BolognaPosted: April 11, 2011
Even in 3 months in Italy, its almost embarrassing to say, we have hardly graced the doorsteps of museum, art gallery or church, and, yes, we know that Italy is filled with treasures of art, painting, architecture and sculpture.
Our key interest has been scoping the countryside, getting a feel for the daily life of the Italian people “now” and through their towns and villages, “then.”
Hence, we have given ourselves a “purpose built” stay in Bolonga to take the time to explore the museums and galleries we can find.
Camped at an amazing camping site. for 3 nights, neither of us have ever seen anything so well organized and clean. Bologna is just a 20 minute bus ride away. You know you are in the right caravan park when you actually have your own “daiseyed lawn” front yard in which to enjoy your lunch.
Something very unique about Bologna is the idea of the Portico!!! These are concrete verandas covering the footpath along the shops, a long series of arches and domes! Usually with superb tessellated floors. Bologna, I have read, has up to 40 kms of these Porticos. They are gorgeous and take the shopping experience to a whole new level.
Today we had a “Belinda Bologna” day. There are three things our friend Belinda loves, other than horse riding: Shopping in stunning shops, walking a killer hill and eating tasty Japanese food. We managed all 3 activities under the Porticos of Bolgona………….even the killer hill!!!
The Killer Hill Walk is one long line of Porticos, all up a 3.5 km steep rise to The Basillica Santuario della Madonna di San Luca. In the year 1100 a religious icon of a Madonna rumored to have been painted by St Luke, was given to the city of Bologna. In 1433 the city was suffering from too much Spring rain which threatened to bring famine to the area. One of the city councilors had a vision that a procession taking the Madonna from the city center to the top of the Sanctuario would cause relief. It did. So important was this then annual procession to the people of Bologna, they paid for a 3.5 km Portico to be constructed for the processions path. It took over a year and would have cost a fortune. And its a wonderful way to burn some campervan cooking calories, covered from rain or sun, and reminisce on all the hillwalks we have shared with Belinda!