nice bar or wine bar, and drink a glass of wine (or, if too expensive, just a cup of coffee) ... Let's speak about food and Bologna.
Bologna is famous for tortellini, lasagne, tagliatelle al ragù (with minced meat sauce), mortadella... but never ask spaghetti bolognaise, they don't exist! In Bologna you should eat meat sauce with egg pasta (as tagliatelle), not with spaghetti.
Favorite thing: I'm not sure what is this object exactly whereas most probably an exhibition or a temporary fair of xmas gifts in a portable structure..
Favorite thing: Whilst we were having a walk on the streets of Bologna, in some of the squares we have seen some street actors performing and have stopped for a while to give an eye what it has been like...
Favorite thing: This photo is taken just few days before xmas.. So the streets are adorned with different colors of lights and fullfilled with people doing shoppings and enjoying the atmosphere...