Photo diary: Exploring Sensual Bologna day 5

October 17, 2011

Another beautiful crisp clear morning in Piazza San Stefano

we're spending the morning with our very smart guide Simona on a tour of the Basilica di S. Stefano with its famous Seven Churches mushed together like TinkerToys

the main entrance, and most of the exteriors, are extremely unadorned

the easternmost church was originally built as a pagan temple to Isis


amidst these antique stone artifacts, a side chapel contains a surprising and touching war memorial

on our way to the next stop on the tour, we passed the statue honoring the 18th century physician and physicist Luigi Galvani, from whom we get the galvanic response and the concept of animal electricity

Simona next led us through the Archiginnasio, once the main building of the University of Bologna (the world's first)

now primarily used as a library, the monumental building also contains the original anatomical theater

the ceiling artwork represents the zodiac -- astrology was carefully studied once upon a time

a church official sat in a hidden chamber above the classroom, ready to interfere if he heard any teachings with which the Church disagreed

after a stroll through the Basilica of San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore, Andy and I made our way across town to the bustling university district

it has a somewhat different feel from the commercial center of Bologna

better graffiti, for one thing

hilarious sign posted among the bushes in a public park

on the way back to our residence, we happened to pass the birthplace of the great filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini

that night, we forsook traditional Bolognese fare for the creative nouvelle cuisine of Marco Fadiga

the maestro himself

the starter: antipasto kebab served in a glass (mango, fig, mozzarella, prosciutto, zucchini -- yum!)

the dessert plate included a drizzle of caramel syrup containing cigar tobacco

but the piece de resistance was an outrageous creamy risotto with speck and pesto

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