September 7, 2015

Off on another adventure, but this time we had a destination in mind.  Both of us have been reading about the hidden things to do in Bologna, and first on our list…the hidden canals.  To be honest, with today’s technology, the hidden canals are not as hidden as they might have been.  We brought up the location on Google Maps and went right to it.  But when we arrived we realized that the ‘hidden’ portion of the name might not mean exactly what we thought.  One canal, the one we visited, can be seen through a random, tiny window, and, yes, it would be EXTREMELY difficult to find if you didn’t know where to look; however, if you look across the street, you see the canal, so not too tough.  The ‘hidden’ portion might come from the fact that most of these canals are hidden beneath the streets.  We were searching for two canals that met; one we found, the other was completely surrounded by buildings.  We walked the entire square looking for an entrance but found none.  We could hear flowing water…just could’t see it.

Finestrella di Via Piella (Window of Piella Street)

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View through the window.

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The same canal viewed from the parallel street (see the square window hole).

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After finding the canal we didn’t really have any plans…so we just walked more.  Near the canal was a park called Parco della Montagnola. According to the Bologna Welcome website, this is the oldest park in Bologna.  The park itself was beautiful, but the stairs in northern entrance were breathtaking.

Parco della Montagnola

Southern Entrance

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Northern Entrance

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And in the same plaza as the northern entrance was the Castello di Galliera.  This fortress has been destroyed and rebuilt 5 times between 1330 and 1511.

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Porta Galliera

Just across the street from the Castello di Galliera was Porta Galliera.  Again, I want to dedicate an entire post to porta images, but a few here wouldn’t hurt.  We have to do a bit more research about the statues located at the entrance to the gate, but Brittany was fascinated by them.

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A view of another hidden canal running underneath Porta Galliere.

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The statue to the right of the entrance.

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The statue to the left of the entrance.

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Parco 11 Settembre 2011

We left the Porta Galliera in search of more, and we found it.  After meandering through some of the local shopping areas we ventured down a street looking for possibilities.  We found the Ex Reale Manifattura die Tabacchi, which, at one point, was a tobacco factory that was bombed during WWII (we think…more research to come).  It’s outer walls remained mostly intact and later was turned into a park.  It was renamed Parco 11 Settembre 2001 after the World Trade Center bombings.

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Basilica di San Francesco

From there we found the Basilica di San Francesco.  I was immediately enamored with the tiny lion statues on the fencing, but the church itself was pretty nice too.

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ex Chiesa di San Barbaziano

As always, when we began walking home, we tried to stay alert to everything around us, and it paid off when we found the ex Chiesa di San Barbaziano.  It’s sad to see things like this run down, but also makes for interesting pictures…it also makes you wonder about the story behind it.  Brittany had to take the picture of the inside by sticking the camera into a small hole where the lock was attached.

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Chiesa del San Salvatore

Down the street from the ex Chiesa di San Barbaziano, Brittany spotted statues on a rooftop so we went to check it out.  The statues adorned the Chiesa del San Salvatore, and while the exterior was beautiful, we weren’t allowed to enter because shorts and exposed shoulders were not allowed (boobs and penis all over the town square but ya know, ya win some, ya lose some).  Anyway…we’ll be back.

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Italian word of the day: cane – dog (because everyone has a dog here…and all the dogs walk calmly around with/without a leash and pee on every portico column)

And now you know…

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