We spent a lot of time walking around the main part of this city.  We also took some down time for a day.  I will try to catch up a bit, but we are busy packing for our last move to Milan before heading home.

The old city walls are centered around The towers we mentioned earlier and two adjacent piazzas, Piazza Nettuna (Neptune) and Piazza Maggiore.  The first, as implied, honors the God Neptune.  Word has it that the Pope of the time was not pleased with the "endowment" portrayed in the sculpture, so he ordered it to be altered.  The artist, Giambologna, did so, but supposedly arranged Neptune's out stretched hand to look like something else when viewed from the right angle.  Don't know of any truth there, but it makes a good story.

The main piazza next to Nettuna, is Maggiore, a large public square on which the large church, Basilica of St Petronius, that is currently covered in scaffolding.  Inside this church there is a large sundial carved into the floor, as well as a pendulum swinging on one side, strange oddities for a church, given they contradict the geocentric biblical views of their time.

To the west of the piazza is a large building housing museums and the town hall.  Surrounding the piazzas on the side streets are many shops, restaurants, and markets.

Today, we did something a bit different, and hiked to a church which stands out on a hillside south of the city, San Luca.  To get there, we had to cross town from our hotel, then climb up the hill to the church.  From the hotel, this was about a 9.25 mile round trip.  The unique part of the trip, however, is the majority of the trail, up the hillside, is covered by a very long portico (3.5 km long).  So, starting in the morning, we made good time and stayed pretty cool most of the trip.  The walkway under the portico is made up of stone ramps and stairways and is a pretty easy climb.  The views were good and the change from the city appreciated.

Now we prepare for the train to Milan for one day before flying home.
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Piazza Magiore.  The basilica is being renovated.  A summer movie screen has also been setup for the public, in the square.

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Inside the basilica, photos were not allowed, but I has to get a quick picture of Beth in her spiffy getup.  She was too exposed and had to wear a paper gown inside.

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Beth at a stone "living room" sculpture next to the piazza.

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Neptune for the Pope.

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Neptune for the artist.

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Evidentally, the Pope had no problem with women displaying spraying mammeries underneath Neptune...

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Many shops surround the piazza.  This one made us think of Trevor with a display of various bird calls for hunting.

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A staircase/ramp at the library next to the piazza.  The Pope had the stairs widened so his carriage could ride up ...

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A blurry photo of the church on the hillside, San Luca.  There is a good view of it and the city from the top of the hotel.

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Portico leading to San Luca.

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A pretty walk.

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It keeps on going ...

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and going ...

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and going !

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Each archway of the portico is numbered.  Many are dedicated in memory of loved ones.

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The are 666 of them, but for some reason they stopped around here :-)

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At the top, there is a view of Bologna below.

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and the hillsides to the south.

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At the top!

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A stairwell at San Luca.

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A sunset over Bologna.

 


Comments

Lynn
07/24/2010 16:45

Well, I'll never look at another image of Neptune in the same way :-) Mammaries? Women? Goats? Hard to tell the chattel apart!

Very intrigued by the miles of portico.....could use some around here lately - our usual tree overhangs are doing their best, but I imagine thick stone would provide a bit cooler shade....assuming they are built something like adobe walls.

Safe travels to Milan, and then home...... will miss my "Italia" fix! And hey, how is that platter traveling home? :-)

Love,

Lynn

W C
07/24/2010 19:14

"Well they do look like someone I used to know" groaningly said by Wendy! Oh! and by the way did you remember my doggie bag??? you don't think I've been on a diet here all this time for nothing,do you???
Well I'm just a MUTT so I'll probably wag my tail off when I see you since I really do "FORGIVE" very easily! Travel safe and a BIG SLURP awaits you both!

07/25/2010 00:17

I think the hike would have been miserable without the shade. Everything here is built with brick and covered in stucco, which I hope to get to on the oven eventually!

The platter had some issues on arrival here in Bologna, but we are carrying on anyway (Ha! that was a good pun! :-)

We are missing the Wendy fiercly. Have been watching the dogs a lot. They seem to mostly like little scruffy poodlely type dogs and Russel Terriers, which adapt to the city well because they are so smart. Most don't need a leash. A few big dogs, but no Wendy's or Rascals!

Looking forward to seeing everyone. Hoping we survive Heathrow OK. Will try a short post from Milan, but the hotel there wants $ for time there.


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