John was speaking in Bologna and planned to fly in-and-out, but it had been some years since we were there and I couldn't resist joining him and making a long weekend of it.
Bologna is a city with several names. It is the red city not because of it's leftist politics but the red brickwork.
It is also called the city of towers. A couple stand out today, but there are actually 21 and during the Middle Ages there were far more, which is how it got its nickname.
Two of the oldest are leaning and they are trying to shore them up.
Bologna is also called the fat city because it's famous for its great food. We had some delicious meals while we were there, including lots of home-made pasta.
Largely Bologna is known for its porticos. In the middle ages they provided shelter to pilgrims and students who lived under them.
The building code today requires newly built construction to include a portico. Some are elegant, and some just meet the standard.
Like most Italian cities, there are the original city gates from Roman times and lots of antiquity.
I liked the decorations on the store shutters that are rolled down when they are closed. These were from a dentist.
There is lots of graffiti. Some is just scribbling, but there's some nice work too.
We stopped at a farmers market, which I always enjoy.
And because Easter is coming there were bunnies everywhere, including a cute shoe store display and a live rabbit a pan handler was using with a dog for attention.
And of course churches. The Basilica of Petronius is unusual in that the top half is bricks. The story is that they were planning on making it larger than St. Peter's in Rome so the Vatican cut off their supply of marble.
Bologna is a beautiful city with wonderful buildings.
And lovely details everywhere.
And even a canal.
There was some rain which made everything shine but didn't interfere with our visit.
It was a short trip and we made the most of every minute. Amo l' Italia.