Bologna was started by some Etruscans about 600yrs BBB (before the Big Bang) as a university for cooks and builders.
The Romans originally called it Banana, but later on, they straightened it out. They were not very good at geography because they thought the Pennines would be an obstacle to their road building plans; but they made it an A road, hence you can now drive the Apennine way
There are some lovely views over the roofs and towers and churches from the hills in the public park on the edge of town.
At first it was a port town so you can still find porta Nuova, porta Castiglione, porta Saragozza, porta Felice, porta Mascarella, etc . Then they built seven churches inside each other. About 100 yrs after BBB they invented spaghetti and ragu which brought lots of tourists and they made loadsamoney.
Egidio picked a fight with all the contender Popes outside Rome and he kicked their arse, so only the pope from Rome was legit from then on. He became ruler and saint and started a college for Spanish students who still come to Bologna to study how to cook spaghetti and build good walls. The professors were were so important that they were buried in green pyramids.
They had nothing much to do, so they had a competition for building towers and 200 people built towers, going taller & taller, but they had to stop when they started leaning. To compensate, they invented shopping therapy and made 30 miles of shopping mall called portico, with fancy painted ceilings and cafes all along. It still works a treat.
In school, some of the boys kept playing with frogs and electricity and valves – which was allowed in those times. Galvani and Marconi were given detention and the teachers made Marconi assemble kit radios and broadcast from one tower to the field outside town. Galvani was made to generate subterranean hydro-electric power. There were no rules about child abuse at that time in history.
We met some very nice people from the Reconstructed Communist Party (Rifondazione)in the main square who are running a campaign for a wealth tax and against excessive pay for heads of industry. They are opposing useless prestige projects like a bridge to Sicily and a fast train into France. They are also very worried about private schools getting all the subsidy while state schools and teachers are under severe austerity.
Bologna is still known as La Dotta, La Grassa and La Rossa because its people are so well educated, so good at pasta ragu and so very socialistic.
Fortunately there were very few living people in the Archaeology Museum when we went round, so it was restful and highly cultural. I found some roman coins which had been left in a fountain and no one wanted, so I trousered them pdq. Later about a million school kids and parents and random tourists came flooding in, so we made a quick getaway.
The Peruvian Pan’s Pipes flute band from the Fast Show were playing in the square which made a very nice ambience and some Spanish people in catalan costume were dancing and singing merrily near to Galvani’s statue.
3 thoughts on “A roof with a flue”
Keep the history lessons coming. I am now much clearer about spaghetti rossa and reconstructed ragu let alone Marconi and the invention of the satellite dish thanks
I love your blog! Keep writing your stories
I am amazed the pan pipes band were with you. they were playing in islington this week. they are clearly doing an international circuit. glad to see the world is ‘getting smaller’ in terms of digital technology and the best that pan pipes have to offer. please don’t run away with the communists. we like coming round to visit you at home. although you could start the south east london HQ? just a thought.