Friday, January 05, 2007

Bologna & Ravenna

Long way from airport to Bologna but we're here for a week, so plenty of time. The hotel was in a backstreet between the station and centre and the staff were exceptionally nice. We had a suite, which was basic, but comfortable. Like Turin, it's streets are collonaded, making shopping a joy, even in bad weather. We bought a left-handed pen for Callum and clothes for Gil. We started our eating adventure in a restaurant near the hotel - as usual great food and cheap.

The Cathedral was swathed in scaffolding and has a huge and dull exterior and the churches full of Baroque glory. It's fun to pop into every one you pass as you never know what you'll find.

The famous Teatro Anatomica was closed but the library was open. The nearby Archaeological Museum was a huge rambling affair with a huge Etruscian collection.

We ate in a nice Pizza restaurant (Belle Arte) behind the university, where an annoying American was shooting his mouth off about the cars and driving. The free University Museum contained an anatomy department which was gory, but fascinating, with wax cutaways showing twins and awkward birth positions. These were used to reveal anatomical structures in what is the oldest University in Europe. It's still a student town. There were also lots of models of forts canons and a camera obscura.

Went for an ice cream from Uno - best in town apparently. Delicious it was.

Ravenna lies an hour away by train. the whole town is a musem with byzantine buildings around every corner. This was, at one time, the capital of Italy and is woth a whole day's visit.