Turning right outside the door, at Via Val D'Aposa, named after one of the rivers that formed part of the Bologna's canal system in the Middle Ages, I turn right again. One cannot help but notice, a short distance ahead on the right, the Oratorio of the Holy Spirit, erected by the Celestines from 1481 to 1497. It seems like a dollhouse church, with intricate terracotta decorations on its facade. The street is narrow and the ordinary porticoed palazzi -- stained shades of golden yellow to rusty red ocher -- smell musty. I wander toward Piazza Maggiore again, aware that under my feet as I walk, Roman Bononia still rests as it has for centuries. And so I end today's encounter with the layers of Bologna's past.

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I invite your comments in English or Italian about what I have written.

Bologna Reflections: An Uncommon Guide by Mary Tolaro-Noyes.
Copyright March 1997, April 2008. All rights reserved.

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