An enormous birthday party was held in Piazza Maggiore this past Monday, March 4th: it was a tribute concert for the late singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla on his 70th birthday about one year after his death. Lucio was born and raised in Bologna, and was loved across Italy and well known throughout the world. He was the first famous Bolognese we heard about upon moving here. Continue reading
A question we get often from family and friends back home in the States is “Do you have any friends?” And we are happy to say that we do! Bologna is a good-size city with a population of about 380,000. Many Italians come here from all over Italy to study at the University of Bologna and many remain after graduation to find work. Foreigners come to Bologna for undergraduate study abroad programs, graduate work, Fulbright scholarships, and the like. There’s a John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) based in Bologna, which has a class of about 200 International students every year. Continue reading
After my latest WWOOF farm-stay, where I saw where my food came from firsthand, I returned to Bologna with a renewed ambition to eat local, organic foods on a regular basis. These foods use less pesticides — keeping our soil and bodies healthy — and they taste better too. (I’m extra motivated by the latter point). It also feels good to know where the food on your table comes from and to meet the farmers who grew it.
After doing some research, it’s clear that if eating local is your thing, Bologna is a great place to be. Bologna is teeming with initiatives that advocate for small, quality producers. Continue reading
Welcome to beautiful Bologna. I think you will be very pleased with Bologna as your home base while you are in Italy. It has everything you’d hope for in an Italian city — delicious food, picturesque streets, quaint bars, lovely people – but without the throngs of tourists you’ll find in other cities. I can guarantee that you’ll have an authentic Italian experience in Bologna. And, if you are interested in visiting the big sites, you can get to Florence in 40 minutes, Venice in 1.5 hours, and Rome in 2.5 hours. There are other wonderful cities near Bologna, which although you’ve perhaps never heard of them, are definitely worth a visit– Modena, Ravenna, Parma, and Ferrara to name a few.
Since I won’t be there while you are visiting, I wanted to leave you with a few tips: Continue reading
On Day 2, we drove from Sega Vecchia to Rifugio Cavone (food-only rifugio) for a hike that includes some of the prettiest stretches of trail that the park has to offer. We hiked to the top of Corno alle Scale, stopped by the Rifugio degli Abruzzi and Lago Scaffaiolo, and ended the day by seeing a four-tiered waterfall, the Cascate del Dardagna. The stretch up CAI 129 to Corno alle Scale was the most stunning stretch of all.
Description: Park at Rifugio Cavone where you will find the trailhead for CAI 337. Follow CAI 337, which brings you through a beautiful valley and then up to a plateau with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Since moving to Italy, I’ve been eager to visit an Italian refugio. A rifugio is a mountain hut where hikers, skiers, mountain bikers and the like can find food and often lodging at a reasonable price. A “true” rifugio is located in the middle of the mountains and can only be reached by foot. Many people will do multi-day hikes (sometimes 10 days or longer), hiking from hut-to-hut as they go.
When our plans for an overnight hike to a hut in the Dolomites were foiled this weekend, we set out to recreate the experience closer to home in Parco Regionale del Corno alle Scale. Continue reading
When we first arrived in Bologna, I made a point of asking anyone who was willing to converse with me “Qual è la tua gelateria preferita a Bologna?” (“Which is your favorite gelateria in Bologna?”). Almost everyone had an adamant response. “Gelateria [fill in the blank] is, hands down, the best gelateria in Bologna”. At first, it seemed that everyone’s favorite was different. But after asking enough people, I started hearing repeats and the pattern became clear.
It’s time to get serious. Serious about hiking that is.
One of the perks of living in Bologna is that it is surrounded by beautiful hills. It’s also not far from the Apennine mountains, two National Parks, and 12 Regional Parks. Our schedule over the last few months has been packed and has left little time for hiking near Bologna. We’ve been travelling a lot, and when we haven’t been travelling, we’ve been spending a good portion of our time in the Bologna Ikea, carrying Ikea purchases down the streets of Bologna, or assembling Ikea furniture. Thank goodness Ikea offers a decent lunch or we wouldn’t have survived. But with summer in full swing, it’s time to forget about curtains, plungers, and ice trays, and it’s time to start hiking.
As I was researching hikes near Bologna, I stumbled across CAI 902, an hike that starts just outside the walls of Bologna Centro. Continue reading
I’m stoked. Tomorrow, I go to BlogVille.
To be more specific, I go to Rimini, as part of the Emilia-Romagna Tourism Board’s BlogVille project.
Rimini is here (the B).
And it looks like this.
What is BlogVille?
This past week, I started my first WWOOF experience (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) on Dulcamara Cooperative in Bologna. The concept behind WWOOF is that volunteers work on organic farms in exchange for lodging, food, and the opportunity to learn about organic farming. There are WWOOF farms all over the world — from the US, to Kenya, to New Zealand, to Italy. Italy has its own national WWOOF organization, WWOOF Italia. You pay a small fee to become a WWOOF Italia member, and in exchange, you get access to the list of WWOOF farms in Italy, regular updates about farms looking for volunteers, and some accident insurance that covers you while WWOOFing.