I think I overestimated myself for packing in so many places in a short time. It’s not that any place I have been to so far had anything very interesting that I might have missed because of less time. But the journey times between one city and another have been a bit more than I thought because I didn’t consider delays, missing connections, fast versus slow trains. Lesson learnt.
Started this morning from Como to reach Milan and then from there to Bologna. I splurged a bit and took a first class ticket for the second leg of my journey. The advantage was that it was much quieter and less crowded than the the second class. I liked that because the journey was a long one. Slow train – took about 3 hours from Milan to Bologna. I crossed the famous Parma (Parmigiano-Reggiano i.e. Parmesan cheese), Modena (Balsamic, Ferrari, Lamborghini) before reaching Bologna (Bolognese Sauce fame).
Now Como was cool this morning as it had rained last night. So coming from there, Bologna felt so hot. Walked down from the train station to the hotel. Was sweating profusely by the time I reached the hotel. And – I was earlier than the check-in time so the room wasn’t ready. I probably should have mailed them yesterday but then last night I didn’t know when I would be able to reach. So I just stowed my luggage in their storage room, freshened up a bit and started on my exploration.
Now, Bologna looks like a town that is still in middle ages – the refinement of 21st century has not reached it – I am only talking about the central part of the city. I was actually reminded of some old cities of India. Electric wires criss crossing above the head spoiling the photo opportunities, narrow lanes, buses, bicycles, scooters, cars – all mixed up in one road..you get the picture.
I reached the information center which is located in Piazza Maggiore. I couldn’t find any free walking tours so bought ticket for the one organized by the tourist office. It was supposed to start at 4:45 pm. So I had plenty of time to grab lunch. I found an interesting place that serves organic vegan/vegetarian food. Chatted up with two ladies from there. Was a pleasure.
I still had time before the tour so I went to a kind of monastery as it was not part of the tour – San Stefano. It was ancient.
So today’s lessons.
The name of the region is Emilia Romagna. That is because it was managed by the Roman general Emilius.
In Bologna was established the first university in Europe for Medicine and Law in around 14th century. With the tour, We went to the Anatomical Theater to see where the dissection of the cadavers used to take place. It was done in winter only, because of lack of refrigeration technology in those days. The dissection used to take about 7 hours.
I am still updating the post. Do keep an eye on the blog because Bologna like rest of Italy, also has lot of dramatic stories in its past and I will write all about it.