Porticos are what make Bologna stand out in comparison to a lot of other european cities we have visited. Porticos are long tunnel like walkways…held up by columns. So as we walked down the sidewalks of the city, we were sheltered by the stone or brick roof above us.
The city was big and seemed to have a feel of modern hustle and bustle but at the same time had the historic buildings, the massive piazza’s, the numerous cathedrals and museums…that we have come to expect from Italy. We sat down at a cafe and ate a huge salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese (since it is made locally) between our shopping and sight-seeing.
Since we were so good at lunch and only ordered salads, we headed straight to a gelato shop called, La Sorbetteria Castiglione (www.lasorbetteria.it). It was oh so yummy to my tummy. We had three scoops each…who does that? So much for a healthy lunch! It was the smoothest, richest cream with creative flavors and we could see the gelato making facilities right behind the counter. I do have to say…once we finished and were digesting…we both felt the sugar overload. They could use less sugar and it would still be delicious without the tummy ache…or was it that we had three scoops in one sitting?
We had a few foodie shops we wanted to find and found them within close proximity of each other. The first was a salumeria, Simone. It had every square inch of the shop covered with some type of meat or cheese. We ordered several small quantities of local goodies. Next was a well-known coffee shop called Terzi which was a small coffee parlor with 8-10 grinders lined up against the wall and filled with different coffee beans. On the counter were 7 different types of sweeteners. We both stood at the counter since there were no chairs and ordered an espresso. The coffee was strong and good and got us moving to our next foodie find, Bruno e Franco…a kind of deli. The men behind the displays full of meats, cheeses, homemade pastas and other local foods were in their old-fashioned uniforms featuring red bow-ties. We purchased more goodies including their green olives. I do not like olives…and despite being forced to try a different type of olive every week or so (because Giff loves them so much)…I would prefer to never eat them. However…if I had to eat olives…I would choose these. They were not a typical green…they were neon green and crunchy…not slimy.
Continuing our stroll, we came across a vendor who handmade earrings and rings from both copper and sterling. We stopped to look and admire his work before getting back to our hotel after our long day.
We got in our PJ’s, put together a little picnic of all our goodies on the bed and watched a movie.
Published by Brandey Kabat
What I like: Dark chocolate, yoga, fresh squeezed juice, laughing, hiking, wine, travel, food, lush products, being warm, having long hair, the ritual of drinking something hot first thing in the morning…
What I don’t like: When people smell their fingers, pushing elevator buttons, confrontational situations, not being able to fall asleep quickly at bedtime…
Most random job ever: Plastic surgery consultant
As for my love life: I met my husband mid way through my junior year in college, as soon as I laid my eyes on him I was attracted to him. In fact, I made the first move which was a bit out of character but there was something about him…probably the fact that he was smokin’ hot!!
Where from and where to: I grew up in NY, went to college at The Ohio State University and then headed to CA after graduation. My boyfriend (Giff) and I had a map, a borrowed van and used stuff from his mom’s basement aka a vacuum, silverware, old Christmas ornaments etc., and about $1000 each. We thought it would be a good idea to head straight to CA since neither of us had been. Being we didn’t know anyone there nor did we have a job or job interviews set up or a place to live…I would say we did it the hard way! However with a bit of help from Giff’s mom who flew out to put us up in a hotel, bought me a suit for interviewing and co-signed a lease to get us a place to live we eventually found jobs and an apartment and have been in CA for 10 years.
Our story: After moving out to CA and living together for about 3 years we got engaged. He popped the question while down on one knee on the beach at sunset after we finished our picnic he had packed of bread, cheese, shrimp cocktail and wine. He even had the ring in a box that had a light shining down on it when opened so as it was getting dark, this amazing man was asking me to be his wife as he handed me a huge rock…Yes! Yes! Yes!
In 2005 we were married (I am biased but our wedding was absolutely amazing). By the end of 2005 we were new home owners. 2006-2009- we were both happily married, attached to our 3 cats and were focused on building our careers.
