bologna · Carnavale di Venezia · carnival · Italy · San Luca · Spilamberto · Venezia · Venice carnival

Bologna e di più

A lot has happened between the 7thand the 18th (the day I wrote this actual blog. Sorry for the delay. I had influenza). The last several hours I have been sitting and trying my best to put all the things I did and places I went to into a chronological order or at least into some order at all that would make sense… It is going to be a messy post, so, be aware!
People say, that when you have no idea where to start- start from the beginning, or, in my case, start where you finished. And I finished talking about Bologna “La Dotta”. Bologna takes a big part of my life, but I did many, many other things and Bologna for some time was a bit forgotten (which is a good thing. Once you start exploring Bologna again, you have a totally different perspective). But ok, basta about Bologna. This is what I have been up to so far.
Carnevale di Venezia. I clearly remember that the week of the carnival gods of weather spoiled Bologna with sun and warmth and there were sunny and spring-like days… There were. Unfortunately, nobody spoiled Venezia with this good weather and despite the super-rainy weather forecast on early Sunday morning we hopped on a train to see the so famous carnival. And it did not matter that most of the masks where hidden under umbrellas and carnival costumes where exchanged for colourful raincoats- Venezia was still charming.  Déjà vu: it is not the first time that Venezia greets me with rain. The last time I was here a few years ago it greeted me with a summer shower… Coincidence?

Was it someone’s intension or not, but the day after the carnival back in Bologna (and Venezia as well) was amazing: sunny and warm and so spring like! At least we had a pick nick to make us feel better after all these wet clothes and shoes. 
So I started talking about the carnivals. Italians enjoy celebrations and carnivals.  Very much. Carnival of Venezia might be the famous one, but even Bologna has its own carnival. But carnival of Bologna reminded me more of the traditional Lithuanian celebration “uzgavenes” (the pancake day)- just without the pancakes (but with hot wine for adults and hundreds of sweets for children).  The carnivals here draw in one so fast that it is impossible not to feel the mood.

La vita a Bologna. Let`s go back to Bologna for a while. This is the place where my weeks pass through. Besides all this carnival uproar, which I had a bit too much, there was a time to celebrate Lithuanians independence day on the 16th of February. All the Lithuanians came together, made some traditional Lithuanian food (as traditional as it could be done here with Italian ingredients) and had a pleasant evening. 

Spilamberto. Finally! Finally I had a chance to visit V. and see the small town she was living in and always complaining about.  It was a delight to meet her family and the town, even so small, was so Italian! I can only imagine how great it Is going to be here when the weather gets better and better… Besides, Spilamberto has as amazing aceto balzamico museum, which is forth the time and attention!
Torna a Bologna. You can come back to Bologna not spending a dime. Which we and V. did. But just because we did not find where to buy our train tickets. Still, what I noticed while using public transportation here in Bologna, nobody checks your ticket… Most of the time at least.

Somewhere between this festival uproar I should fit in dolce far niente.  The part of living that everyone thinks “this is how Italians live all the time” (which, sadly, is not true). It was a rainy evening when me and V. went for a dinner in a local Tratorria Trebbi. I wanted to try local Bolognese food and it is a perfect place for that. I mean, you know your dinner went well when after it you cannot stop smiling and feel like in heaven. And what is more, there is this small Tratorria outside the walls which makes the best pizza I have tried so far. And of course gelato! Can you imagine Italy without gelato???

San Luca. There is a place in Bologna (well, not technically in Bologna) to which you can take a 3.5km long and 658 portico path. Take your best walking shoes and start at Porta Saragozza… and then enjoy another pick-nick next to a beautiful Basilica di San Luca. While going up the path I noticed that this place has become a sports place for the locals: running up and down the path did not seem difficult for them. I should try this as well.

For the ending. Remember I wrote that students at the university of Bologna have a total freedom? Well, this is what happens at the university of Bologna on Saturday night, ~3:00 am in the morning.

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