20/02/2011

A break in Bologna

I have been in Bologna, Italy, for a few days, visiting . I flew to Milan with Ryanair, well in fact, Bergamo, 50 minutes far from Milan by coach. It was raining, cold and blustery! Camille met me at Milan train station. In the afternoon we saw the Arcimboldo exhibition at Palazzo Reale. For centuries Giuseppe Arcimboldo was forgotten until he was rediscovered in 1930, when Alfred H. Barr, director of the Museum of Modern Art of New York, included some of his works in the exhibition  Fantastic Art, Dada Surrealism.  In the evening, we took the train for Bologna. Camille found her bike and we walked to her place. I was surprised to see so many people out and about, chatting, drinking and eating pizza slices even though it was past midnight.

The following day, we got up at 11 and after a strong home-made coffee with no milk (!)we set out to visit, first the piazza Maggiore, a  huge square surrounded by Renaissance buildings. Then we looked at the two towers, the torre Asinelli and the torre Garisenda. The Garisenda tower was built  by Fillip and Ottone Garisenda in the early part of the 1100s. It was originally a height of about 60metres. The tower was reduced in size to its current 48 metres  in the 14th century  as it was in danger of collapsing. Later we went in the Basilica of San Petronio. Though it is the 5th biggest church in the world, its facade is not finished. The story says that in 2002, the basilica was the target of an unsuccessful terrorist attack. Five men, believed to have connections to Al-Qaeda, were arrested in connection with a plot to blow up the building. Another attempt, this time in 2006, was foiled by Italian police. Their reason was a 15th-century fresco by Giovanni da Modena that depicts a scene from Dante’ Inferno where Muhammad is shown in Hell being devoured by demons. 





As you can see, I love the ochre color of the medieval buildings.



Lectures are held in various places. However Camille and her friends' lecturer cancelled his as he was ill (said the note on the door)


Blessings. 

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