Bologna Summer Vibes and Street Art
Last summer, I spent a few days in the Italian city of Bologna. The Magna Charta Universitatum celebrated its 27th anniversary and a fellow AUC alumna and I were invited to speak at the annual conference in Bologna. Thankfully, after the conference ended, we still had most of the the weekend to go explore a bit more of the old city centre. We made a list and visited as many places as we could, like the Archiginnasio Palace Anatomical Theatre. It was mid-September, the sun was shining, and everyone was out enjoying the last few days of summer.
Music at Piazza Maggiore
The Piazza Maggiore is one of the major town squares in Bologna. It was buzzing with all kinds of tourists visiting the San Petronio Basilica or admiring the Fountain of Neptune with its…lactating sea nymphs (completed in 1567). The square was also teeming with street artists and musicians, like the hipsterlicious ‘The Streetles’ and a quirky group of entertainers accompanied by a talented harpist. The spirited musical performances really put the cherry on top of the Bologna summer vibes.
Gelato: Italian Ice Cream
If you’ve visited my blog before, these photos may not come as much of a surprise. If there is one unmissable thing about visiting Italian cities in summer, it’s gelato! Praise the dairy gods for not making me lactose intolerant. We sneaked in as many ice creams as we possibly could within those two days of exploring Bologna’s fabulous foodstuffs. You can see at least three more photos of Italian ice cream in my Bologna Food Log (I have a problem).
Flower Market at Piazza Minghetti
Piazza Minghetti is a relatively small city square in central Bologna. There is a statue of Marco Minghetti in the middle of the square. Minghetti was a statesman and economist who was born into a rich family of landowners in Bologna. We stumbled across this colourful little flower market after we visited the medieval Palazzo Pepoli, now the Museum of the History of Bologna.
Student Quarter Street Art
Many of the city walls were also clad with street art. The mural about the Kobanî resistence refers to the siege of the Syrian city of Kobanî by ISIL. We spotted this street art in the student quarter of Bologna. On 1 November 2014, there was an international day of protest for the Kurds of Kobanî. Kurdisch protesters also marched the streets in Bologna. Lots of doors and buildings in the student quarter were filled with posters and grafitti. Very creative and visually expressive, but some of the buildings are also very old. Some of the students we spoke to said it was a little bit of a shame that such historic buildings had been covered with spray paint.
Bologna is definitely one of my favourite cities I have visited so far. It’s not too big, not too small, it has an enormous amount of historic character, and there is a bright and lively community of students. I will definitely try to go back one day!