Travel Recap – Bologna

Due Torri1

One of the hundreds of porticoes keeping pedestrians dry, cool, elevated.4

Due Torri3

Piazza del Nettunonettuno8

Bologna meditation sketch6

5/13/14 – On the train to Milan
Bologna – The Red (city/masonry), the Fat (food, alla bolognese), the Learned (the university). Bologna is inspiring, near perfect (at least judging from my two nights there, the days of which were spent in Ravenna and Rimini). It has the right size and feel…It’s a university city (the oldest in the world, dating back to 1088) which means it has the right crowd of motivated, musically/artistically inclined academics. The 38 kilometers of porticoes give it a comfortable pedestrian experience, many times the covered walkways carry one up above the vehicle. The central community center has an enormous library, holding an exhibit on new architectural/urban projects in Bologna, and an unrelated exhibit downstairs on children’s play spaces as they grow up. The similarities were stirring. Stacking high blocks beneath the table feels a lot like playing with buildings beneath the clouds. The due torri/two towers have so much character…they sit looming at the end of Via Rizzoli, subject to a series of reinforcements, ensuring their stability. Piazza Nettuno is a funny medieval pocket space, upon which a grid has been super-imposed and ended with a statue of Neptune. The orthogonal scaffold sits snugly off axis between low steps, its logic aligned only with itself creating a neutral field or backdrop on which to measure our movements and the movements of others.

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