This time more about my whereabouts in August of 2015. During the summer time, especially in August, Italy is on vacation. Many people go to the seaside or retreat to the more fresh climate in the mountains. The consequence is the emptiness of the central cities and Bologna is not an exception. Anyway, August is great for planning your trips.
At the beginning of the month my friends Uroš, Tomaž, and Anja visited me in Bologna. It was a great reunion and I showed them places around Bologna. For the next day we decided to visit the cheese factory 4 Madonne near Modena. They produce cheese Parmigiano Reggiano which is also my favourite kind of cheese. During the visit we got familiar with the production of cheese and at the end visited the ageing warehouse, where all cheese wheels are aged from 12 to 36 months. The older the cheese the higher the price, obviously. At the end we had a degustation to taste different kinds of cheese and other typical dishes from Emilia-Romagna region.
For the second weekend I decided to visit Siena and Florence. During my trip to Siena I unfortunately forgot to change the train and arrived in Pisa instead of Siena. I really wanted to see the Palio di Siena so I bought a new ticket and arrived just in time for the event. Il Palio is a famous horse race which takes place in Siena’s main square Piazza del Campo on 2nd July and 16th August every year. It is a special event with tradition dating back to 1656. Again I was misfortuned since the race was postponed to the next day due to bad weather. Anyway, the city was crowded with tourists and the race experience was still there. Siena is divided into 17 regions and each of them was decorated with typical ornaments and flags for the racing day.
Siena was the most important banking and trading city in the early Middle Ages and at that time it was bigger than Paris. Even though this was 600 years ago, the city has not changed much and still offers a unique historical experience. The narrow streets, old small houses and magnificent Siena Cathedral are reviving the city’s old days. Indeed if you want to deposit your money in the oldest still operating bank in the world, you should go to the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. The history of this bank dates back to the year 1472.
My next tourist stop was in Florence. It is one of the most beautiful cities in Italy and the world. At this place the Renaissance was born and the cultural heritage of the city is immense. At its peak this city state dominated Europe with its commerce that was under control of Medici family. The city is full of Renaissance museums and sculptures, including the most famous sculpture of David. The main church, Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore rises above the city. It has the largest brick dome in the world with diagonal of 45 meters. The whole building project to construct the cathedral lasted more than 140 years.
Among numerous museums I visited Museo Galileo, which is devoted to history of science. There you can see the development of all scientific branches throughout history. For those interested in arts I would recommend Uffizi Gallery, a very renown and one of the oldest art museums. Once in Florence, one must not miss the cross over the bridge Ponte Vecchio and take a look over the river to the elegant bridge Ponte Santa Trinita which is the oldest elliptic arch bridge in the world.
My final tour took place in Sasso Marconi, a town near Bologna where great scientist Guglielmo Marconi experimented in his early career. This place is renown as the birthplace of modern wireless telecommunications, since Marconi established the first wireless connection here in 1895. For this milestone he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1906 for contribution in wireless telegraphy.
The experimental work proved to be a success and Marconi later in his career established a telecommunication company named The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company. It was the biggest telecommunications company in the beginning of 20th century. Its equipment was widespread and also the Titanic was fitted with Marconi’s spark radio station with the power of 5 kW. It had a range of 250 nautical miles and during the night its signal could reach points even 2000 nautical miles away.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog. Now it is your turn to visit Italy!