Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in Bologna

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with their loved ones. This year my mom came to Bologna for Christmas and I was very excited to take her around and show her all the things I had been telling her about over the past three years (this is the second time she has come to Italy but the first time was only 3 months after I arrived). One of the things I was most excited to show her were all of the Christmas lights! As I blogged about last year, Bologna dresses up the town beautifully for the season with thousands of twinkling lights.

The Christmas tree in Piazza Nettuno.

Christmas trees in the center of the Palazzo del Comune (city hall).

And their reflection in the window nearby.

A hidden Christmas tree in the courtyard of the Prefettura di Bologna.

A little tree with red bows at the bottom of the two towers.

The portici decorated with lights.

Lights hung over Via Clavatura.

Last Christmas Eve Andrea and I took a walk in the evening around the center. The streets were empty and the city was quiet as people had already gathered inside to share the traditionl Christmas Eve meal of fish with family and friends. Andrea and I cozied up to one of the heaters at the outdoor tables on this street and toasted to a Merry Christmas with two glasses of prosecco.

Via Ugo Bassi decked with lights and the tower glowing in the background.
One weekend this December the city closed Via Ugo Bassi and Via Indipendenza, the two main streets in the center, to traffic. It was wonderful to stroll in the middle of the usually chaotic street. There were more people out than usual, from teenagers to families with strollers and children to couples and groups of friends. It felt akin to a block party. It provided the perfect opportunity to leisurely admire the city in all of its holiday glory.

The tower with lights and the moon.

Always the prominent symbol of the city, the tower becomes even more splendid when decorated with lights. During the Christmas season it happens many times that I am walking downtown and I glance upward and see the tower peaking over the tops of the buildings shining bright.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!