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Last Day in Bologna

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The heat had broken overnight, so we were able to do more daytime walking today. We've been reading Bologna Reflections by Mary Tolaro Noyes, an engaging exploration of Bologna. Not quite a guidebook, it has chapters that examine small facets of Bologna--a particular neighborhood, a segment of history, one building, or a slice of daily life. With each chapter is a tiny map of the area discussed, and often a little walking tour that helps you know where to stop, look up to see yet another medieval tower,or notice the details in a 11th century Palazzo, now a hotel.

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We started at Piazza Maggiore, and followed several chapters--through the Quadrilatero market area to pick up some goodies for the following week or to bring home, the Ghetto, past palazzos hidden away on twisty streets. On via Piella we found the window overlooking the Canale Navile, the remaining uncovered stretch of the canals that once crisscrossed the city.

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We bumped into the huge La Piazzola market, filled with clothing and housewares stalls, with a few food vendors as well. This is more everyday Bologna. If we had more room in our suitcases, I would have spent more time pawing through the linen stalls for tablecloths and hand towels.

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We returned through via Oberlan, and started looking for a place to have lunch. The menu at Ristorante Ciacco looked good, with some seafood and pastas. We had a table down in their cool lower floor, and an attentive waiter. Our antipasti of salmon tartare was wonderful, unfortunately we were disappointed by our pastas, mine with not terribly fresh shrimp and arugula pesto that was so bitter I passed it to Larry, the other a very under seasoned pasta with salmon. On the way back, we popped into the Museo Musica de Bologna, a little museum of instruments, rare books, and musical odds and ends.

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We spent some time in the apartment packing up and getting ready to leave in the morning, and then headed out for more walking. We explored via Castiglione in the other direction, through the neighborhood to the old city gate and the large park on the other side of the ring road. People were congregating in the cafes and bars for an aperitivo. We headed back and over to Piazza San Stefano, where we had heard there was going to be a jazz concert. The band was playing, with people sitting in the cafes, leaning out their windows, and perched on the edges of the raised sidewalks under the porticos. We sat on the edge of a portico, and enjoyed listening and people-watching.

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Love these heads peering down from a building leading out of the Piazza.

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For dinner, we returned to Sale Grosso, the seafood restaurant we had lunch at previously. Another memorable meal, and it was funny to run into Maribel the cooking teacher there with a few friends.We shared an antipasto of fabulous calamari,and I had a wonderful dish of fish under a crisp potato topping, served with a spicy chickpea puree and roasted peppers.

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As we walked home we passed more bands playing, and the streets were lively. A perfect ending to our city week.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 10, 2013 8:52 AM.

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