A Month in Bologna

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Exploring Bologna

It's Sunday morning in Bologna. Quiet time! I had expected church bells to awaken me, but haven't heard a one. We have spent the last couple of days just exploring the city and getting our bearings. Friday was the first normal day for us since Thursday was a holiday with many places closed. The center of the city is a couple of piazzas (not pizzas) with a lot of foot traffic, since cars are banned in the heart of town. (Now, I hear the bells. It's 10:15.)

We had been looking for the outdoor market, which is a fixture in European cities, but couldn't get a straight answer from the locals as to where it was. They just kind of pointed in some direction, but had no definite information other than that. It turns out that there is no one central market, but a district instead, which we finally blundered into. It's kind of a warren of small streets with many individual shop owners having outdoor stands filled with the latest and greatest foods. There were fruits and vegetables, fresh fish and octopi still squirming, butchers, salumi from huge mortadella sausages to thin pepperoni, etc. You get the idea. But whatever you do, don’t touch the tomatoes.  

It is a cook's paradise. We loaded up with some fruits, salami and bread and vowed to come back ASAP. They had some good looking artichokes, but we didn't know yet if our vacation type apartment had the right utensils to do all this justice. Turns out it doesn't, but we're working on it. Come on! This is Italy and no cheese grater? So far, everything that we picked up has been outstanding. Ronnie prepared some veal cutlets that were head and shoulders better than anything we can get in Colorado.

The weather has been decent, but we seem to get at least one shower a day. Saturday night, we were planning to go out to a nice restaurant for dinner, but it started pouring bricks by 6:00, so we cancelled and ate in. I owe Ronnie big time for that.

One last thing. Not a hundred yards from our place is a killer gelateria, which is busy from noon til late night. It has taken a great deal of discipline to resist drifting in every time we pass, because the gelati they make is the best we have ever had. Just thinking about it has me salivating already. Maybe this afternoon.


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