Hi again everyone.
I know I said I probably wouldn’t post again, but thought I would do a quick cheeky one since I just had a bit more of a wander after a day of beavering away in my conference working group. We wound up at about 6pm, and everyone was in different states of jetlag and preoccupation, so rather than all head off for dinner together, we parted ways for the evening. Rather than go back to the hotel, I decided to wander back to the centre of town for a bit more of a look about and to grab some food.
I had read about an apparent stunning series of terracotta statues in the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Vita, so decided to go for a look. In fact I had walked straight past this church just the day before, unaware of what lay within. I had an hour to visit, so legged it down to take a look.
The church itself was quite pleasant in its (relative) understatement and smallness. But the undoubted highlight is the “Compianto sul Cristo morto”, a terracotta group of life-size separate figures standing in a semicircle around the dead Christ figure. This is quite compelling to see, with the facial expressions unlike anything I had really seen before. This is accentuated by the fact that the figures are made of terracotta and are approaching 600 years old, which just adds to the incredible nature of the piece. I found it hard to believe that this was not something that visitors to Bologna are directed toward by default.
I then explored the rest of the church. There was also another incredible terracotta sculpture that, while not as dramatic, was just as impressive. Again, a gem likely undiscovered by most visitors to Bologna.
The evening was still young, and thanks to the Italian propensity to have a rest in the middle of the day and eat late, some things were still open. I discovered a special photography exhibition in the main piazza that was still open, so I decided to pop in for a look. This was a history of Bologna in photographs and was quite stunning. The city had been well documented, from the early days, through two world wars (especially WW2), through Italy’s dark times with fascism, protests in the 60s and 70s, and to what it has become today. Bologna certainly has an interesting history, in particular with political turmoil in the mid-late part of the 20th century and the photos captured it well. But it wasn’t all serious history… Sophia and Alfred made an appearance.
With that, it was time to wander some more. I was not too hungry, but being in Bologna I felt compelled to have something delicious for dinner. That makes it sound like it was a chore, but quite the opposite 🙂
I came across a deli / wine bar and plonked myself on a table and ordered a board of meat and cheese. Yep, all kinds of meats and cheese and bread which summed up Bologna perfectly. And boy was it delicious! Simple pleasures.
Even though it was a Saturday night, I didn’t feel the need to be out on the town, so slowly wandered back to the hotel, stopping for some gelato on the way. Mmmmm stracciatella… I could get used to a place like Bologna.