Someday, somehow, we quite spontaneously decided with my ‘new’ (then, now not new anymore) flatmate that it would be cool to visit a friend of her, who is doing Erasmus in Italy. I did not even knew where exactly the girl lives, but I found really cheap tickets from Wrocław to Bologna and decided to buy them for us and another friend of mine, who is also living in Dresden (now not anymore). It costed us about 20 or 30 euro bothways and was totally worth it!
(Our first evening in Bologna started with this wonderful dish and ended in a small crowded pub near the university area.)
All in all, we spent 5 days in Nothern Italy and managed to make a short excursion to Florence as well. I always claimed, that I don’t like Italian people, culture and can cook their food on my own or just order it in restaurant. I thought it is a country, which should be visited only be old tourist, so I never even dreamt about going to Italy before turning 60. Now, I am sure it was a huge mistake of mine, caused by my mental limits sometimes… I mean, I am liberal and respectful person, but sometimes I just think I am more clever than everyone else ; ) So here it is: I MADE A MISTAKE BY SAYING THAT ITALY IS SHIT. IT IS NOT.
(That is how you start a day in Italy…)
I also think that Bologna, has a quite specific atmosphere, which cannot be compared with any other big or small city I ever seen before. It is probably caused by red brick and the fact that it is a student city, which somehow breathes life into these historic, old corners.
(We got quite lucky that we visited Bologna two weeks about Xmas – so many LEKKER stuff at the Xmas market!)
During these few days, we managed to try lots of delicious ice-cream – yes, it has been in December, so what? Also literally gobbled amazing pasta in Osteria dell Orsa and checked out the most amazing pizza in Bologna one hour before living – Duo Torre, I will dream about your amazing cheesy mozarella tomato triangle until the end of my life. Point.
However, it is not everything that I wanted to mention about Italian food. As you know, there is this typical dish, Pasta Bolognese or Spaghetti Bolognese – as the name indicates, the one comes from Bologna. And we did not try it as we are both vegetarians with Monika. Nevertheless, the traditional way of serving Bolognese is not with spaghetti noodles, but with tagliatelle and in Bologna it would be difficult for you to find a place, where they will call it Bolognese, as everyone simply calls it ‘ragu di carne’ (eventually they will add to the name ‘alla bolognese’ in some touristic-oriented places).
Another important curiosity will concern aperitivo – you might know the word aperitivo, aperitif for something rather sweet to drink, but as Monika’s friend, Sonia, informed us (we also went to a real aperitivo) the thing has now totally changed its previous meaning and Italian people use the word ‘aperitivo’ for an entire meal with open bar and drink, which normally takes places at lots of pubs, bars and restaurants, almost every evening between 7 – 10 p.m.
When it comes to museums and art, which are things that you have to mention after a visit in Italy, we saw all of exhibitions at Pinacoteca and also had an opportunity to accidentaly visit a vernisage at the Fine Arts Academy. The entire city has actually quite an artistic atmosphere, probably caused by lots of alternative young people, grafitti and simply the fashion right now. They also have lots of punk squats and initiatives there, as you might know, the entire Antifascitsts group is also very strong in there, quite obvious, if you concern the history of the country and its current situation.
One day we also got invitated to Sonia’s and Carla’s (Sonia’s and Monika’s friend, who was so kind to host us for these days) friends Xmas dinner – it was not a typical Italian dinner, as people where coming from different countries allover Europe, but not from Italy. Anyway, we tried amazing dishes from f.ex. Marocco and spent a really nice time with completely strange people, who were so kind to have us as guests.
I know I cannot name myself an expert, when it comes to Italy, but I still recommend everyone, who might be thinking as well as me that Italy is a poor and expensive country for old people – do not underestimate it, please! 🙂
PS Florence coming very soon! : )