Day 323: Modena and BolognaJanuary 3 in Italy
First of our day trips today, this time north-west to the town of Modena. Our first World Heritage site in a couple of weeks awaited - it felt a bit strange to have gone so long without visiting one! The train took about 45 minutes, then we walked the 10 minutes into the old centre of town.
The site itself was the Cathedral, the bell-tower and the piazza adjacent to both. The cathedral was interesting, with a mix of Romanesque and Gothic touches, plus it was quite old. The tower had a pronounced lean, but still very impressive and tall. It was meant to compete with the two towers in Bologna which we were yet to see. The piazza was OK, nothing too special really - just a large square adjacent to the two important buildings. We had a look around and did the filming we needed, but after that just had a look around.
It seemed like quite a nice town, probably wealthier than Bologna. It's the spiritual home to Italy's car industry - Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati and several other smaller makers were founded here. Briefly considered going to the Ferrari museum on the edge of town at Enzo Ferrari's birthplace, but in the end decided we didn't have time.
Headed back to Bologna around 1pm and spent the rest of the day wandering around the city. Bologna is famous for its porticoes, and indeed there were hundreds of them. Basically every street in the city is lined with columned porticoes, keeping the traffic at bay and the pedestrians dry. A couple of impressive monuments to see including the town hall, the main cathedral, and then the two towers.
These towers are huge, and both have a very pronounced lean though are still apparently quite stable. Had a seat at nearby cafe for a while and relaxed, and struck up a conversation with an Australian girl/Italian guy couple at the next table - I heard them discussing our Australian accents and puzzlement that we had a dog with us. They were based in Turin and visiting for the weekend to see an art exhibition, so we traded contact details and will meet up next week when we make it to Turin.
Back to the Airbnb where we relaxed for a bit, then headed out in the evening. Walked to a typical local marketplace out of the tourist area, where in the evening the typical produce market gave way to restaurants and bars. I had a lasagne (another local specialty!) while Shandos had seafood cous-cous. We also shared a plate of bruschetta and some arancini balls which were delicious. Exhausting day - almost 25,000 steps all up! More to come tomorrow!Read more