The next stop on the Road Trip was thoroughly Italian. We stayed in a really lovely B&B, just a few blocks from all the tourist sites, with an in-room air conditioner, for much less than the awful German place in Bolzano. B&Bs rule!
It was good and hot while we were there, but that didn’t stop us from immediately climbing the tallest tower in the city. (My husband’s travel rule is that he gets to make me climb one tower every day.) A sturdy-yet-scary spiral of nearly 500 antique wooden steps led to the top of the Torre degli Asinelli, one of these twin 12th-century towers that stand guard over Bologna.
There used to be up to 180 of these towers in the city, as nobles and merchants built them to keep an eye on each other. Most have been torn down: as you can see in the photo, they tend to lean over quite a bit after a while! Less than twenty remain.
Bologna is known as a great food and wine destination. It sure is. We had two excellent meals there, including this lovely tortelli al burro (which was just the first course!) at an off-the-beaten-path restaurant recommended by the owner of the B&B.
Great food was stacked in shop windows everywhere.
On a healthier note, there were also fruit and vegetables stands everywhere, displaying the upmarket versions of the stuff that Italy ships to Poland 🙂
It wasn’t all about eating and drooling over food, though. We explored quite a bit and visited several churches and one museum along the way. Unfortunately, my good camera is broken, so I was limited to iPhone photos throughout this trip. I couldn’t get any good shots at night or in indoor low light. However, it was kind of liberating, in a way.
The most interesting church was definitely the Basilica San Stefano. This complex of several churches and chapels was started in the 5th century by Saint Petronius. It’s labyrinthine and pretty weird!
My own rule for traveling in Italy in summer is that I get gelato every afternoon. Keeps the blood sugar from plummeting, you know. I really needed this one!