Last night in the pouring rain I arrived in Bologna, Italy. Thank goodness for the sage counsel from my BellaThea, who advised I take a taxi to my apartment, even though the landlord had assured me a bus would take only five minutes. Three trains and ten hours later (Freiburg to Basel, Basel to Milano, and Milano to Salermo with a stop in Bologna), I had all I could do to negotiate my carryon, MEC traveling pack and purse, let alone find the address. And thank goodness I’d packed a headlamp because my first challenge was several flights of stairs in the dark (even though Alessandra said “first floor” when I rang) and getting through locked gates en route to the door.
The apartment…just like the photos on the VCBO website…but smaller!!!!! The tricks of a good photographer! And with some improvisation all I need …a litre water bottle has become a vase for my orange roses, the bidet a footbath.
The location is perfect…steps away from the Quadrilatero, Roman Bologna, filled with colourful market stalls selling produce and flowers, delis and cafes. And a few steps further to the sightseeing centre, La Piazza Maggiore, and I Due Torre.
My reservation was contingent on having an internet “stick,” and from the reviews, anticipation of a ricotta torta made by the landlord’s wife. Niente. Thankful to another “angel” on my path (I’ve encountered at least four so far), as Alessandra took her motorbike in the rain and brought back the aforementioned stick – my only request as I saved the sandwich I’d made that morning “just in case” – and provisions including espresso, tea, milk, water, a bottle each of beer, prosecco and a local sparkling red, proscuitto, crackers, biscotti, oranges, kiwis and tomatoes. At my request she stayed until I got my internet connection. I paid the remaining rent and we bid each other “buona notte.”
I poured some of the local specialty vino rosso frizzante , opened the proscuitto and crackers, turned on my netbook, and bit into a tomato.
Ohmygod…my first Italian tomato! Firmness gave way to the fruity sweet juice. I’d had never tasted a tomato as good, as fresh, as tomato. “Golden apple,” as the first tomatoes grown in Italy, imported from South America, were gold and in their sweetness and shape, must have reminded folks of an apple, un pomo.
What a welcome! Che accoglienza!