Bologna and Venice for Carnivale
Friday morning, we took a train from Rome to Bologna, which was about four hours. There was some confusion about tickets and reservations for hostels, hotels, and trains, but finally, we dropped off our one bag, and went out to eat and explore. There are several things you should know about Bologna. It is at the heart of some of the best food in the whole country. Also, it’s home to one of the oldest—if not the oldest—university in the world (opened in 1088). Porticoes line 38 km of its city streets. There was not an incredible amount to do and see, but we enjoyed all of it. And the food, oh my. I’ll share this: for dinner we stumbled into a little trattoria that was on the same street as our hotel and also recommended in Dan’s guidebook. I had tortellini di zucca (pumpkin) alla ragù. Both tortellini and ragù, the meat sauce otherwise known as Bolognese sauce, are staples of Bologna’s cuisine, and it was truly amazing. Best meal so far. Check out my pictures from Bologna here. There’s too much to write about.
On Saturday morning we took a shorter, two hour train to Venice. The main intention of this trip was to participate in the Venetian Carnival. We did no research or preparation and instead just hit the streets and canals, with no place to stay and only a vague idea of what we wanted to do. It was wet and cold, but it was still Venice. We walked around all day, enjoying the revelry with our fellow masqueraders. We took a leisurely meal in the Italian fashion and later met up with some friends from our program in Rome. Waiting for our midnight train back, we encountered one of the outdoor DJ tents—a soggy collaboration of alcohol, glitter, and 80s American pop hits. It was an interesting time, but I have every intention of coming back (when its warmer) and doing Venice right. To cap it off, David and I and had quite lively conversation with two Spaniards on the train (entirely in Italian). Mainly, David learned new Italian words with which to adequately describe our outgoing president. Here are my disparate pictures from Venice.