I was looking through the back hallways of my WordPress account and realized there was a draft of a post sitting there waiting to be completed…for 7 months. The post? Just a little bit about the amazing view that we have from our apartment. And since our time in Italia has officially drawn to a close, I thought it might be nice to finish what had been started. Plus, I know more about what we’re looking at now that we’ve been here for a while.
When we moved in to our new flat at the beginning of October (2015), I posted a few pictures to let everyone know a little about the new place, but now I want to give more information about what we can look out and see every day.
It fascinates me to look out the window and see towers and buildings that have been stoically standing there since the 12th century. Yes, our view might be a bit more crowded, but the reality is that we are getting a view that is remarkable similar to what someone saw 900 years ago.
To the North:
Well, the northern view from the apartment is just wall, so we’ll skip that and move ahead.
To the West:
Our western view is pretty spectacular (even if you have to duck down to look out the floor window to see it). Along with all of the beautifully tiled rooftops, we get views of multiple bell towers and our lone evergreen tree.
From Right to Left:
- The Chiesa di San Sigismondo is in the foreground of a tower at the Teatro Communale di Bologna. The Chiesa di San Sigismondo was first built in the 13th century but was rebuilt between 1725-28. The bell tower that can be seen from our window was added in 1792 and decorated in 1870 (bibliotics salaborsa). The church houses Blessed Imelda Lambertini who may or may not be an incorrupt. (Not going to go into a ton of detail because I don’t know much about it. For more information see Incorrupt.) Incorruptibility is a “belief that Divine intervention allows some human bodies (specifically saints and beati) to avoid the normal process of decomposition after death as a sign of their holiness.”
- I’m not sure what purpose the bulbous-shaped tower behind the San Sigismondo bell tower serves. I only know that it is directly behind the Opera House.
- Basilica di San Giacomo Maggiore‘s bell tower can be seen as well. Construction on this basilica began in 1257, but, from what I’ve read, the bell tower wasn’t added until the 15th century.
- We visited the Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro very early in our Bologna travels, and now, remarkably, we can see a portion of it from our window. According to Bologna Welcome, this bell tower is the “second tallest tower in the town.” (This is one of those examples where I know more about the structure now (May 2016) than I did when first writing this blog. The San Pietro bell tower that we see from our kitchen window is one of the towers we saw on our Tower Tour.)
- It’s a shame the building on the left isn’t just a few feet further left. If it were, we would have a nice view of Le Due Torri.
To the South:
The southern view is one of the most remarkable that we have. With our little window we can see rooftops melding into rooftops melding into other rooftops for as far as the eye can see, and with every rooftop comes a smattering of chimneys. It is amazing to see how buildings that seem completely separate from the street are intertwined, even if there is no access between them other than a shared roof.
From right to left –
- The Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi is a familiar sight to Brittany and I as we have walked past it many times while living at our first apartment. In front of the church is a large open space with several marble columns. To the left of the church is a beautiful example of the portici that line so much of the city’s streets. We had only gotten glimpses of the tower from afar though, as the rear churchyard is fenced in. We now have access to a view of its tower.
- The next tower seems to belong to the Comune di Bologna – San Vitale (City Hall / Town Hall). You cannot see the tower from the street, but I can find it on a map; however, I cannot find any information about it.
To the East:
Far and away the best feature of our apartment is the balcony…how we were able to land a room with such a spectacular feature I’ll never know. (I think Brittany had something to do with it…) This area, though small, places us square in the center of Italian living.
- Parrocchia di S. Maria della Pietà is the grandiose building claiming most of the top portion of the view in the photo above. This church was built in 1601, and is called Beggar for the famous altarpiece of the “Pieta of the Beggars” by Guido Reni, now kept in the Pinacoteca Nazionale (Wikimapia). I would say its nickname (and more than likely the placement of the altarpiece) comes from the fact that the church also served as a “hospital of poor orphan beggars.” (OrigineBologna)
- FYI – We saw the painting by Reni when we visited the Pinacoteca.
Of course, no tour of our apartment would be complete without a few shots of the exterior. In the photo below, our apartment is the top window of the tall yellow building.
When we first moved in the exterior building doorframe was grey, but it was (poorly) painted yellow not long after. Luckily they left our flamingos.
And across the street we have a bit more graffiti. I actually really like this person’s simplistic work. We’ve seen similar pieces all over town.
Like this guy…
Well, that does it for our apartment views. (We sure are going to miss them…)
Brittany and I are now officially back in the States (we’ve been back for 5 days now), and looking back at our spectacular views makes us both homesick. This was an opportunity not many people get in life, and I’m grateful that Brittany took advantage of it.
We’ll be back to Bologna one day…