Sunday, May 30, 2010


This is my last full day in Bologna. Tomorrow morning, if all goes well, I leave the G. Marconi airport at 7:10 and fly to Rome, and from there to O”hare. (couldn’t resist that!)

In this, and subsequent posts, I will share what have become my most memorable images and impressions of this beautiful city. I have tried putting some order to this, but with little success, but that’s OK because There is not a great deal of order in the city.

The most striking immediate observations of this city are the harmony of color and architecture, unmatched by any of the other cities I've visited, and the amazing and seemingly endless porticoes.

These photos were taken from the small terrace on my 5th floor apartment.

The harmony of color is beyond description, at least to me.

Taken from the tower Asinelli

I'll end this post paying homage to the porticoes.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I had a difficult time deciding what to post today, food or art, and have decided to do both. I will attempt to match the dish with the drawing.

from one of my favorite local tatorrias.

Zuchinni flowers fried in light batter...from the place above

Penne all'arrabbiattata from tratorria Danio

Tratorria Danio...another favorite "local"

Below...lunch in Florence

And finally...a few more photos.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Sitting at my table in a small local trattoria I finished my plate of tortilloni and was enjoying the last of the wine when I thought of my father. Oh what delight he would have taken in this adventure of mine. How I wish he could see me here...absorbing everything that is Italy...and how much pleasure that would have given him. Sadly, it has only been in the later years of my life that I could understand his love for this land, a land that he inherited from his parents, a land that totally engulfed him, growing up as he did with parents, family, and a community of Italian immigrants. Like so many second generation hyphenated Americans, the impact of my heritage was sadly under estimated, and perhaps even under appreciated...until I got older, maybe wiser, and certainly much more interested in what I lost. I cannot truthfully say that this trip has been for my father, but I can say that not a day has gone by when I have not thought of him, and my mother. The food, the language, the smell of cooking from the apartments next door, they all take me home, to our farm, our kitchen, and our family.


Now...the rest of this post is ALL ABOUT THE FOOD

The photos that follow were all taken with my iphone while dining out.











Thursday, May 27, 2010


one very quick sketch at the end of this walk.

It is no longer possible for me to walk anywhere in Bologna and not retrace old steps for at least some part of the walk, and there are several streets that I have walked many time during this stay. But regardless of how many times I’ve retraced my steps, I always find something new to appreciate. This morning I set out earlier than usual with my bag of stuff, heading for a street I had not yet walked, and in the course of my entire morning spent at least 80% of my time in familiar territory. I still came back with a camera loaded with new images and 2 new sketches. I found myself in what appears to be a very upscale part of the city and have a few pics to make my case.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A very mixed affair. I decided to take the train to Florence for a short day trip, knowing it would pass through the rolling hills and low mountains between Bologna and Florence. Well that is exactly what it did...pass THROUGH the mountains. The trip was approximately 35 minutes, and all but the several minutes on the outskirts of each city
was spent in the blackness of tunnels! Oh we saw occasional daylight, for about 5-10 seconds on several occasions; just long enough for a very fleeting view of a lovely valley. What a bummer!

As soon as I walked out of the train station in Florence I was so glad that I chose to stay in Bologna. The streets were mobbed with tourists, individuals, small groups, and large tour parties with the guide holding a colored placard overhead so everyone could see where she was. It was crazy, but understandable, the weather was beautiful (too hot...but) and Just to see Michaelangelo’s David would be worth fighting the crowds. I tried finding some off the beat streets, but they were all on the beaten path. I stopped for a cappuccino early on, then walked around until noon when I had a wonderful lunch at the Osteria dell’olio. Of course everything cost twice as much as in Bologna, but the food made the whole adventure worthwhile

I still can’t get over all those damn tunnels!!!! Shakes my faith in the Italian people.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Finally visited a town that did not win my heart. Ancona is a bustling modern sea port teeming with activity. The city is on a steep hill on a bit Italy that sort of bumps out into the Adriatic sea. Leaving the train station I was confronted by broad streets and an abundance of open space. At sea level everything is spread out and I had to do a lot of walking to find a street with some people activity. The streets are lined with worn out shops and empty store fronts, and the entire area seemed gritty and seedy. There were lots of young men just hanging around and a prominent number of Asian and oriental shops and markets. I was unable to find decent place to eat, and found myself more tired than I should have been, probably from the heat, the walking and the disappointment in the town. I decide it would be in my best interest to return to Bologna ASAP. To be fair, I did not see a lot of city...couldn't bring myself to walk up the hills as hot as it was.

But the day was not a complete bust...I really enjoyed the train ride; it was an opportunity to see more of the country side. Especially interesting was the long stretch where the train literally ran along the coast of the blue Adriatic sea. Beginning with Rimini, and traveling south through the seaside towns of Riccione, Pesaro. Fano, and Senigallia, their similarities and differences with the seashore towns I know on our own east coast are equally impressive. They have the look and feel of seaside towns, with the bars/cafes, beach front hotels, and wide streets leading directly to the beaches. I found the number of sectioned beaches with uniform umbrellas by color all laid out in symmetrically waiting for the bathers. The photos here were taken from the moving train.