Towns / Cities Visited: 145
Countries Visited: 27
Steps Taken Today: 13,840
Steps Taken Around the World: 3,759,118
We rose to what we would soon discover is a public holiday in Italy. Having read in multiple places that parking in the centre of Bologna was nigh on impossible, we opted to take advantage of public transport; however, a rudimentary online search the previous night had offered little information about how to go about such an endeavour. In fact, if nothing else, we learnt that the public transport websites of this region were likely built in the early 90’s and had simply been left alone since then: hard to navigate and incredibly outdated. Still, my partner managed to find what looked to be a bus route in. Despite sounding like tickets could be bought on board, we stepped on to discover that the outer suburb buses do not, only the inner-city ones do. We would, of course, have bought a ticket at a nearby retailer, but, as I said, it was a public holiday, and everything was shut this far out of town. Our bus driver spoke zero English, but we hand gestured through understanding he’d let us on and, as the bus trundled off, a kind fellow passenger translated the rest to us. He would take us to the first stop of the inner buses onto which we could change, buy tickets on board, and complete our trip that way. A kindness we were grateful for given that the next bus wasn’t for another hour and a half and we had a booking to make.
Our rather fumbled journey eventually delivered us to the old but still beating heart of this quaint northern city, and we breathed a sigh of relief as we alighted the bus into the quiet streets of Bologna on this most hallowed All Saints Day. Wandering into the old town the difference in architecture becomes more obvious. Whereas the outer suburbs are a collection of somewhat run down buildings, the heart of the city is swathed in the red brick romance of historic Italy. The centrepiece, and one of its biggest touristic drawcards, is Le Due Torri, the two towers. Pisa might house the most famous crooked tower, but it seems that shoddy tower construction, or at best questionable foundations, is prevalent across the country. Standing at the base of them its mildly unsettling given the lean of these brick towers, especially the shorter of the two. As the story goes, they were built between 1109 and 1119 by two feuding families trying to prove who was the most powerful, and they are…