Carey and I went to Italy last month to enjoy a big boy & girl vacation - probably the last in a while considering the scheduled arrival of Moseley Girl #2 in August.
Traveling to Italy, we definitely took the scenic route. DFW to Wichita (overnight layover to drop Saxon off for “Camp Patti” at Mimi & Pops), Wichita to Chicago (6 hr layover), Chicago to Frankfurt (9 hr flight), Frankfurt to Bologna (4 hr layover) - and upon arriving in Bologna, we were still a 2 hour drive from our final destination.
However, one highlight of the marathon travel was flying to Europe in American Airlines “next generation” business class with their newly-redesigned, lie-flat seats. Champagne before take-off. In-flight amenities bag (eyemask, socks, shoe bag, toothbrush, lotion, etc). Pillows & duvets. A menu detailing wine and meal choices - with actually good meals…Oh and make mine a hot fudge sundae with nuts - from the ice cream sundae cart - and, oh sure, a little Bailey’s poured over the top never hurt anyone! Gotta love those AAdvantage miles.
high-tech seat controls & in-flight amenity bag
Were it not for Nancy, the oh-so-crabby flight attendant (and by crabby, I mean snapping her fingers in front of Carey’s face saying, “I’m not done with you yet” when asking Carey’s menu selections ) it would have been the perfect flight. But we did experience AA at its finest on the return non-stop Frankfurt to DFW flight!
So, we finally made it to Bologna, where we stayed at the modern Una Hotel. Great location, great staff. Quiet room. Very quiet. We slept until 11:00 am which was something like - oh who knows what time it was in the US and who cares - we’re in Italy!
Bologna is a very old city (founded by Etruscans in 534 BC) often overlooked by tourists. The city may be old but the people are young. 100,000 students attend the oldest university in the world (founded in 1088) Alma Mater Studiorium, aka the University of Bologna.
me at the Una Hotel cantina
Bologna is well known for its architecture, especially the arcades or porticoes - of which there are over 38 km of in the city center.
Palace of King Enzo - built in 1245. Poor King Enzo, from Sicily, was imprisoned here for 20 years.
Statue of Neptune in Piazza Nettuno (1564)
Bologna’s tribute to a mother’s commitment to breastfeeding.
Bologna is very well known as one of the main epicurean centers of Italy. In fact, Bologna is also known as la grassa or “the fat.” We had a fantastic lunch at Bologna’s equivalent of a super-sized Italian section of Central Market (too bad nothing close exists here!). After lunch, we loaded up with some “typical” provisions: prosciutto, wild boar salami, cheese, fresh, house made tortellini and gnocchi al porcini (potato pasta with porcini mushrooms).
Our last stop in Bologna was for gelato at Gelateria Gianni. We have to thank Matt who wrote an article at Slow Travel and ranked Gianni the best Gelateria. Not only was it the best in Bologna - but best we had in Italy.
the menu of gelato choices. decisions, decisions!
Next post: on to Tuscany.