Bologna in our heart

(chiesa) Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi.
Iniziata a partire dal 1345, fu ingrandita nel 1383 da Andrea da Faenza. Il portico laterale è attribuito ad Antonio di Vincenzo (1392 c.).

Bologna by Mary Tolaro Noyes

Bologna, the Città Rossa, is red tiled roofs, red bricks, and red-washed stucco palazzos that line narrow streets radiating around a picturesque historic center. With its twelfth century towers, piazzas, and more than twenty-five miles of porticoes, a walk in Bologna is an opportunity to feel immersed in the past, while enjoying the charm of a modern city. Perhaps ‘red’ refers to the history of the city as a bastion of Italian-style Communism as well!

Bologna, the La Dotta is home of the Alma Mater Studiorum, the University of Bologna, the first university of the Western World, established in the year 1088 and an important thread in the city’s history since. The porticoes, the mercantile spirit, the international nature of the city find root in that important past.

Then there is Bologna La Grassa, the Fat City, for which she has always been famous. Just a list of the noted dishes explains it well: a mound of freshly made tagliatelle topped with meaty ragù Bolognese and plenty of grated Parmesan cheese; tortellini floating in their savory meat broth; thinly sliced, satiny smooth Mortadella Bolognese; and fresh and aged cheeses too numerous to name.

The American writer and Bologna enthusiast Mary Tolaro Noyes likes to say she has been seduced – unexpectedly – by Bologna. She published two books about the city, “Bologna Reflections – An Uncommon Guide” (2009) and “Gathering Chestnuts – Encounters Along the Way” (2013).

Bologna: perfect point of departure for discovering Italy

Speaking of tourism, Italy is one of the top five visitor destinations in the world – this gives travelers an appealing incentive to pick up a bit of the language before beginning to explore the beautiful country. Robert Browning, a poet and playwright once stated his infinite affection for the stunning nation, declaring, “Open my heart and you will see graved inside of it, ‘Italy.’” Similarly, Giuseppe Verdi expressed his adoration, saying, “You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” Italy truly does have it all – from the incredible, age-old history the country has survived, to the magnificent art and literature that has been produced in this country, to the rich and flavorful foods that fill the streets with various delectable aromas, Italy is covered in all bases when it comes to the allure of culture. It comes as no surprise that almost 50,000 tourists visit Italy each year.

Get lost between the canals of Venice… 

Bologna->Venice: approximately 90 minutes by high-speed train

Venetian gondolas at sunrise, Venice, Italy

Marvel at spectacular architecture in Rome… 

Bologna->Rome: approximately 120 minutes by high-speed train

Night view of old roman Bridge of Hadrian and St. Peter's cathedral in Vatican City, Rome, Italy.

Admire stunning art in Florence…

Bologna->Florence: approximately 30 minutes by high-speed train       

View of Florence after sunset from Piazzale Michelangelo, Florence, Italy

Lose yourself in the fashion focal point of the world in Milan…

Bologna->Milan: approximately 60 minutes by high-speed train 

Milan - Duomo at dramatic sunset in Italy