#GSBVisitsItaly: Motunde Explored the Charm & Beauty of Italy’s Hidden Gems | Here’s the Story
I said this every day – From catching a cab to just hailing everyone around. I guess this is what 1 week in Italy does to you.
It is okay to say I am still reliving my days in Italy as I had an extremely eventful and fun one. Before my trip, I gave a hint about what the trip would be about – Did you read it? *Side eye* and I must say, it was just as I envisaged it to be.
My trip to Italy was placed in two phases: 4 days in Bologna and 2 days in Milan.
Bologna is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region in Northern Italy. It is the seventh most populous city in Italy with about 400,000 inhabitants from 150 different nationalities
I arrived in Bologna, Italy at Midnight & was I tired!? Oh yes…But not too tired to show off my comfort space & anticipate the Next Day.
Woke up with High Energy – I had specifically decided to start with an Ethnic touch to my outfit which I represented well in my Ankara kimono.
Day 1: Cosmoprof Worldwide Exhibition (Bologna)
One of the majors for this trip was to experience the 54th edition of the Cosmoprof Worldwide Exhibition – a landmark event that had stakeholders in the beauty industry network and exclusive access to new products and innovation in the industry. During the event, I spoke with brand executives and reviewed some of the products being showcased.
There were over a thousand stalls carefully categorized based on nationalities. From products to techniques, it was indeed a learning experience for me.
It was also an opportunity to network, and I made a new friend.
Day 2 – Bologna Tour Walk
It was time to learn about the history of Bologna and I was so excited about it. Bologna is a city that has been in existence for over 3,000 years and certainly had a lot to teach. It stands out for its beautiful and ancient architecture and a number of fun facts.
Out of the list, one stood out for me – tts nickname: “The red, The fat, and The learned”
“The red (colors of the buildings), the fat (The Sumptuous Foods), and the learned (It is known to have the oldest university in Europe).
Met up with the Tour Guide & my co-tourists from Denmark at the “Piazza del Nettuno” – which had its history as well
From the meeting point which significantly held the statue of the Greek god Neptune, we went on the Salaborsa which had the ruins of the ancient Bologna beneath its foundation and is now a modern library, one of the firsts in Bologna.
The Neptune Fountain, Bologna
The construction of the Neptune fountain was commissioned to symbolize the recent election of Pope Pius IV at the time. To clear space for the fountain, an entire edifice had to be demolished. More interestingly, as seen in the image above, Neptune stretches his left hand in a lordly gesture, appearing to be aiming to placate the waves; this posture is interpreted as the symbolic exaltation of the new power of Pope Pius IV.
Just as Neptune was the master of the seas, the Pope was seen as the master of Bologna and the world.
Basilica di San Petriono
Next up, we visited the Basilica di San Petriono – A building dedicated to the city’s patron saint and located in Piazza Maggiore. It is the largest church in Bologna.
This building holds the famous Music Chapel of San Petronio, the oldest musical institution in Bologna, The Chapel of the Three Wise Men (IV) and walls sumptuously frescoed by Giovanni da Modena with scenes representing “Heaven” and “Hell”. It also has the longest Sundial in the world by the astronomer Cassini, measuring 67.27 meters.
The Last Stop for the day was to the Local Market where we had window-viewings of different food stores and caught sight of the famous Leaning Towers in Bologna
The Towers of Bologna are a group of medieval structures in Bologna, Italy. The two most prominent ones remaining are known as the Two Towers.
To wrap up quite an insightful Tour – I visited a pastry store & treated myself to a hot cup of ‘Cappucino’
Day 3 – Bologna, Italy
The day started at 12 degrees and it was a good time to take a short walk around the area. From the calm and quiet in the environment to the light breeze wrapping through the trees, this was a soothing experience
After an hour, it was time for dinner. I had a sumptuous meal and headed back to the hotel to pack up. Milan in a bit! Whoop! Whoop!!
I arrived in Milan via train – it was an exciting one for me. It was a calm 1-hour trip. I arrived at my hotel – UNAHotels Cusani Hotels and the first thing on my mind was lunch.
Looked for a restaurant close by and found one just 8 mins away. This gave me some time to observe and take in the environment. I had dinner at Il Cestino and it was so good. It cost less than 20 euros in total!
Milan (Day 2)
It was Duomo time. I had heard a lot about the Duomo Cathedral before my trip and I was so excited to finally get the chance to visit. It was just 11 minutes from my hotel and trust me to take a stroll.
The Duomo di Milano is Italy’s largest church and the centrepiece of the entire city.
With more than 3,000 statues spread over the cathedral, its rooftop, and its baptistery; the Milan Duomo is a must-visit site on any trip to Milan. It is also the seat of the Archbishop of Milan and took over 600 years to construct.
Here are some facts about the Duomo before we go on:
- The Duomo is the fifth-largest Christian church in the world
- There are 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles, and 700 figures at the Milan Duomo
- There’s a Historical Red-bulb you shouldn’t Miss out on: This marks the spot where one of the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion was allegedly placed. Every year, the archbishop of Milan ascends to the apex in a wooden basket decorated with angels to retrieve the nail.
- It took thousands of workers, a new canal system, and over six centuries to put the Duomo Together
- 600 years after, construction is still ongoing at the Duomo – Making it the longest-worked cathedral in the world
A major highlight was the flock of pigeons in front of the Cathedral. Feeding them and taking a picture while at it should be a frame to keep for a long time.
It was indeed a good experience as I looked forward to the end of the day and my time in Milan.
Till the next, Love and Light!