Piazza Santo Stefano

One of the well-known spots in Bologna is Piazza Santo Stefano. Locals and tourists alike can’t help but love this triangular square. Yes, a triangular square. It starts off narrow and then broadens as you approach the Basilico di Santo Stefano. The church itself is actually made up of seven churches and some of the original construction dates back to the fifth century. I’ll go … Continue reading Piazza Santo Stefano

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Towering Surprises

Bologna is filled with lots of narrow side streets and so many of those little streets have some sort of surprise along them. Beautiful colors, incredibly old palaces, and quite often a tower. The city, during the 12th and 13th centuries was like a medieval New York City, with skyscraping towers everywhere. There were possibly as many at 180, though most likely not more than … Continue reading Towering Surprises

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The Lettered and Learned Palazzo Bocchi

At university, while studying Renaissance architecture, I wrote a paper on the origins, styles, and uses of rustication. Rustication is essentially the rows of tooled, raised stone often found at least on the ground level of buildings and sometimes around doorways and windows and the corners of buildings. It’s been around since classical times and showed up frequently in Renaissance architecture, unsurprisingly. After the blood, … Continue reading The Lettered and Learned Palazzo Bocchi

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Celebrating Bologna’s Saint’s Day

Each saint in the Catholic Church has his or her own special day dedicated to them. If you happen to be named after a saint — and lots of people are — then you sometimes get to celebrate your saint’s day. If you’re a city, you have your own patron saint. Bologna’s patron saint is San Petronio and his day of celebration is today, 4 … Continue reading Celebrating Bologna’s Saint’s Day

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Montagnola in the Morning

I took Charlie over to the Parco della Montagnola this morning, and while we skipped the dog run area, we did head to my favorite section of the park. Even a quick stop has me waxing poetic. On the far left of the park are the Scalinata del Pincio, grand and ornate stairs rising up on multiple levels. Dotted along the ledges and stairs are … Continue reading Montagnola in the Morning

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Photographing Bologna, Then and Now

The first time I came to Bologna was December 2001. It was my third trip to Italy, but my first to Bologna. But yeah, 2001. It’s been a while since that first visit. Today I ended up looking through some of my old photos from that visit. Photographing Bologna was fun then and it’s still fun now, though a drastically different experience in some way. … Continue reading Photographing Bologna, Then and Now

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Italian Architectural Styles and a Moment of Zen

Charlie and I went on a fairly short walk this morning, as we’d gotten up late and I had work still to finish. But even on a short walk, you can easily be amazed by all of the architectural styles and colors to be seen in Bologna. Even at one intersection, you can find art deco on one side and medieval/Moorish on the other. Walk … Continue reading Italian Architectural Styles and a Moment of Zen

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Big Pope Is Watching You at Palazzo Comunale

No, I haven’t been rereading 1984, but it really can sometimes feel like the statue of the pope is watching you when you’re standing over by the grand entrance to the Palazzo d’Accursio, better known as Palazzo Comunale in the Piazza Maggiore. Originally the home of Accursio, a law teacher at the Bologna University, over the years his home was joined with other buildings until … Continue reading Big Pope Is Watching You at Palazzo Comunale