Friends and colleagues,
I've arrived in Bologna. No problems on trip at all, no lost luggage, no interestingly nasty experience. Did meet and have lunch with Gene Rosa (Sociology) purely by chance in the Seattle airport.
I arrived first in Milano, stayed the night. A bit dicey finding the hotel at night in Milano, but otherwise all “va bene.” Next day, I took il treno to Bologna. The train stations were zoos because of Easter/pasqua. My landlords - Andrea and Marco met me at the train station and brought me to my new apartment. Andre Vogt is from Pullman-Moscow (her father was librarian at WSU) They met when Marco was a student at WSU (with Marcus Flury, soil chemistry/physics)
Now, I am in my apartment and have the internet hooked up. I have a very nice little apartment with two balconies, 15 foot ceilings and a loft. Hardest part is figuring out how to use the slightly different appliances. It has both dishwasher and washing machine, but they are “piccolo” and a bit weird. No dryer, so currently I have laundry hanging all over. The apartment is near a little piazza with little vegetable stands and a row of little shops. I am in the “centro storico” of Bologna, not far from Via Zamboni (really). Via Zamboni is the “University Ave” for the University of Bologna. “UniBo” has 100,000 students in a town of 600,000 – so this is also a University town, but a little different scale!
So far, I have been setting up my apartment and walking around the central district these first few days. I did manage to stay up late to watch the Cougar basketball game with Notre Dame“streamed” on the web. Finished 2:00 AM my time. GO COUGS
Bologna is laid out roughly in a set of concentric circles. The centro is within what were the walls of the old city, centered on the Piazza Magiorre and the due torri. The city is laid out like a bulls-eye with a series of concentric circles. The centro storico is relatively small and walkable. Twelve major streets radiate from the center, with a series of small roads, roughly concentric but invariably small, mostly short and narrow. Most of this historical section has very strict limits on car traffic. So far, I am always confused but never lost in the center (Gee sounds normal, stifle Jon). The inner piazza and the outer ring road (viale where the walls used to be contain the old city so that you really cannot get lost.) (There is an additional large ring of major highways even further out in the suburbs.) I did find the really nice part of town with the fancy shops and ristoranti – Gucci, Giorgi Armani et al are, in residence, though nothing seems as lush as Firenze. Lot’s of people were out walking for la paqua (easter). Amazingly, I was in a photo store when a couple came up to me and asked in halting English if I knew Marco Costanegro. After a short amazed pause, I recognized them as Marco’s best man and one of the maids of honor at the wedding a year ago! City of 600,000 and we run into each other on the street!
So that’s a little bit of Phil’s first week. Wednesday, I go out to the University (part is in the centro, part is in the suburbs) and start to meet people. Also, we’re planning a web site so I can blog and post pictures for any interested in “pippo’s adventures” in Italia.
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