Bologna - The Arrival!

I am in Bologna, Italy! I'm here for the Children's Book Fair, but I arrived a day early to enjoy this lovely city. The first thing that struck me about this trip was how odd it was to be leaving Edinburgh, realizing that it is now home - that when people ask me where I'm from, my story has grown quite a bit more complicated! Georgia? Virginia? Scotland. At any rate, the first plane went to Amsterdam, and from there, it was a small plane to Italy.
I navigated everything just fine and ended up in sweet Bologna. I'm staying at an AirBnB in the city center. This is my view. (I'm not in Scotland anymore!)
Agatha got me set up on Wifi and had put together a map o key places to see and good restaurants, then I had to rush off to meet friends for dinner. It was Chris Cheng (Regional Advisor for SCBWI Australia), Susan Eaddy (Illustrator Coordinator for SCBWI Midsouth), Marilyn and Margo (Conference Coordinators for New England).
We met up at La Mela, just off of Piazza Maggiore. The one sad thing about this trip is being gluten free - no pasta, no pizza. PAH! So, I had stewed octopus instead, which was delicious.
Afterwards, we went for gelato - something the Italians are famous for, and rightly so. Then we walked around a bit. It's just beautiful here.
And I saw no less than four couples completely making out right in public. Yes, this is a country for lovers.
In the center of town there are two enormous towers. One is much bigger, while the smaller one leans just a bit. (Not as much as this photo would imply!)
The reason for them isn't completely clear, although the going story is that wealthy families built them to be able to keep an eye on the countryside and any possible invaders. Here are Chris and Susan with the tower.
And the rest of us. (Not a great angle, but I was trying to get us with the towers.)
We split up after that and Susan and I meandered to the monastery where she's staying. One of the things that immediately strikes you here are the covered colonnades. You could walk the entire city in the rain and never need an umbrella because of these covered sidewalks. And they are BEAUTIFUL. No two are alike, and I am in awe of their construction. I've walked on marble, terrazzo, shaped stones, and then there was this one.
There are little bits of beauty everywhere.
And a little bit of not so beautiful. This is Santa Lucia.
I have never seen a more intimidating religious structure in my life. It screamed 'inquisition' even though that happened in another country. Fear of God indeed.
     So, I made it back to my flat and after that long day, I fell over. The nice thing, though? No jet lag. It's only an hour's difference from home. Yeah, I know.
     Check back soon for my wrap up of the Bologna Children's Book Fair!

Read all of my Bologna Blog wrap-ups at:
1. Bologna Children’s Book Fair!
2. Bologna – the Arrival
3. Beautiful Bologna
4. Sidewalks of Bologna
5. The Bologna Book Fair
6. The Illustrators’ Wall at the Bologna Childen’s Book Fair
7. SCBWI in Bologna
8. The Post Book Fair Fall Apart
9. Closing thoughts and out n’ about in Bologna


Mutsmag said...

I'm so jealous, but look forward to reports on the famous Bologna Book Fair. Have fun!

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

There's lots more coming! :) e

Anni Matsick said...

Loving your reports! Carry on!

Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

Oh good! :) e