Monday, December 01, 2014

Bologna Part 2

One of the things we like to do is take food tours in the various cities we visit.  This time we took a food tour of Bologna with Catia of www.bolognatourguide.com.  She was a great guide, and we learned a lot from her, and ate a lot of great food on the tour.

Bologna gets quite a few tourists from other parts of Italy, but not many from outside Italy, as it is surrounded by Florence, Milan, and Venice.  We loved Bologna, though.  It doesn't have the vast number of ancient sites of a Rome, or the charm and romance of a Venice, but it also doesn't have the gigantic crowds or high prices of either of those cities.  Don't get me wrong, Rome is still my favorite place I have ever visited, but Bologna has a charm and a vibe that really set its hooks into me.  We will definitely be going back.

Random street in Bologna

This store we visited on our tour was amazing.  I bought about 5 pounds of Parmesan Reggiano cheese to take back home. Totally worth it!

A market street in Bologna.

Bologna street scene.

A church in Bologna.  Italy has a lot of churches, and I mean a lot.

Random street scene.

Climbing the Asinella Tower in Bologna.  Note that the bottom you see isn't the bottom, it's just one of several landings you reach climbing up.
The large tower I keep referring to is actually called the Asinelli Tower.  It's about 318 feet high.  As you can see in better pictures, like the ones on the wikipedia page here, the tower next to it, called the Garisendia Tower, has quite a lean to it.  I mean an alarming amount of lean.  It is closed to the public, but fortunately you can still climb the tall one.  It's a strenuous climb, but the views are worth it.  I would love to see what the city looked like with around 90 of these things sprouting all over the place. 

One of the things we did was to take the bus out to the suburbs and visit the Ducati Museum and take the Ducati factory tour.  My buddy T from work went with us on this trip, and he wanted to see where his Ducati was made.  I was more than happy to go check it out myself.  The factory is on the outskirts of town so we had to catch a bus, which we did with no problems.  Useful tip-learn to use the bus system wherever you are traveling.  Once you have the bus system down in a European city you have the place licked.  You can get anywhere for next to nothing.  It's also a fun and cheap way to see a city.

At the tour we saw the factory (no pictures in there of course) and then went through their great museum.  There were some very cool things in there, such as a Ducati radio.  Did you know they started out making radios?  I didn't.  We also saw the first Ducati 'motorcycles' which was actually an engine designed to be attached to a bicycle.  We also of course say many old and new racing bikes, etc.  All in all it was a great way to spend the morning.  On the way back we stopped at a random restaurant and had a great lunch at which we were the only non locals in the place.  The food was of course fantastic.  The food everywhere in Bologna was great.  We never had a meal there that wasn't great.

Ducati factory exterior.

The first Ducati, a motor for your bicycle.

The first 'real' Ducati motorcycle.


The museum was very well done, with a setup that echoed a racetrack.

Modern Ducati superbikes.
 During the factory tour they showed us one of their top of the line street legal superbikes, the Superleggera.  It costs 50,000 euros (just over $62,000) and has a top speed of 320 kilometers per hour (around 200 mph).  Needless to say it was a pretty nice looking bike.  It definitely falls into the "if you have to ask" category, though.

Well, that's all for now.  Next post I'll talk about our trip to see Otzi the Iceman.

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