Good morning, well, buongiorno from Firenze, as it is really early afternoon.
Yes!! Now I am truly back in my second home. However, Susan and I had a delightful 2 days in Bologna. Since we arrived there on Sunday, so many points of interest were closed. We did not want to visit museums, anyway. Bologna is a lovely place to walk.
Most of the streets in Bologna are covered with the arched colonnades (or loggia or arcades: take your pick of the descriptive words). Although we had sunny days, the roofs kept the sun off, but they are also very nice when it rains.
There are many ancient Roman ruins in Bologna. Frank Garcia would be disappointed in me. I did not delve into the history of Romans in Bologna, but those Romans went far afield. I promise, I will look more into this when I am back home again. Sorry, Frank.
Bologna is a food-lover’s city. There are very good restaurants everywhere. Of course, nearby are the fantastic prosciutto farms, the Parmigiana factories and the home of balsamico. Those food are prominent on the menus. Apparently, tortellini are also a prime product of Bologna, as we saw tortellini or tortelli (larger filled pasta) on every menu. All were delicious. It was difficult to choose. I wanted to take a cooking class, but the one I found, the instructor showed how to make the tortellini, but I wanted a hands-on class. I shall have to experiment back home.
Of course, when I came to Mortadella, I had to stop. Look at all the proscuitti and cheeses hanging from the ceiling. On another shelf were bottles and bottles of balsamico, anywhere from recent to over 25 years in age. And the local pastries looked so yummy. People were getting sandwiches that looked so good, too, I finally had to drag myself out of the store. Actually, I think it was Susan who dragged me out, or I might still be there.
Imagine our surprise at walking across a canal. It looked so much like Venice. Just another lovely sight on our walks.
Now we are in Florence, for a couple days. We are staying up near Santa Maria Novella for these 2 days, as it is only a few minutes walk from the train station. It is a nice little neighborhood with cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, grocery stores and pharmacies all within a few blocks.
But you know, I had to go back to our neighborhood, the place I really call home. Susan and I walked down to the Duomo area last night. We walked past Santa Maria Novella church. It is so pretty, with the flowers around the grassy areas.
We walked to the OK Bar. Well, now it is l”OK Osteria. We sat outside and had Aperol Spritzes. I was so pleased to be greeted by the bartender, Massimo and the waiter, Fabrio. They are both long-time friends from my frequent visits to the OK Bar over the past many years.
We walked some more last night, finding our dinner at another favorite restaurant, Il Porscopino (the Porcupine) near San Lorenzo church.
It is good to be back in Florence, my favorite city in all of Italy. Tomorrow, we will go to Cinque Terre for 3 nights, then return to Florence for 10 days.
I have enjoyed every place that we have visited. Susan got to see the historical sights in Padova, but I was content with seeing the city. On this trip, since I have seen the museums before, and I appreciate their greatness, I am more interested in seeing the towns and cities as a local would see them. I love the parks, the little shops, the tiny restaurants with only a few tables, but are packed every night with locals.
In case you have not know this before:
I LOVE ITALY!!!
Stayed tuned for posts from Cinque Terre.
Ciao for now,