Saturday, November 3, 2018
Bologna, Two Gentlemen of Verona and Further Hobknoberry.
A fabulous week in two terrific cities, we felt the first few drops of rain as we raced for the aerobus, post breakfast at the weekend, Turns out it didn't stop raining for the next four days and the Adige, Arno, Po and Tiber all bust their banks.
Anyway, there now follows a brief record of our movements during half term week,
let me put that another way,
There now follows a not so brief record of our movements during half term week. Regular visitors to this parish will be aware of a need to write things down else stuff gets forgotten as to where and when we have actually been.
Bologna first, with an early morning flight that we almost missed due to the M3/M25 junction being closed. Remember that smart motorway thing? the installation of all those clever digital boards imparting information and the very hell of several years of twenty odd miles of average speed control?
Well we passed many blank information boards to be met by the closure of the M3/M25 junction, we were then guided by cones through Richmond, Reigate and possibly Rochester to Gatwick with a minute or two to spare before boarding began.
Released from the shitshow that is the motorway system in the south east of England, we touched down in one of our favourite cities, where we visited the right restaurants, shopped in the right shops and generally spent a couple of days living high on the hog in brilliant Bologna.
If you've half a mind to visit anywhere in northern Italy, Bologna is a cheap place to fly to and a railway hub with most of what this corner of Europe has to offer less than two hours train ride away.
There's a lift up this tower and it gives a great view of the city and both appenine and alpine hills. For a substantial fee you can also hire the top deck for small functions and general hobknoberry.
Think on The Ageas Bowl
Church the next day.
The lumpen basilica is quite the thing in these parts and Verona has its fair share, and so it was that we donned the holy headsets of Cathederal Santa Maria Matricolare and its associated out buildings and campanile for a tour of its crypts and chattels.
Sited atop Roman remains, as much of the city is, it has an antechamber with enough symbology to set Dan Brown aquiver,
Very much the Frankie Boyle of his day, he was holed up with a rich family at the foot of the tower for a few years while the people of Florence demanded his head on a pike/pykee
With the Nazis sent packing, the locals painstakingly picked up the pieces and put the thing back together again,
as has been the case on so many occasions across the ages once the madness of war has passed.
There's a Funicular in Verona and once more we headed the morning queue, principally because we misread the opening time on the leaflet provided, and arrived half an hour early for our ride up to Castel San Pietro.
And then it was time to immerse ourselves in the Shakespearean theme park that draws a plethora of crocodile hordes led by umbrella toting guides.
(In the voice of the guy who introduced the acts on The Good Old Days, Andrew Sachs, i think) My Lords, Ladies and anyone else who cares to be in the vicinity, I give you...........The two Gentlemen of Verona!
From memory, and a dismal performance in A level English Literature may betray me here (which I directly attribute to the nonsense that is Joeffry Chaucer,the dirge of Gerard Manley Hopkins and a relatively hedonistic lifestyle for one of such young years), but the nuts of the plot centred around a complicated relationship where cross dressing is writ large, an unruly dog and violent relations cropping up late in the piece.
but Brodie's notes made no mention of this balcony,
Handy Travel Tip No. 342- The international signal of trying to prop something up (I am not warming my hands on Juliet's arse) can be applied to most significant sites when visiting Italy, from the leaning tower of Pisa, through Michelangelo's David to the Shroud of Turin.
Wasn't that the supermarket that Reg Holdsworth managed in Coronation St in the early 90s?
Take it as read that food and wine were tremendous and we lived fairly high on the hog. Beef cheek in amerone was a particular highlight as was the tortellini in Bologna.
As I said, I'm now of an age when I have to write stuff down, else it's all to easily forgotten, and anyway, you don't have to read it you know.
River news to follow shortly.