Showing posts from November 30, 2014

Day Trip to Bolzano

Saturday we took a day trip to Bolzano, also known as Bozen.  This is a town in the South Tyrol region of northern Italy.  It's in the Alps, and from both an architecture and cultural point of view, it seems a lot more like part of Austria than Italy.  Many residents speak German, and signs were in Italian and German.  The town itself looked a lot like the towns we visited in Switzerland back in 2005.  It was also very crowded, presumably because it was a Saturday.  They were setting up for their Christmas festival, but it wasn't ready yet.

Here are a few pictures of the town.

But of course, the reason we went to Bolzano was to see Otzi the Iceman, who is housed at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.  For those of you who have not heard of him, Otzi is a natural mummy of a 5,300 year old man from the Bronze Age who was found frozen in ice in 1991.  In addition to his remarkably well-preserved body, a large amount of his equipment was found with him.  Of course, as I am an a…

Sorry for the Delay

Sorry for the delay in posting, everyone.  I've been busy trying to get caught up since I got back from the trip.  Expect a lot of posts this weekend.

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  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.

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 …

Bologna Part 1

In the next few series of posts, I will discuss our recent trip to Italy.  During this trip we stayed for five nights in Bologna, and five nights in Venice.  We also made a day trip to Bolzano to see Otzi the Iceman.

We arrived on the afternoon of November 19th.  The weather was moderately cold, with highs in the 40s.  Not terrible, but not spring either.  We stayed at the Hotel Paradise, which I cannot recommend enough.  This was a great little hotel.  The room was clean and large (by Italy standards, mind you) and the free breakfast was great.  The location cannot be beat, in a quiet area but only a 10 minute walk from Piazza Maggiore, the main piazza in Bologna.

I thought Bologna was a great city.  It is a real working city, with a large student population due to being the home of the oldest university in Europe, the University of Bologna, founded in 1088.  Bologna gets very few tourists from outside Italy, although it gets quite a few from Italy due to the quality of its food, sai…