Europe Round Two

We arrived at the party and of course, I grabbed the first Happy New Year that I could get my hands on. The DJ played a variety of electric, pop, R&B, and Hip Hop music. "Ten, nine, eight, seven...", we all chanted as the bartenders poured complimentary champion for each guest. "...six, five, four, three, two, one! HAPPY NEW YEAR!" With couples kissing and the noise of champagne flutes and music in the background, I danced in the New Year.

This is how I have brought in the New Year these past few years. Partying it up with friends in the United States. But this New Year I decided to say goodbye to 2016 by literally flying into 2017 on my way to Italy. As exciting as you would think a New Years Eve flight would be it wasn't. Well, I don't recall it being exciting because I was fast asleep. However, I did wake up in time for some sparkling wine! I arrived at my first stop on my second European adventure, Bologna on Italy New Years Day. To be honest I never heard of Bologna but the $369 (including travel insurance) TAP Portugal plane ticket brought the food capital of Italy to my attention. My flight with TAP Portugal was great and the features on the plane were very modern. I used the discount travel website to book my flight.

As I mentioned before Bologna is the food capital of Italy. I spent about a day and a half confirming this fact. Within the first four hours of being in Bologna, I had the best pizza I have ever had! Words can not express the fresh deliciousness. The second day during my trip I explored the middle age streets of Bologna. I started my day at Convento San Giacomo Maggiore, a cathedral that was consecrated in 1344. The next cathedral I went to was Basilica of San Domenico, built in the early 1200s.

The details in the gothic architecture were breathtaking in both cathedrals. Every corner of the cathedrals left me saying wow. Before eating lunch I went to Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio (Library, Anatomical Theatre, and Stabat Mater Lecture Hall). Palazzo dell'Archiginnasio was built in 1562 and was the main building for the University of Bologna. the Anatomical Theatre was very interesting to me since I am a health professional. Now the building houses thousands of manuscripts, books, pamphlets and more.

My next stop was Ristorante C'era Una Volta for some authentic tortellini. Bologna is the birthplace of tortellini. The nickname for tortellini is belly button. Once again my taste buds were dancing with joy from how good the food tasted. The last cathedral I visited was Basilica di San Petronio. Out of the three cathedrals, I visited Basilica di San Petronio was the largest. I ended my site seeing at Asinelli and Garisenda (The Two Towers). These two towers were used by the military during the middle ages. There are 498 wooden steps in the taller tower, Asinelli.  There was only one way up and one way down the tower, which helped me fight my fear of heights. The second tower, Garisenda, is shorter and closed to the public. I ended my day by treating myself to another Bologna original dish bolognese and pistachio gelato. During my stay, I lodged at DOPA hostels for $25 a night. The female dorm was very clean and the service was great!

Bologna is the third city I have visited in Italy. Rome and Nettuno are the other two cities I have been to. I can definitely see myself visiting Bologna again especially for the food and history!


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