I mentioned in a recent post that I plan to visit Padua when I next travel to Italy in June. (In fact, I'm now leaning towards spending a few nights in Padua instead of a mere day trip. TBD)
But one element of my trip of which I'm certain is my stay in Bologna for a week. I don't yet know a great deal about Bologna, but I've heard so many good things about the city. My interest has also been piqued by some wonderful photos, especially on Girasoli's blog Shave Ice and Gelato (http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/girasoli/) It seems there are many beautiful sights and tastes there.
I had actually planned an entire trip to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy for last September, but my love for Umbria overturned the original plans. So this year, I'll try again!
Among the things I'd like to see are the medieval Towers of Bologna (shown above.) Wikipedia suggests that at one time, Bologna may have boasted as many as 180 towers, adding that these must have been "quite onerous" to construct. (Now THAT's an understatement!)
Less picturesque is the interior of the towers, and these wooden stairs inside the The Asinelli Tower look less than comforting for a visitor intent on reaching the top. Still, I would like to climb one of Bologna's towers and get a good look at the city's red rooftops and perhaps this, the circular Santuario di San Luca ( Shrine of St. Luke) which stands guard over the city.
I have read that the shrine, which is located on top of Guardia hill, is one of Bologna's best-known symbols.(Thanks for this photo from Mary Jane Cryan of Elegantetruria.) I've also read about the four-kilometre walk from the city centre up to the shrine, passing through the 666 vaults of an arcade along the route. I'm really looking forward to this walk, and hoping that these arcades will provide some shelter from the June heat!