returning to Bologna and parla Italiano!

Continuing with my 2011 Italy trip… Bologna!!

This was my 5th time staying in Bologna. My main activity planned for this stay was a week of private Italian lessons with the wonderful Andrea Quarantotto of Bolognalingua.

Sunday, June 12th:
Once arriving in Bologna, I took a taxi to my apartment where I arranged to meet the owners. The apartment was located in the perfect location, not too far from Piazza Maggiore. The owners stayed for a few moments, showing me how to work the keys and a few other important things. Pros of the apartment: great neighborhood, close to, quiet, safe, comfortable bed, nice clean sheets, internet (but not wireless); Cons: kitchen and table not very clean, rancid smell coming out of the kitchen sink, and a huge scorpion crawling out from under the bathroom rug the last morning when getting out of the shower. I personally would not rent this apartment again but it could have been a fluke with the lack of cleaning it thoroughly before I arrived. .

Because it has now been almost three years since my trip, many of the details are no longer sharp in my memory. Fortunately I did write down some notes during my 10 days in Bologna and of course my photos help jog my memory.

After settling in and unpacking (and cleaning a bit), I walked around the neighborhood a bit and also stopped in to the nearby Plenty Market to pick up a few things.

Here’s the neighborhood church, Chiesa di San Martino:_MG_8140

I contacted Andrea to set up a time to meet him in the morning. I also asked him directions to a lavandaria (laundry place).

As I headed out with maps in my hand, I was delighted to finally discover one of the Bologna canals:_MG_8147

I got a bit lost but finally found the Lavi e Asciughi Lavandaria (Via Irnerio, 35/b):_MG_8141

While waiting for my clothes to be washed and then dried, I met a nice couple from Arizona. It was a pleasant wait until four ragazzi (young people) showed up. There was a no smoking sign in the laundry room, so the ragazzi stood in the doorway and smoked, blowing all the smoke inside, as they chatted away, waiting for their clothes.

When my clothes finally finished drying, I pulled them out and folded them as quick as possible, trying to avoid getting the smell of the smoke in the clothes. I realized when I returned to my apartment that I must have missed grabbing one of my socks, which would not have been that big of a deal except that it was my very favorite pair of socks. I still have the other sock to this day, hoping one day to find another pair being sold just like them. I ate dinner at a pizzeria nearby.

Monday, June 13th:
Andrea met me at my apartment Monday morning. We stopped for an espresso at a nearby bar and then he helped me buy a ticket for the bus. As we waited at the bus stop, he explained the bus system to me. Together, we took the bus to his place. Buses are the one type of transportation that always makes me a bit nervous in Italy. I often miss the stop I need, so I watched very carefully as we rode past various landmarks. It ended up being quite easy to find the bus stop near his house.

Here’s the important bridge landmark near the bus stop by Andrea’s house
IMG_1149

and a photo of the bus that I took to Andrea’s house:
IMG_1147

When we arrived at Andrea’s house, I met his lovely wife, Daniele. She was about to head out for the day, but I did enjoy a wonderful lunch with her later in the week. I can’t remember all of the details about my lesson now, but I can say that if I ever decide to take lessons again in Italy, it would definitely be with Andrea. He is a very patient teacher. He brings humor to his lessons but also brings much knowledge as he explains various grammar rules that always mess me up.

After my morning lesson, I took the bus back to the center and had a panino caprese at Eat Italy. I met Andrea later int he afternoon for a tour of Bologna. He was surprised at how much I knew already about Bologna as he gave me the tour. It was a rainy afternoon. Here are a couple of photos I took.IMG_1150IMG_1153

Later in the week, went back to many of the interesting sites we visited together to take some photos. I will share them in a future post.

I was very excited to return to Ristorante Teresina that evening for dinner. I ordered one of my all time favorite dishes… tortelloni ripieni di ricotta e spinaci in burro e salvia. YUM!!IMG_1155

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