Hi everyone! How is it going?
Italy, like every other country in the world, is full of surprises and hidden gems.
And so I wanted to share some with you, more specifically of the city of Bologna!
Bologna is a very ancient city, its roots can be traced back to the 3rd century B.C.
It is also called “la città dei portici” - “city of arches”. There is no other city in the world with as many porticoes. These arches stretch for 38 kilometers, downtown, but if you consider also the ones outside the city center, then the number can raise up to 53km.
Besides being a very beautiful city, Bologna is also well known for its peculiar 7 secrets. Let’s see them together, shall we?
- The little Venice:
In Via Piella, the first of Bologna’s secrets is hidden. If you look out of a small window on the wall, you will find yourself in front of a canal that is very reminiscent of those in Venice.
- The “wireless phone”
The second secret is more of a game, and it is practically impossible to pass under the Voltone del Potestà, in Piazza Maggiore, and not notice some people trying it out. The game works like this: you need two people to stand at opposite corners of the Voltone, facing the columns. If they say something, without raising their voices, always keeping their faces towards the columns; their voices will come through loud and clear, as if they were talking face to face.
- “Happy” Neptune
Just cross the square and stand on the black tile in front of the Neptune fountain to discover that from that point one of the fingers of the statue creates an amusing perspective illusion. In what sense? You just have to find out.
- The 3 arrows
Under the portico in Strada Maggiore, at the entrance to Corte Isolani, three arrows are hidden, embedded in the wood of the ceiling. Legend has it that a nobleman commissioned three assassins to kill his unfaithful wife. The woman appeared at the window without veils, thus distracting the archers who missed their aim and shot the arrows upwards. If you look closely you may be able to make out the outlines of the medieval darts that have remained there to this day.
This is one of the arrows!
- Bread, hemp, and wine
At the corner of via Indipendenza and via Rizzoli there is the “beautiful house of Canton de’Fiori”, an elegant building. By raising the head one can admire some mysterious inscriptions, one in particular reads: “panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia”, that is “bread is life, hemp is protection, wine is joy”. The phrase refers to the agricultural richness of the city, on which the local economy was based for a long time.
- The broken vase on Torre degli Asinelli
This is the hardest secret to discover, in fact you have to climb all 498 steps that lead to the top of the Asinelli Tower. Here you will find a broken vase that symbolizes Bologna’s political qualities in solving problems. Perhaps you don’t know that tradition says it’s bad luck to climb up there before graduation.
- The hidden inscription.
Rumor has it that in Palazzo Poggi, there is an inscription saying “panum resis” which means that conscience is at the base of every good choice. Few have seen this, and I still yet have to find it!
What do you think, guys? Would you like me to bring you more curiosities and secrets about Italy?