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I wish I was Katharine Hepburn (without the eye infection)

And so the travel plans continue......

I finally sent a direct email to the Hotel Porta San Mamolo in Bologna this morning, figuring that perhaps their on-line inquiry system wasn't working. Sure enough, the hotel quickly answered me, so I'm finally booked for a week in Bologna.

And I've confirmed my reservation with the Pensione Accademia, in Venice, for a small single, canal room window. Typical of me, I pestered them questions about the canal view room versus the garden view single room. The original hotel offer of the garden-view room described it as quite large, with a queen-sized bed. That sounded good, especially after I saw photos on TripAdvisor where a traveller had posted shots of her single, canal-view room on the top floor. She was extremely happy, but to me it did not really attractive. Extremely narrow, with only a tiny window, and a very tiny bed with a small desk wedged in at the side.

However, the Pensione finally told me today that the garden view room is at ground level. To me, that's really not appealing. I worry a bit about security (I know it's probably foolish, but I would worry about someone breaking in while I was asleep) And if breakfast is served in the garden, I don't think I'd enjoy stepping out of the shower in full view of the breakfast crowd, which would mean, basically keeping the curtains drawn much of the time. Dreary.

So, the small, single canal view room it will be and it will almost certainly be much better than what was depicted in that lone traveler's photo. I'll be on the first floor so perhaps the rooms will have a different layout. (Clearly, I have waaaay too much time on my hands to be fretting about such things!) I know that I shouldn't worry so much -- after all, I'll be in Venice!!!! But, my surroundings have an impact on my mood, and if it rains, I may end up whiling away an afternoon, reading on the bed. So I'd like it to be a good bed.

Now my new obsession: several reviews on Trip Advisor mentioned the canal room views can be noisy at dawn, with boats tooting their horns before entering the Grand Canal from the smaller canal that runs alongside the Pensione. So, I'll fret about that for a while; get it out of my system, and then begin planning more serious things, like my opera tickets.

Still, in premature preparation for Venice (okay, I know, it's way too soon for serious preparation) last night I watched part of the 1955 movie Summertime, with Katharine Hepburn. Set in Venice, the director David Lean used the Pensione Accademia as the setting for the Pensione Fiorini, where Hepburn's character Jane Hudson stays during her life-altering trip.

I'm actually a fan of this movie, in part because Kepburn is so great an actor. But it's also interesting to see her character develop, as she discovers that love isn't often what we expect it to be and as she learns to let down her guard a little and mature. That can be extraordinarily difficult to do; it's very easy to remain cynical and guarded, and popular culture is full of cautionary tales, usually about women who let down their guard and pay severely for their errors in judgment.

In the storyline of this movie, it's very clear that Jane pays a price (although not the one she expects) and is ultimately a better, probably happier, more complete person for it. In that way, I think the movie has a happy ending, if not in the conventional manner of happy endings.

An interesting bit of trivia: in the scene where Hepburn's character falls into the canal, apparently she emerged with a serious eye infection, which remained a problem for the rest of her life.

Comments (15)

I am jealous. I have heard so much about thw wonderful food in Bologna. I had hoped to add it to our trip this spring but we've (well Paul has) run out of vacation days. How depressing. I go on my own but would never be forgiven for that! LOL


Sandra, have you seen Bread and Tulips yet? I love that movie for content as well as Venice scenery. Another good one, Dangerous Beauty.

Oh - and I got the calendar - thank you so much!! It's hanging on my bulletin board - I think I may have to rank them at the beginning of each month. :D

Glad to hear that you were able to get the reservation in Bologna.

I loved "Summertime". I think it was one of the first movies I saw that was filmed in Venice.


Kim, I'm glad you received the calendar -- thanks again for all the help in getting my blog set up.

I think Father April is my favourite; Father February isn't looking so good (maybe reflecting the season!)

I loved Dangerous Beauty -- I didn't think I would, because the blurb on the DVD box sounded a bit over the top. But it was quite fun and very beautiful!

I wonder if there are any movies set in Bologna......


This website has an interesting page about Summertime.

I have to confess that I've never seen it in English but one time in Venice, I watched it on TV dubbed into Italian. Loved the scenery but missed most all of the plot. Need to put the original version on my Netflix list!


Sandra, I know how you feel about having a room that you feel comfortable in, and I just wonder how small a single room is that a Venetian (!) hotel describes as “small”…

Here’s a tip I picked up eons ago in one guidebook or another: You will often get better value if you choose a hotel that is one step down in your requirements – amenities, decor, view, whatever – and book a room that is one step up. I almost always book a double room for single use in a hotel with fewer frills, and I’ve found that it works well for me.

Just an idea…

Your trip sounds great! I think I stayed at the Accademia once... I do remember the room being small, but it was Carnavale and we were happy to have a room. I was living in Bologna at the time and my friend and I were invited to the Rotaract (Rotary's youth group) Carnavale Ball and it was amazing!

Bologna is also fantastic. I miss it so much and it was a great place to spend a year (I took the first year of my master's degree there.) Let me know if you have any questions!


Chiocciola, I'll definitely take you up on your offer, you must be a real expert after living there for a year! I know very little about Bologna, except for a few notes on Slow Travel. So, brace yourself for lots of questions!

I'm glad that you finally heard back from your hotel choice in Bologna. It is always stressful waiting to hear and wondering if you have to start over.

And Venice will be wonderful. Take earplugs and forget about the noise.

Sure, no problem! I warn you, though, that I was on a student budget (lots of home cooking and cheaper restaurants) so I am not the best when it comes to restaurant recommendations. But the other stuff I should be OK on.



You may hear the vaporetti as they pull in at the stop beside the bridge; but it may be music to your ears and a lot better than the noise of automobiles. Enjoy.


Thanks Marta, and Valerie! You're right; anything is better than the tooting of vespas!

Chiocciola, maybe I need to devote a blog post to Questions about Bologna; you might blog about your favourite things to see and do in Bologna. This could fill a few days of our daily blogging obligations!

Pablo Penabad:

I really envy those who have seen Venice:I'm 66 now but I won't die without
seen this wonderful city.I feel especially attracted after seen the film Summertime.I think it's the most romantic film I've
ever seen.I'd like to go to the places visited by the film stars.That's about all.I had to write something about VENICE.


Annie has pointed you to the loverofvenice site. There is also one by Jeff Cotton called fictionalcities.co.uk. I think that both of them now point out that the Pensione Accademia was definitely NOT used as the Pensione Fiorini in 'Summertime'. Sorry if that's a disappointment. How that rumour got started, I don't know - one of those sites makes a couple of suggestions.


Hi Bert, it is interesting how these stories get started! I notice that a Frommer's guidebook, Venice Day by Day says the Pensione Accademia was where Hepburn's character Jane stayed in the movie Summertime.

But it's easy to see from the movie that certainly the interiors couldn't have been shot at the Accademia (with Jane's view of the Giudecca canal!)

It's a shame we can't ask David Lean!

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