Our first disappointing NH hotel: only 2 outlets in the whole room. We had to bum an extension cord to plug in Todd’s CPAP – and that outlet only worked when the main lights were on. So we unscrewed bulbs so we could sleep. And we thought we had prepaid for breakfast, but apparently not. For €18 per person per day, we could buy a lot of breakfast elsewhere – so we did!

But many of the staff at the hotel were great. Thanks to the bartender’s recommendation, we had a fabulous dinner on a skinny street a bit off the main street. I don’t think we could have gone wrong at any of the eateries there, but 051 was amazing!

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And the hotel location was great: across the way from the train station (but quiet), at the edge of the city center, with a view from our room of Porta Galliera, one of the old city gates. And what a city center! Porticos mean you can walk in the shade. Bicycles everywhere mean less car traffic. Walkable. Pleasant. Great food everywhere. What a place!

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Our first morning, we found a café that brought barista art to a whole new level – too pretty to drink, but too good not to!

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One disappointment: the statue of Neptune in Piazza Nettuno was completely covered for restoration. But we’re always glad to see restoration happening – it means sights will be there for years to come.

Our touring, of course, began at the duomo in Piazza Maggiore: the Basilica of San Petronio, built between 1390 and 1663. The outside façade had never been finished, but the inside was incredible.

We found the two leaning towersTorre Asinelli and Torre Garisenda—where Todd struggled to get pictures. Damned power lines everywhere! We opted NOT to climb the 154 stairs to the top. In the evenings, that area is filled with high school kids just hanging out.

And after a false start or two, we found the university – the oldest in the western world.

Back near the towers, we stumbled onto a fabulous restaurant for lunch–Ristorantino il Tinello–so good that we returned there our last night in town.

Lots of window shopping along Via Indipendenza, Bologna’s main street.

Do your homework: Todd went to visit the Ducati Museum, but it was closed on Wednesday.

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