Fittingly for our last day in Bologna, Gus and I were walking down the main street near our apartment, past the church that we have walked by for 12 days now, and the doors were opening. We decided to peek in, and we got a treat of an organist at rehearsal. As we walked around a bit, we noticed that between the hours of 2-4 (and it was just then 2 pm) you could climb the bell tower for views of the city and have a guided tour of the crypt. An offering was suggested. The church had 2 bell towers–the new one was constructed around the old one. The old one was built in 1028. The new one was in the 12th century. We hadn’t climbed the leaning tower in Bologna because it’s leaning, and I don’t do heights well, much less ones that defy physics. Anyway, this was the perfect compromise. We made our way to the top via narrow circular ramps and were rewarded with amazing views. I was even comfortable enough to approach the windows and take my own pictures. We made our way back down into the crypts and got a history lesson about the church which was built over Roman ruins in 1028, was destroyed by fire, and reconstructed several times into the 1800s. In the crypt, they had a cut-away of the various levels. The coolest thing by far, and I hope more historical sites will do this, is they had a virtual reality headset that showed you a reconstruction of the original church. Very cool. Tonight we’ll have our last dinner in Bologna and see Interstellar on the screen in the main square. Tomorrow Gus gets on a bus to Piobicco, where he’ll spend the next 2 weeks in piano lessons and masterclasses at a castle.
I will head north to Sud-Tirol, the German-speaking part of Italy for a few weeks in the mountains, where I will busy myself with wurst and strudel.