A couple of weeks ago, we (we being myself and the other lovely ladies here with me in Italy) took a much needed day trip to our nearest big city – Bologna! As much as I love being in a town with a fantastic sense of community, where everybody knows everybody, it was great to escape to a big city where I’m not just one of the ‘madrelingua’ girls!
It was a slightly miserable day but naturally we did not let that dampen our spirits! After a very cramped train ride to the city, we began the interesting task of navigating ourselves from the train station to the restaurant we were going to for lunch, recommended to us many times by many people and branded as an ‘eating experience’ – how exciting! Eventually, after much wandering and some top notch google mapping, we found the road we needed to take – the very long and beautiful ‘via dell’Independenza’ which seems to house 90% of Bologna’s shopping (much to our delight!).
After a 20 minute walk down the gorgeous stone covered walkways (colonnades to the more cultured reader) in which we mapped out our post lunch shopping route, we eventually found our destination – Eatily! It is best described as a book shop which is also a food market and a restaurant. We were very lucky to find a little table for three because within 5 minutes, the queue for tables began! It is definitely the most interesting place I’ve eaten at so far in Italy and would wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who visits. It is a chain so there should (in theory) be one in most major cities (I certainly saw one in Milan) and the food is incredible!Fully satiated and ready to continue our day, we headed out for some much needed retail therapy, after a few cheeky selfies by the rudey fountains of course! Mature as ever. The little piece of Bologna I saw was absolutely gorgeous, even on a miserable, grey, practically English day! The two towers were a breath-taking and slightly terrifying – I could have sworn that one of them was leaning rather perilously to one side…
One of my favourite sights was the Fountain of Neptune in the middle of the Piazza del Nettuno. It’s one of the rudey fountains previously mentioned (hehe) and features a huge bronze figure of Neptune looking every bit the powerful God he is depicted as.
I definitely plan to return to the city and a very touristy walking tour to feed the part of me that wants new and annoying pointless facts to bore everybody with!
After a few hours of shopping, we found a little café and warmed up with some tea, hot chocolate and cake! A highlight of the day and now a staple in all trip planning! I am both ashamed and not ashamed to say that we then took a little trip to the cinema to see 50 sfumature di grigio hehe! Obviously being great Italian students and using it as an opportunity to practice our Italian! Perhaps the ease of which it was understood is testament to the simplicity of the dialogue…
Our big Bologna day out ended with a few bottles of wine and some pizzas at a lovely restaurant where our train time was pushed back several times as we just didn’t want to leave! Bologna is a gorgeous city and I can’t wait to visit again in the sunshine and see what else it has to offer!