Day 137 & 138
With us no longer able to head to the Cinque Terre, we searched for hours as to where we go to fill the two nights. Eventually we settled on the town of Bologna, an hour north of Florence for two great reasons. Firstly, the Lamborghini, Ferrari and Ducati factories/museums are all right near Bologna, places all of us, well Gav and I would love to see. Secondly us always being the type to follow their stomachs we assumed we could get some kickass Spaghetti Bolognaise in the town it was created.
Yet before we could head off to this mysterious new city we had to swing past Pisa like we had already booked to do on the way to the Cinque Terre. Only problem with that now was instead of passing through Pisa on the way to the coast, we would have to go there, come back to Florence and then head up north. It was going to be a long day of travel. So early in the morning, on Aidans birthday I must add, we packed up our stuff, headed to the train station and did exactly that.
Pisa was a fun but short stopover. We ate, we took pictures, we bought souvenirs and we left. We had plenty fun doing it all but the time flew by particularly fast as we let our creativity run wild during our photo shoot. Aidan went with his birthday theme making a nineteen with the tower whilst Zac made it into a lollipop and gave it a good lick. Gav was turned into a human flag with the assistance of Aidan and Wazzy being the biggest in the group pushed over the tower whilst the rest of us tried to hold it up. With me for some reason in at least five of the photos, a banana seems to feature in some shape or form. However I think the most tactful of my pictures was when a lay down on the floor, rolled up into a ball and let the tower come out of my ass.
After all the shenanigans had been enjoyed we headed back to Florence on a somehow longer train. We had a quick 25 minute stopover filled with more eating and more souvenir shopping and we were back on the train, this time a quick one, headed to Bologna.
Bologna was a strange town for us as we didn't really end up doing all that much. For starters our place was a good 25 minute bus ride from town, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing. I guess that was probably why we had such fantastic accommodation for such a cheap price. This place was a hotel at hostel prices, complete with ensuite bathrooms, cable tv and a gym. We spent a lot of time there, working out, eating, showering and lapping up the fantastic wifi. The place even had 3 bikes we could rent, which of course we used. Instead of a 30 minute gym session we ended up doing a 2 hour cycle to buy groceries in town.
Whilst we did try to organize the two things we actually knew to do in Bologna both ended in disaster. Our attempts to go to any of the three car factories there were all stopped by different reasons. Lamborghini ended up being 100km out of town, at Ferrari you had to actually own a Ferrari to be eligible to tour and Ducati had a 4 week waiting list. We were quite sad. We thought we could shrug it off over a nice bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese in the city it was created, but knowing out luck we were soon told that whilst the sauce was made there it was not widely sold. Things were not going fantastically.
To fill our one full day we headed into town, a nice long bus ride away and just walked wherever our feet took us. We found Bologna's one and only somewhat interesting landmark, two really tall buildings right next to each other, one of which was leaning slightly over. Between here and Pisa it seemed the Italians have something for buildings on angles. We explored lots of alleys, ate gelato, did some shopping and ate some more. Pretty standard stuff for anywhere we went. We saw some big buildings, churches and the rest but couldnt really find anything that made Bologna too special.
That night we came back to the town, this time for a Reggae Dubstep gig we had heard about online. This was probably the highlight of our short stay in Bologna. Despite getting off the bus two stops too late and having to walk a good 20 minutes to the gig, the night was absolutely terrific. Arriving at a hall decorated with some of the most intense artwork around (painted by Blu if anyone knows him) the place was absolutely nuts. People were everywhere, dogs running around, artworks covering the walls and music of course going off. To make things even better, entrance was only 3 euro. We all had a great time there, hearing a completely new style of music, with a really random group of people. We would have stayed and listened all night but since we had arrived at 12 and the headliner started at 3, we only were able to keep ourselves up for a couple of songs before our bodies gave out. It was a hectic night, something unlike anything else we had been to before. It definitely redeemed Bologna for all of us.
I know I haven't spoken about much in Bologna but that's all I can remember that we did. We werent there for long, really only having one full day there. I hope we accomplish a lot more in the 4 days we have coming up in Venice.