Ahh Bologna...If I had to pick the most care-free year of my life, apart from maybe my preschool years, it would be the year I spent here a decade ago. The first year of graduate school, surrounded by smart and motivated people that were smart and motivated about the things I cared about....A gorgeous town - enough history to give it gravitas, enough decadence to make it fun. Bologna is home to hundreds and hundreds of porticos (the vaulted arches over the walkways), one of the gastronomical capitals of Italy, and a jumping off point to some of the other bastions of Italian living: Florence, Venice, Milan and Rome were but a train ride away, but little gems like Modena, Parma, Sienna were also but a stone's throw.
It wasn't all sunshine and roses all the time. We were there the year of 9/11 and felt so far from home - there were rainy days, frustrating exams, and empty wallets. But somehow that part doesn't really stick out so much in my memory. It's amazing that ten years later, nearly three quarters of our class returned and just like that it was like no time had passed. Apperitivos on the piazza, cappucinos on the terrazzo, and gelato in the passegio...sound like a dream? It was. For those two days it was like nothing had changed, the usual suspects were playing their usual roles, and it was like having those days back for just a moment more.
Here are a few glimpses via Instagram. Although I had meticulously packed the camera, lenses, batteries and all I could possibly need, they weren't worth much when the camera bag was left on the TSA screening conveyor belt at Dulles airport. We picked it up upon our return but it meant that the phones were all we had to capture the memories - and in the end, it was just as well. With the camera, I was sure to be behind it all the time, partly for pictures and partly to hide. This forced me to make sure I was participating in all that was going on, no security blaket. And it's just as well, I think everything turned out just as well as we could have hoped - just another five years until the next trip!
All photos via Instagram by The New Diplomats Wife.