So Bologna is NOT Actually Known for Bologne

But it is famous for a lot of other things, like spaghetti con oliĆ³ e peperoncino, terra cotta style homes, incredible gelato and breathtaking landscapes.

In my 3 1/2 days here (it was supposed to be just 2 but my host convinced me to change my mind) I had a whirlwind of a time which included driving up hills, drinking cocktails and going to an Italian Barbecue in the countryside. So let me break it down for you.

Thursday

I was traveling from Lisbon to Bologna and arrived in town at around 8pm. Note I count this as a half day because I ended up sleeping at 2am on account of a mini city center tour, an amazing dinner and fun conversations.

My host picked me up from the airport and we went straight home where we (mostly he) began to prepare a vegan lasagna which included home-made noodles, a pistachio sauce and some tomato paste. By the time it was finished the clock had stricken 11. What a way to be welcomed back to Italy!

And afterwards, because we all know it’s a big no-no to go to bed on a full stomach, we went to the city center to walk his dog, where I learned a lot of cool facts about the city and visited some sights cool enough to impress my friends coming from Rome on Saturday.

Friday

This day was just us two driving from place to place, eating amazing food which he cooked for us and taking in all of the color and spectacle the area had to offer.

For breakfast, I would have toast with margarine and cherry jam and a mocha cappuccino to wake me up for the day.

On this day, we headed to the nearby towns of Modena and Dozza which, because my host had a car, were easy to get to. Afterwards, he drove us to the Santuario della Madonna di San Luca.

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Santuario della Madonna di San Luca

Both Modena and Dozza were very much hidden gems one wouldn’t see unless a car were available — I am so fortunate to have been able to visit and see for myself how spectacular the world really is. I especially loved Dozza because the entire town was covered in paintings and art.

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the lovely town of Dozza

Saturday

Today’s day was completely devoted to tourism because my study abroad buddy Wendy came into town for the weekend. There’s no need to explain too in detail what we did because it was just your go-to touristy things where we just arrived to the center and walked around finding all sorts of beautiful sights, old buildings and yummy gelato. But in case you did want to know what you can do there, here’s what we did:

  • Le torri di Bologna
  • Piazza Maggiore
  • La basilica di San Petronio
  • La fontana del Nettuno (Neptune is a bog symbol for Bologna)

One cool thing we did do was have our afternoon dessert and cool drink to cool off at Naam Cafe located in the city center.

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loving the sunshine and beautiful views

Sunday

On this beautiful day, we just wanted to have lunch and chat before heading back to our respective towns (me to Verona and her to Rome since she’s an au pair there).

We met at the Central train station and made our way to the center, passing by some really neat side streets until we found our way to an off-the-beaten path restaurant as colorful as a rainbow called … where I had a fruit salad and grappa.

And then we were off for another adventure with me starting my first day WWOOFing on an Italian farm. Read more on that here.

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