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Bologna and Beyond

Wasted days in Ravenna....

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Note: I realized when looking back through my blog that somehow I missed writing about Bologna. We really didn't do a lot there but I liked the city and thought I should at least put a short blurb about it and some pictures.

Our hotel in Bologna was nice. It was near the University and there were several restaurants and cafe's close-by. Our first day in Bologna was spend as usual just wandering around. The one thing that struck me as unique to Bologna is that a large portion of the city has covered walkway's. These were a nice break from the sun and on our second day...the RAIN. There were some small piazza's and the usual statues. The one below was one of my favorites.


As we were walking around on our second day, the sky's opened up and a torential downpour ensued. Of course, we were not under one of the many walkways and ended up soaked before we found refuge at a small cafe to wait out the rain. As I was sipping my coffee at a patio table under the walkway covering....Trinity and I realized that we were a mere block and half from our hotel and we had literally walked/ran in the rain within 500 feet of the front door!! While I finished my coffee, I caught some photos of the rain and the surroundings.


Now, Ravenna...

I'll try to be nice. It really does seem like a nice town. Quiet. Calming. Quaint. These would be some words that I would use to describe the town of Ravenna Italy. The problem was that I had my mind set on bikes. Yes, bikes. I had decided that a day off my feet and riding a bike would be good. We had been walking everywhere since our arrival in Rome nearly two weeks ago and I was tired! Bikes didn't happen....

On our arrival we were able to find the hotel without any difficulty. It was located conveniently between the rail station and the 'Old Town' center. I had read everywhere that tourists could have free use of bikes in Ravenna and it was just the right size town to traverse on two wheels. I had even contemplated taking the 9km ride out to the beach....

Trinity and I headed out to the tourist office to get our bikes after we had freshened up from the train commute from Bologna. It was a pretty simple walk, only about 15 min and we found it easily. Stopping for a juicy apricot at the local market on the way. When we requested bikes at the tourist office, the lady immediately asked Trinity how old she was. Well....it would seem that 'free' bikes in Ravenna have an age requirement of 18. 'No problem'. I thought. We will just go to the bike rental place tomorrow and rent Trinity one and I will get a free one, right? Wrong.....

The next day, Trinity and I thought that we would go to the other tourist office. Which is listed as the “main” tourist office in Lonely Planet. We would just tell them that Trin is 18, get free bikes and be on our way.... I should have known that bad karma would follow when I had intentions of lying! The 'main' tourist office is not really the main office (the main one is the one in 'old town' which we had been to the previous day), and they don't have bikes at this office. My plans are not completely bashed yet. I figured that I would just bite the bullet and pay for both of us to rent bikes for the day. Off we go to the rental office at the train station.

When we arrive, it's closed. I cant read anything that is posted on the windows, it's all in Italian. At this point, I am aggravated and fed up. All I really wanted to do was take a nice enjoyable bike ride. Is that too much to ask? I didn't think so....so back to the hotel we go.

At the hotel, we inquire at the reception desk if there is anyone else that will rent bikes. We explained what had happened and the lady at reception was kind and helpful and was able to make a couple of phone calls to attempt to find us bikes to rent. She failed....but certainly not due to not attempting to help us. I think she was just as discouraged as we were.


ETA: We were able to view some of the sites in Ravenna sans bikes. It really is a pretty city and worth a visit.


Posted by Khandilee 09:57 Archived in Italy Tagged family_travel

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Seems strange you have to be 18 to 'rent' a free bike in Italy, but a 5 year old can have wine with dinner....

by kmpossible

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