In the spring of 2017, I enrolled in an Italian language course in Bologna. I grabbed my best gal pal, and we boarded a plane headed for the home of tortellini.
Since our stay marked off all thirty days in April, we rented an apartment on Via Guglielmo Marconi.
We quickly settled in and ventured out.
A few blocks up took us to Via Ugo Bassi, where we found shops, outdoor cafes’, and Piazza Maggiore. The piazza is the main square in town, and also one of the oldest in Italy. Within Piazza Maggiore stands the Basilica San Petronio, one of the world’s oldest churches. Renaissance government buildings encase the square, and to the left is Piazza del Nettuno; the Fountain of Neptune. The fountain was once deemed scandalous for its naked subjects. We however, only saw scaffolding, because in 2017, the fountain was under restoration.
While I made my way up Strada Maggiore or Strada Santo Sefano, each day for language class, my roomy shopped for groceries at Pam, or the impressive outdoor market on Ugo Bassi. She would pick up these amazing extra-large strawberries, which were among other stunning produce.
All the while, chatting with the locals, via the Google Translate app!
Meanwhile, I’m gurgling on unknown words in the immersion style of foreign language school.
During our free time we wandered the city, enjoying cappuccino, pastas and Paninis. We ate tortellini that we ranked absolutely better than anything we’d ever experienced before. The scrumptious bread seemed to melt in our mouths. The food was always exquisite.
Bologna is home to the world’s oldest university, founded in 1088. Students from all over the world come here to study each year.
Of course we did our share of vino tasting/drinking. It was part of every dinner and sometimes lunch. I honestly don’t believe you can get a bad glass of wine in Italy. Impossible. We signed on for a few wine tours in the Emilia-Romagna region and Tuscany too. We’ve got the swirl, swish, swallow routine down!
Bologna Centrale was a quick ten minute walk from our apartment, and from there, it was a short train ride to just about anywhere.
We spent a weekend in Verona, another in Genoa and Portofino. We even took a few days and went to Florence.
We accomplished quite a lot in our thirty marked off days.
But for the record, learning to parli italiano (speak Italian), it’s still on my bucket list.