Friday Cynthia arrived here in Bologna, and we hugged and chatted our faces off and then met up with Kelly and her family for dinner. We ate at this really delicious jazz restaurant: Cynthia had Tagliatelli Bolognese and I had pumpkin ravioli in an amaretto butter sauce. Those were our primi piatti – our secondi, which we split, was a tasty brie-like cheese, grilled, and drizzled with honey. It was served over pears. NOM NOM! We had a great time chatting with Kelly and her family and I’m sad I won’t see her again for awhile :(.
Yesterday we explored what felt like every church in Bologna. We saw the San Petronio church in the Piazza Maggiore. We climbed to the top of it as well since they’re restoring the facade, and had an amazing view of Bologna and the surrounding hilsides. We walked through the little park in Piazza Cavour. We saw the San Domenico, a beautiful white and light church that makes the other churches seem dark and dreary. We saw the famous leaning towers: Torri degli Asinelli and Garisenda. And oh wow, do they lean! We walked by and in more churches, ate delicious focaccia and a torta, and ended our touristy sightings with a repeat of the portico walk to the Sanctuary of the Madonna San Luca and view of the church. Thank goodness we had that focaccia before!! We caught the bus back to the city and walked around the mercato which is where I bought a jacket my first trip here. We perused the little kiosks and then headed back to the hotel for a cat nap before our dinner date.
Around 8 we met up with Marie, one of my fellow WWOOFers at the Black farm who is living in Bologna for half a year, for a homemade dinner and good company. Marie is the sweetest girl and she made the most beautiful meal for us: ravioli with a limette cream sauce, a beautiful tomato, lettuce and arugula salad, and fresh crusty bread. It was nice to sit, relax, and chat with Marie and her roommate about family and Italy. I’m glad I had a chance to see her while here. Cynthia loved it too!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel since we had early plans today to head to Ravenna to check out some beautiful mosaics. Oh wait, I lied, we had really tasty gelato from my favorite gelateria, Grom! They didin’t have the salted caramel gelato, so I was a bit heartbroken, but bacio (which means ‘kiss’ in Italian and is probably called so because the chocolate gelato is kissed with chopped up hazelnuts, that’s my guess anyway) and stracciatella (vanilla with chocolate chips) were a tasty replacement.
I’d love to write about Ravenna tonight, but I hate doing so without uploading the pictures, which I don’t have on my computer yet. So for now, you can have the Bologna pictures :).