Italy's always been a bit of a frustration for me. I've visited it twice before and found the people friendly, the country beautiful, but the economy a wreck. Italian infrastructure is incomplete, with many projects derailed by corruption. Traveling through Italy shows many abandoned buildings and poorly maintained rail stations and that's in the relatively rich north. I've not been to southern Italy, which I'm told is in even worse shape. It's bad enough that there is a separatist movement in Northern Italy.
None of that changes the fact that Italy is beautiful and the food is wonderful, though I made a mistake and ordered a pepperoni pizza. I've had this happen before that I've ordered pepperoni pizza here in Europe and wound up with bell peppers instead of the spicy salami we all love.
|Yes, this is a real pepperoni pizza.|
On Thursday we had dinner at Le Golosità di Nonna Aurora, a local restaurant which specializes in Bolognese food. That made me happy because quite often I go to conferences and we get taken to an "ethnic" restaurant which is completely unrelated to the local food. If I'm going to be somewhere, I want to experience as much of there as I can.
The starter was a lovely soup with ham tortellini in a clear chicken broth.
|Nice and light. A great start.|
|Both were great, but that pasta on the left was superb!|
|A surprising main course.|
|Lemon custard pie for dessert.|
The rest of my stay in Bologna involved me giving a couple of talks at the conference and wandering around Bologna a bit. Sadly, I never really got any good photos of the city. It's mostly an industrial town and like most Italian architecture, it's red, yellow or orange brick and stucco buildings. It's not very large and easy to walk through. Many of the residential areas we were in were very beautiful and I kept thinking, once again, that it's a shame about the state of the Italian economy. I could easily live there.