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Summer in the City

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More brutal heat today, and even the elegant Bolognese women in their sheer linen and strappy sandals are looking bedraggled.
We wandered over to the old Ghetto, and walked the few narrow streets where Bologna's Jewish community was shut behind gates every night after the Pope's order in 1556. The Mueeo Ebraica is very tiny, with a recorded history of Bologna's Jews you can listen to as you view the few wall displays and artifacts.

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A wonderful surprise was Palazzo Poggi, which houses the University museums upstairs. (the stairway was under reconstruction, and amusingly you were still permitted to walk it, under scaffolding and walking on loose dropcloths. OSHA would have had a fit.)
In a city of wonderfully oddball museums, the University museums are a hoot. Everything from 16th century maps and globes, wax models used to teach childbirth techniques to doctors and midwives; fossils, models to plan 18th century fortification and siege technique, models to teach anatomy, 17th century astronomical instruments...All in a richly decorated palazzo. We loved it.

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We had been told that if we like seafood to go to Sale Grosso. It's a small place with short daily menu featuring seafood and also vegetarian options. I had a generous plate of spaghetti with mussels and zucchini, light and briny. Larry had meltingly-roasted tuna over eggplant and potatoes, also excellent. We'd love to go back here for dinner.

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Went back to the apartment to let the heat abate a bit. In late afternoon we took a short stroll around the neighborhood, ending at San Domenico. This is a lovely church with some interesting artwork, notable a beautiful marble altarpiece that the young Michelangelo worked on. The attendant was very helpful, making sure we found everything of interest (be sure to see the Lippi hidden at the back, the bits and pieces of saints, and the old drawings and photos of the church and piazza.)

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In the Piazza are huge raised sarcophogi of medieval legal scholars.


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For dinner, we walked around the corner to Sette Tavoli, a popular place with a twist--every month they change the menu to reflect a different region of Italy. Unanimously positive reviews all in Italian, a rarity in Bologna.The night we were there the menu was influenced by the Molise. We shared an antipasto of stuffed calamari, marvelously tender and stuffed with a very tasty mixture, accented by mint oil. We wished we had ordered two, it was so delicious. I had a secondo of briefly seared tuna, wonderfully fresh and served with two light sauces. Larry had a dish of slow-cooked suckling pig, very tasty. We had contorni of crushed potatoes and sautéed spinach, well above the average. Dessert was also excellent, a light chocolate torte with coffee marscapone. Lovely place.

(forgive the lousy I-phone photos)

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Comments (1)

I know what you man about health and safety . . . when we were there in December we paid to climb the scaffolding in front of the Basilica. The entire timePaul, whoishealth and safety certified, kept saying 'this would never be allowed back home'. Of well it was an Italian adventure!

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