Every time I go out I get to know a different Bologna. There is Bologna ‘’ La Grassa’’, Bologna ‘’La Dotta’’. There is Bologna ‘’La Turrita’’ and Bologna ‘’La Rossa’’. One city and its several faces.
Bologna ‘’La Dotta’’ is known as Bologna ‘’the educated’’. This is the face of Bologna where students are gods and where one language is spoken- coffee and cigarettes. And it seems that everyone here knows this language. I knew that there was one thing I would not want miss while staying in Bologna and it was an opportunity to acknowledge University of Bologna, the Oldest university in Europe (founded in1088!!!), from within.
And guess my first impression. Coffee and cigarettes. Italians drink a lot of coffee for sure, but I believe that they might smoke even more. I have no idea about real numbers, but it seems that everyone who have lungs smoke here.
What I noticed even more is that the university is a one, gigantic and open museum. University itself has more than 15 museums and I do not count those which have not been added to the list. Museo di Anatomia comparata, Museo di Antropologia, Museo Geologico «Giovanni Capellini»… There is everything from Zoology museum to museums of chirurgical instruments. I thought about the ones I want to visit and it will probably take me a month or so to visit them.
Besides, while wondering through faculties, which is something you can freely do, I was thinking that it would quite hard for me to study here: there is just too much to see! Every corridor or wall, or ceiling, or garden, or even corner has its own history and its own famous person.
When I mentioned that students are gods here I was not joking. Here, an absolute freedom of expression is given to them. Especially in the faculty of history.
And this is only a small part of the oldest university. I would love to know where the university started. To figure out which building is the oldest, but the earliest date I found is 1236, not a beginning exactly…