Thursday, June 2, 2011

Siamo Qui!

We are here!  In Bologna.  We arrived Wednesday afternoon as planned.  All our travel connections worked, and the baggage arrived on time and intact (though we found a Notice of Inspection from TSA left inside one of Cinzia’s bags).
Getting out of town involved a marathon day of cleaning the house, loading the storage container and packing our luggage.  Here’s Cinzia sitting amidst all the potential clothing before triage.

And here I am standing in the empty PODS container about to start loading.

After a few hours sleep at a hotel near SFO, we flew off to Italy via Dulles (United 777) and Munich (Lufthansa A333), with the last leg on Air Dolomiti (Embraer 195) into Bologna.  The taxi dropped us in front of the portone (literally, big door) of our apartment building, where we were soon met by the rental agent Simone to give us the keys and help get us settled.  

Our apartment is charming, though not without quirks.  We’re one story up from street level, but it’s a tall story, especially carrying baggage.  Our main rooms face an interior garden courtyard, with a big conifer just outside the bedroom window.  There are exposed sections of old fresco painting on some ceilings alongside ancient chestnut wood beams, and the floors are rich, old herringbone hardwood.

The neighborhood is full of shops, ristoranti, bar/cafes, and small business offices.  A few doors away is a fruttivendolo (small fruit and vegetable market); farther along is a wonderful gastronomia, a sort of fancy food shop with house-made (fatta a casa) pastas, cheeses and cured meats.  There are a lot of these in Bologna.  We bought cute little pasta called caramelle (because they're shaped like small candies in twisted wrappers) for our first dinner here.  We also have a high concentration of gelato shops around us.  We got sort of a late start yesterday but still managed to try a couple of them.
For our friends at Caffè del Doge, please know that we miss you but found lovely cappuccini with beautifully fine-textured foam at Bar Pasticceria Impero on Via dell' Indipendenza.  Roberto had his first bombolone of this trip—a cream-filled pastry like those he enjoyed on our first trip to Bologna undici anni fa.  And Cinzia had conchiglia pesca—a shell-shaped pastry filled with peach (not fish) jam.

Thursday, June 2, is a national holiday here and is likely the subject of our next entry.
Ciao, Roberto e Cinzia

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