After a brief stop in Florence to change trains we arrived in Bologna., in the region of Emilia Romagna, Il grasse (the fat one) as it is known. It is the home of spaghetti Bolognese, a couple of lesser known leaning towers (not very impressive), imposing medieval architecture (bit dark and depressing) and fabulous food emporiums brimming with goods such Parma ham, Balsamic, vinegar, the local fizzing red Lambrusco and Parmesan, all of which are from just up the road. Hence the reason for its nickname!
So we arrived at our hotel, a 10 minute taxi ride from the city center to find we were actually booked in so that was a good start. We headed off out to get some dinner and caught the only (hellish) bus from where we were staying to city center. Now I am not being rude but there were a whole lot of wrong ‘uns knocking about Bologna, the people on the whole were a bit rough, there was a huge immigrant population (unusual for Italy) and the Bolognan’s did’nt cut a very fine figure, they were taking to the nickname quite literally.
We spent the next day getting drenched in the rain, again, whilst taking in the sights (??) of Bologna. From when we had set off from our hotel that morning it was not a good start, we left to get some cash as we had forgotten to get some out the night before and used the last of our cash on the bus, and it was boiling hot, although it had looked grey and cloudy, so back to the hotel to get changed into something cooler before getting on the awful bus journey into town (no alternative, too far to walk), we left the hotel and I had left my sunnies in the room so back in I goes, we set off again and Mr realises he had left his wedding ring in the room. We wait forever for the sodding bus (meant to be every 10 mins, was definitely not!) and finally get into the center of the city where great big black clouds have come over.
We walked around a very uninspiring city, managed to stop just in time for a spot of lunch when the heavens opened! Torrential rain again! I was wearing a thin cotton sundress and flat sandals!!! Then just when we thought it could get no worse my stomach decided that it was not happy and I spent the next hour walking (and desperately trying to find) from toilet to toilet in a bit of a stress!!
So all in all not a great experience, the food emporiums, markets and deli’s were amazing to see and the produce looked incredible but on the whole it was not a great place to visit and I am not really sure why it is/was part of the grand tour?
We finished the day buying a couple of rolls and a salad and taking our ‘dinner’ back to the hotel, it was most certainly not the glamorous experience I had had in mind!
On to Modena and the home of Ferrari.