Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Under porticoes

Like so many autumns before, this time last year we had recently returned from the Mediterranean, more specifically from Italy. I managed to post something on our days in Venice and Rome but never anything on the other places where we stayed such as Bologna, the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region north of Tuscany.

This was our first visit to the city known for its university – the oldest in Europe founded in 1088 – and the large historical centre, especially the porticoes serving as sidewalks.

I knew there would be many of those, both ancient and more modern. Still their abundance surprised me. There are almost 40 kilometres of porticoes, often on both sides of the street, within the historical centre that used to be surrounded by a city wall.

The weather was rather chilly and rainy all through our visit in early October. However, in Bologna you can walk street after street comfortably under a portico with very little need for an umbrella anywhere else than at crossings.

We stayed at a small family hotel by Porta Maggiore (above), one of the twelve medieval city gates, and walked the length of Strada Maggiore to the very centre of the old town and back at least twice daily. All the above photos except the very first on this post are from that stretch of a kilometre or so.

I am sure you can see why we got a little carried away photographing the fabulous porticoes that were everywhere.

We even happened to sight a couple of the oldest wooden ones. The oak beams holding the top floor of Casa Isolani from the 13th century are 9m tall! I wonder whether the inhabitants or employees behind those windows ever feel unsafe up there.

We should have come earlier to this beautiful unique city and will certainly return. There are some 30 kilometres more of porticoes to explore, not to mention the climb to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca. (More about that here.)


  1. Kiitos tästä ihanasta kaupunkikierroksesta! Hienoja kuvia ja tosiaan paljon holvikäytäviä joiden alla kävella sateelta suojassa. Tuli taas ikävä Italiaan!

    1. Älä muuta sano! Kuumottaa päästä matkaan, vaikka kevääseen taitaa mennä ennen kuin minnekään ennätämme.