Giff and I got pregnant mid year 2009 with our first baby but what should have been one of the highlights of our life was soon distracted by the news I received at the doctor’s office.
The lump in my breast that had been dismissed the year before as nothing was now being diagnosed by a different doctor as breast cancer. Thankfully Giff is a persistent person and when we went in for our ultrasound (to hear our baby’s heartbeat) he brought up the request for testing to be done on the lump rather than dismissing it based on feeling it.
The going gets rough: Things began to move so quickly at that point, it was hard to breathe. I was 30, pregnant with my first child and going into surgery to remove breast cancer. I was about to go through what would be the worst year of my life. The plan had been discussed, we were going with the most aggressive regimen possible- double mastectomy, port surgically placed in my chest, chemotherapy, drug therapy and radiation. We also had to terminate the pregnancy. This cancer was estrogen positive and the hormones were actually feeding the cancer. That little angel whom was the cause of our going into the doctor saved my life.
Giff was my rock through every step…interviewing a team of the best doctors, memorizing which medicines I needed to take and when, driving me to chemotherapy and sitting next to me while I was so scared, telling me I was beautiful when I was bald, and so many other things…words cannot express. When you say your vows, in sickness and in health…you would never guess sickness of this magnitude at this age would be in the near future. In addition to this hardship, Giff’s dad died of a complicated prostate cancer the day we came home from my surgery. I could not hold my husband as he mourned for his dad because of the pain I was in from the mastectomy. How did Giff handle all of this pain at one time? How was he so strong for me? He is amazing. Giff’s dad was one of those people whom you naturally wanted to be around…his smile was contagious, his love for life was invigorating and he listened so intently when you talked in a conversation with him. He made you feel special. We think about him often and will miss him so much.
My family and friends were also by my side…my mom flying out from NY several times to help us with cooking and cleaning and holding my hand. It must be one of the most awful things in the world to watch your baby girl be diagnosed with breast cancer. My girlfriends also flew out to take care of me and help with anything they could. Other friends living closer would come by just to sit and talk or watch movies. There were so many cards, letters, flowers, cookies, and other gifts that came from all over the country. It’s amazing to have such great people in my life. In addition to my amazing circle of friends and family, there were the strangers with whom crossed our path. Whether it was a letter in the mail from a breast cancer survivor, the anesthesiologist who called Giff during my surgery crying happy tears that the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes, or our fertility doctor who promised to watch over our frozen embryos as if they were her own. There were so many small gestures that made such a big impact on our lives.
Looking at the bright side: Thankfully this was caught in stage 1, had it been caught a year prior by the first doctor I had gone into about the lump, it may have been caught at stage 0. Please learn from my lesson…insist the lump be tested – a lump cannot be diagnosed by touch. They were able to cut all the cancer out and after I finish the entire regimen including a pill I take over the next 5 years, they said there is a 95% chance the cancer will never come back.
Our exciting future: We’ve decided to re-prioritize, we are taking 400 days starting February 7th of 2011 to travel the world! We will travel to new places, eat new foods, taste new wines and meet new people. We will focus on healing ourselves both physically and mentally. This will be one of the best years of our lives.
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3 Replies to “Day 161 of 400: Bologna – Italy”
Hey guys!! You both are such an inspiration. I hope your travels are goin awesome & I’ll be following along, thanks to this amazing Site!! Sending lots of love…xoxo Alexis Whistler
How is Seattle??? We are still looking at that as an option when we are done with our traveling next year…are you loving it? How is all the rain? Glad you are following our blog!!
On our trip next year,we thought about stopping in Bologna on our way to lake Como.After seeing and reading your experiences ,it may sway us to definitively go there.Do you remember the name of the piazza where all the statues are….it looks like a battle scene ??
There is always another town calling me to visit. But as always time is limited. I am jealous of your trip that you have planned. You are very fortunate and smart to go now at your age. You will definitively not have any regrets. I am only 57 and we have been to Italy 4 times, the 5th trip next year for our Anniv.
We are going to travel while we can and enjoy every minute of it.We love Italy.