Street View in Bologna

posted in: Italy Travel, TRAVEL | 45

A street scene in Italy that could actually be anywhere there, but this one is from Bologna.

Bologna photo by Margie MiklasI am fascinated by the buildings in Italy, the shuttered windows, the flower boxes with thriving plant life and colorful seasonal blooms. The balconies made of stone, the awnings perfectly positioned to shade the bright sun.

I find myself wondering about the residents who live here. How many families live here? Do they live on more than one floor?

And what about the business on the lowest level, not called the first floor in Italy, but instead, the piano terra , or ground floor. The floor above that is called the primo piano, or first floor. (In the U.S. we’d call that the second floor).

That business sign indicates Bottega Vini, or Wine Cellar. Do they sell wine there in bottles, or can you go inside and have a glass of wine? I guess I will have to return to Bologna and see for myself.

What are your thoughts? What else catches your eye in this photograph? I’d love to hear your feedback, so please leave a comment.

Grazie and ciao

For more photos of Italy and other places please visit my Instagram page.


45 Responses

  1. Archana

    Visiting Italy for the first time this summer! I am so happy to have found your beautiful blog!

  2. Gloria Walsh

    Part of my relaxing Mother’s Day was spent reading and looking through some of the gorgeous pictures of Margie Miklas’s book Colors of Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Thank you Margie it’s awesome!

  3. Vino Travels

    I agree Margie. The streets are so charming and I love when the elderly are hanging outside the windows as well overlooking the streets. La dolce vita!

  4. Anonymous

    I spent 18 days in Italy in April, and 4 nights in Bologna. It is a pretty city, and my first reaction when seeing your picture was : the house is *white*. Not red. I think I have seen all tones of red and terracotta, but no white. Nice picture!

    P.S.: On a previous post I was mentionning that I was going to visit Orvieto. It is one of the prettiest and calmest city I have ever visited. The world capital of the movement “Città Slow” is well named. It was a very nice and relaxing part of my vacations. Also, in Toscana, my penpal – room lender came to pick me up in Siena and on our way to Colle Val D’Elsa I mentionned your blog and the remarks you had made about Monteriggioni, and he made the detour!! Lovely 😍

  5. Book Club Mom

    I like this – the plants hanging down from the flower boxes are really growing, aren’t they? People in my American neighborhood wouldn’t let them get so long – we’re so used to chopping things short!

    On another note, I received your beautiful book about Naples and the Amalfi coast this week. It’s on our coffee table for all to see! Thank you!

    • margieinitaly

      Oh so glad to hear the book arrived Barbara! I hope you enjoy it! You are right about thise hanging plants too. I rarely see them where I live in Florida either

  6. stellalucentellc

    Very lovely photo. I have never been to Bologna, but know the city has the nickname “the fat one” because of all the delicious, rich food! And of course, now I realize it is beautiful, like all other Italian cities.

  7. Tony

    Honestly, when I see an image like that I am reminded of my time spent in Italy, how brief it was and how it changed me forever. That photo epitomizes the Italian, European lifestyle that I miss and would like to live someday.

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Tony. When you say that when you went to Italy it changed you forever It touches my heart because I think Italy has that affect. I could not have said it better.

      • Annmarie

        Italy definitely touches you in the heart, doesn’t it? I was alone in Firenze for a day many years ago, waiting for my sister to arrive from the UK, and spent an embarrassing hour and a half blubbing my way round and around Santa Maria del Fiore, till the tears finally subsided. I believe it may have been Stendahl’s syndrome. Thankfully nobody paid me any mind at all, They must have been used to it.

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Tony. When you say that when you went to Italy it changed you forever It touches my heart because I think Italy has that affect. I could not have said it better.

  8. Karen

    I’m with you — I always wonder about the people who live behind those windows. Are they happy? What are their dreams? What did they have for lunch? (My questions about these unknown friends are endless.) Lovely post. Thanks!

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Karen. We could write an entire blog post posing questions about what was happening insude. I like your thoughts. Thank you.

  9. imarancher

    In my youth, Miami had several old folks hotels in the down town area. Because women did not work outside the home, they were masters of the inner space, including balconies and fire escapes. Because my Great Grandmother lived in one of these my sister and I were tolerated in the back alleys of these places. Everyone hung out their laundry which they did in small sinks. Some unspoken rule meant it all came off those high, high clothes lines by 4pm. There were flowers in pots up and down the fire escapes, especially the landings. If the fire department showed up they were told the location was just temporary so that they could get a little sunshine, haha. Nobody was fooled but the flowers stayed and there were no fires either.

    Italy sounds to me a lot like the earlier days of this country.

    • margieinitaly

      Thanks Bonnie. I always love your stories from your past experiences and you’re right. They do seem to be some similarities between the old days in Miami and what it’s like today in Italy. Thank you

  10. Stacy di Anna

    I imagine there are plenty of boiling pots of pasta inside being tended to by loving nonne! Beautiful photo, a truly Italian image.

  11. Victoria

    I used to love sitting on my balcony in Barcelona, watching the people walk around below. I always wondered who they were and what their lives were like. Thanks for sharing this beautiful picture of Bologna’s balconies! It definitely transports me back…

    • margieinitaly

      Grazie Victoria. I’m glad you have such good memories of my photos can bring you right back there. I appreciate your comments.

  12. TravelsWithRae

    I just love this kind of picture. I didn’t spend near enough time looking up on my first trip to Italy. So many things that I didn’t do that have to be done – first trip is just so overwhelming and I feel I missed so much. But I see love in a building like this as well as serenity. The love it takes to nurture and I can’t imagine anything more peaceful than standing or sitting on a small balcony such as this with an espresso in hand just watching life below me. A la dolce vita to be sure! Thanks for sharing Margie.

    • margieinitaly

      Rae, I know you’ll be back in Italy soon and you will be ableto take the time and just look around and enjoy la Dolce Vita! Thanks much for taking time here leave a comment and your perspective.

  13. timelessitaly

    Margie, I’m always wondering who lives in those buildings, what they do, and even what it looks like inside. I’m glad to know you and others wonder the same things. Nice photo and post;)

  14. Andrew Petcher

    Italy is certainly the place for photographing windows and shutters. Bologna and the surrounding area is high on my list of places to visit!

  15. Annmarie

    Margie, I too am fascinated with what lies behind doors and windows in Italy. The loving care shown on the outside entices me further to get to know the people indoors. And those lovely little balconies….a simple elegance perched high above the street. Irresistible.

  16. Karen

    After reading a bunch of Donna Leon books, I’m lately fascinated with Italy. Like France & Spain and most other countries in Europe, they value quality of life, like beautiful buildings and flower boxes and delicious food (and leisure time!) Thanks for sharing your lovely picture. ( :

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.