The strap on my luggage broke, so this morning I went to the ferramenta(hardware store), and bought a nut and bolt ( dado and bullone) and a small screwdriver. It was a typical small store with a shopkeeper who found what I needed. Life is simple sometimes.
Afterwards on my way to the train station, I passed the two towers, or Le Due Torri, and also came across a demonstration, apparently against Berlusconi’s policies. Italians are passionate about everything, and this reminded me of the 60’s when young people were so involved and passionate about their beliefs. Bologna has a lot of students and young people in general, and it was inspiring to see them so involved in a cause.
My plan was to take a day trip to nearby Ferrara, and I caught the train, and four euros and 45 minutes later, I was there. After walking 15 minutes to the center of Ferrara, I found the tourist office and obtained a map. Quite by accident I came across the well-known osteria, Al Brindisi. This is the oldest osteria in the world, dating back to 1435, and has been highly recommended for authentic food from Ferrara. Naturally since I was hungry I decided to have lunch here.
Bologna is known as the gastronomic capital of Italy and I have read that Ferrara has even better food. I wanted to try some regional cuisine here, so I ordered their traditional pasticcio di maccheroni alla Ferrarese, a macaroni pie, and it was delicious!
While waiting for my food, I met a young American student, Kellen, from the University of Bologna. We had a nice conversation, and he gave me a few suggestions on places to check out in Bologna, particularly La Sorbetteria on via Castiglione for the best gelato. I had already heard about this, so it is definitely on my list!
Ferrara was easy to get around on foot, and I found that the streets in both Ferrara and Bologna are easier to navigate than in Rome. They seem to be laid out in a more organized away, and it is not as easy to get lost. Since the shops close in the afternoon till 4pm, I walked around Ferrara and then took the train back to Bologna. Once in Bologna, I saw a poster indicating the transportation strike which would be occurring at 7:30pm, so I was lucky that I had gotten back early enough to avert that potential problem.