Friday, March 3, 2017

Lucca to Bologna

Up this morning and put our sheets in the washer first thing. Since it takes 3 hours to do the laundry we needed to get an early start, and since nothing is completely dry when it comes out of the dryer we knew we had 3 days to hang it inside to hopefully dry before we get home from the weekend away
Started again with our walk around the wall. We are recognizing more and more people every morning. I'm sure they are doing the same and thinking why are these tourists still around.

I worked for the morning, then we headed off to Bologna. It is nearly a 2 hour train ride from Lucca, with one switch of trains. Andre made us sandwiches for the trip for lunch which worked out great.

Our first train ride took us to Prato Central station, a pretty train ride that we did the other day coming from Florence, but we were so tired we really missed most of it. The second part of the train ride was from Prato to Bologna, which was really boring. It was a fast train that we spent most of our time going through tunnels.

Yes I will always be an Earle, I can sleep anywhere!

4 kinds of garbage sort here

Very confusing terminal in Bologna, which way would you go to meet someone at platform 6?

We were to meet Marc and Mary-Sue at the train station. We got there a few minutes before they did and we found the track they were coming in on but we missed them getting of the train. These are pretty big trains, and Andre and I split up, but we still missed them. We decided to head out to the taxi area to see if they were there, and luckily Marc did find us.

The 4 of us grab a taxi and we're off to the apartment we have rented for the week-end. It is a nice place on the top floor of an apartment building, the owner lives below. They have 2 apartments on this top floor, we have 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and I think the other apartment is the exact same setup. Only 62 steps to get to the apartment.

We are staying at apartment 3 at 9 with a small 2

Off we go to tour around Bologna. Marc and Mary-Sue know that they just have to keep going or jetlag will set in. The owner gives us a map, points us to a couple of favourite restaurants and off we go.

We walked to the old part of the city, which is about 1km from our apartment. We could see the 2 towers in the distance and so headed that way, pretty much a straight walk from the apartment. One of the towers was 97 metres high, 500 steps, and the other tower is not nearly as high but really leaning.

This painting was amazing, some beautiful ones right around our apartment

This woman completed 2 paintings while we were there!

Bologna has over 400 km of Porticos.  Fantastic city to visit in any type of weather!

First stop Gelato, I think there will be many more stops like this in the next week

Next we went over to Plazza Maggiore. This is a beautiful Piazza, lots of people around walking around. The information centre is also here so stopped in there to see if there is anything happening later that we should know about. A free concert at 9PM on one of the other Piazzas, we'll see if we can make it that late. In Plazza Maggiore we visited the Basicalla di San Petronio. This was a huge church and really pretty inside. I'm already losing count of all the churches and we still have so many more we are going to visit in the next few weeks. We lit candles for some recent friends and family that we have just lost. The Plazza Maggiore is surrounded by beautiful buildings with a large centre that seems to be a meeting place.

Plazza Maggiore, one of the famous landmarks here the Neptune Statue is all wrapped up under renovation

Inside the Church is beautiful!

We also walked around some side streets, some nice outdoors street markets and shopping. A lot of this city streets have porticos, some are really stunning. Mosaic floors, elaborate decorations. At one time the porticos acted as more living space for the upper floors. Now they act as protection from sun, rain and wind. This city has almost 40 km of porticos, makes for some fun exploring.

Once a walled city only a few sections are still left that you pass through
 Time to get some supper. We headed back in the direction of the apartment to find a restaurant that the owner had recommended. There are 2 main streets that run from the apartment into town, one has many different restaurant and bars, the other has more shopping. Both are mostly pedestrian streets. We missed the restaurant that was recommended, back tracked and found it only to find it full and we couldn't get in for a couple of hours, or at least that is what we understood. A little further down the street we found a pizzeria so decided pizza was in order. It is now 8PM and we are really ready for supper. They had a wood burning brick over, and some fantastic pizza. A bottle of wine and we are done for the night. There will be no free concert for us tonight.

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