Europe Trip #2 – June 23, 2022 – Take Me Down to the Portico City [Gallery]

Europe Trip #2 – June 23, 2022 – Take Me Down to the Portico City [Gallery]

Editor’s note: Includes video. Read on the website for the most complete view.

Portico town

This family of Gems has arrived to Bologna. These are confusing days. Five separate Gem clans are criss-crossing Italy. We got to Bologna just an hour after Z+A passed through on their way to Rome. B+R and crew are hanging out in Bologna with us for an afternoon tomorrow on their own Venice to Pisa trek.

Bologna is known for la Dotta, la Rossa, la Grassa (“the learned”, “the red”, “the fat”). Like the sauce; Bologna is rich and interesting in a way we won’t have much time to explore before we move on.

This trip has given us opportunities to compare city pairs. Vienna and Budapest, for instance. Florence and Bologna. Both the Italian cities are of similar size. Both pairs pit classical formality against gritty creativity.

The center of Bologna is an interestingly dense urban landscape. The porticos push the sun and long views away. There are no trees or space for trees. That may sound bad but it’s not.

On the other hand, cars get to go everywhere, which is disappointing. There’s not a ton of auto traffic, but what there is is loud and aggressive. Their main square in front of their cathedral still has car traffic which feels like a relic from the 60’s. So many cities have moved past this and Bologna will too someday.

We scouted for the cousins’ visit tomorrow and found a leaning tower that exceeds Pisa (in lean, not in height), a renaissance photo-bomb, a discordant symphony, and a newfound love of porticos.

You can see it all in the gallery.