Bologna’s portico’s 

More organised and smaller than Florence, Bologna might not have the big cathedrals or the artistic history but it has real class and sophistication, and it’s safe – so easy to walk around within those wonderful porticos.


It’s a big academic city with the first university in the world and the streets are full of young people of all nationalities. The footpaths are all under the porticos which makes strolling about very pleasant.

I stumbled into Piazza Maggiore which had a massive outdoor cinema screen; they say it’s one of the most famous outdoor cinema settings in the world and a perfect spot with buildings on all four sides and cafes. Outdoor hanging about and strolling la passeggiata. I checked the free show for the night, Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, I’d never seen it but knew it was Scorsese’s big debut and where we first see Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel – young punks on the edge of the mafia world. There’s some brief nudity in it so I guess that would have made it R18 back in 1973. Has a cracking opening sequence with Jumping Jack Flash by the Stones. I took a bottle of Chianti bought in the Conad Supermarket on special for €4 and a €8 takeaway Pizza Diavola (that’s the one with the pepperoni!), and had a thoroughly good night in that lovely warm evening air.

The train from Florence to Milan goes super fast, my guess, as we went alongside the motorway, going twice as fast as the cars, about 180km, and the journey only takes an hour, for €20 – amazing.
But not so impressed with Milan, it’s like any city, you could be in Melbourne, maybe that’s just the high-rise part, but immediately I missed the charm of the once walled medieval city of Bologna.

Author: Tony Richards

This was originally a travel journal to share with family and friends but when home again it became a general blog about anything that came to mind – but now I'm travelling again, this time wandering the streets of Italy – do check in. Ciao baby!

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