Back in Bologna after the morning in Ferrara we continued our walking tour.
I had read in a guide book that a visitor should allow three to four days to fully appreciate the city (the seventh largest in Italy) but we were rapidly coming to the view that only in our second day we were running out of things to see and do. We are like that, we do things in a rush, I call it speed sightseeing!
We walked first at what might be described as the new town which was sadly featureless and drab. Bologna suffered a lot of damage from Allied bombing raids in World-War-Two and hasty ill-considered post-war reconstruction resulted in a whole district of utilitarian concrete buildings. As the new town expanded Bologna built over most of its canal network and the water and the history inevitably drained away below the tarmac of the streets and pavements.
We weren’t disappointed to leave this part of the City and made our way back to the historical centre where we made time to have a very late lunch in the market hall where we rested with a beer and some simple artisan food. All markets seem to have a food hall these days with plenty of good things on offer. The market is always a place to go for good food.
We wanted to put the new town far behind us and, let’s be honest forget about it so leaving the market we headed in the opposite direction towards the Cathedral. We visited it of course but all this did was to confirm Kim’s theory that they are all pretty much the same and I have to say that I can remember little about the visit.
Close to the Cathedral was the Basilica of San Domenico which is best known for a sarcophagus containing the remains of Saint Dominic who was the founder of the Dominican Order of Monks sometime in the thirteenth century. To prove it there is a x-ray sort of photograph of the interior of the stone coffin which clearly shows a collection of human bones. Maybe they are Dominic’s.
I like Saint stories but only the hard to believe far-fetched one and I am sorry to report that my research has thrown up nothing much of interest about Saint Dominic in this regard. In contrast to the Cathedral this church was quite interesting but it was near to closing time and before we had really finished an official came along and told us that we would have to leave. I was surprised that a church would close for lunch.
We were in a much more interesting part of the city now with grand boulevards, Renaissance Palaces, all Government Department buildings now and more history around every corner, we liked this side of the city a whole lot better.
On the way back we stopped at a bakery to buy some cake, then at a bar close to our accommodation for a beer and finally to a mini-market for a bottle of cheap wine, this isn’t especially interesting information but I mention it here to provide an audit trail for what was to happen later.
As we drank the wine we reflected on our stay in Bologna, we liked it but the plain truth was that we had seen everything that we wanted to see and were ready to move on. We were tired of walking and weary of cities, we didn’t like the endless graffiti and we felt a need to get to the coast so we checked with our next hotel in Rimini, they could fit us in for an extra night so we made the decision to move on a day earlier than originally intended.
Even though we were wasting money by leaving Bologna with one night bought and paid for we were pleased with that decision and after we had packed our bags we set off for one last meal in the city.
We went to the same restaurant as the previous three nights. We always do that, our logic is that once we find somewhere we like why risk going anywhere else and there is enough choice on the menu anyway not to have to repeat a dish. A friend told me that it is a well known fact that surprisingly you cannot get spaghetti Bolognese in Bologna and maybe that is specifically true but tonight I enjoyed a pasta dish (not spaghetti, I concede) with a Bolognese sauce.
We liked our meal and looked forward to moving on and then I came to pay and discovered my credit card was missing. Kim said not to worry I must have left it in the room so I paid by cash and so relatively unconcerned we strolled back to the bed and breakfast place.
It wasn’t in the room. It wasn’t in the room and I know that for certain that it wasn’t in the room because I searched everywhere for it several times over. It wasn’t in the room. If something is true there is no point wishing it isn’t and eventually I had to concede that it wasn’t in the room, there are only so many times that you can look in the same place and get the same result so I went to the streets and went over the audit trail. It was in none of these places so I was forced to ring the credit card help-line and report it lost. Luckily it hadn’t been stolen and used but now I had no credit card for the final few days of the travels.
We walked almost eleven miles today but a lot of that was pacing around the room looking for my credit card!
In the night I had a dream that I had found it inside my pillow case so I put on the lights and searched for it. It wasn’t there. Kim wasn’t amused.