Wednesday, 25 June 2008

don't believe the hype

If you believed the hype you'd think that San Gimignano, the so called Manhattan of Tuscany, had a monopoly on medieval towers, while Pisa had the only leaning one. Neither fact is true as we have been finding out. Apparrently building towers was de rigeur for rich families during the middle ages which wasn't such a bad plan given all the internicene warfare going on. Florence had a few, as did Siena, though none particularly prominent. Here in Bologna however the remaining towers do stand out, particular the Due Torre which symbolise this seat of the world's oldest University. Both lean quite dramatically, one an impressive 10 feet off the vertical, and are so close to each other that they form a kind of scissor shape in the sky.
It's still hot, so after chancing upon a campsite we didn't know existing just outside the Bologna ringroad, we spent the day lounging by their beautiful swimming pool. It felt a bit decadent writing blogs in trunks and bikini, but we coped. Early evening we caught the bus into town, hoping to sample some of the world famous local cusine. Naturally most specialities - tortellini, sausages and the ragu that the rest of the world calls Bolognese - involve meat, but we did find a very reasonable and friendly vegetarian restaurant. Not mind-blowing cusine but very tasty and filling. This was after gelatos and aperitivis, naturally! They don't call Bologna "the fat" for nothing!

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