Bologna ~ Romancing Italy

Sep 23, 2006


I’m told that the process of life, the getting to where you want, is where most of the enjoyment is, and not just the acquisition of your goal. I’m inclined to agree, because it is the process of achieving something, or trying to, which is the meat and substance of living. Reaching the summit, so to speak, is just the icing on the cake.

Now scratch all of that regarding my trip to Bologna.

Forget enjoying the process of getting to Bologna by train. That pleasure ended when the train was delayed 45 minutes and then I missed getting on it since my language skills didn’t prepare me for platform changes. Silly me. I blame the sandwich I stopped to grab, since I wouldn’t be having lunching pleasure in Bologna, not realizing that while I was happily munching away, the train was boarding. When I realized what was going on, I dashed up to the new platform and figured out pretty fast what the attendant meant by “ha partito già” when I stared down a deserted platform.

A very helpful and pleasant ticket agent helped me get another fare without wasting the ticket I had in hand. So sweet of her. She would never have guessed that that train would also be delayed….and what should have been a two hour train ride from Lucca, stretched into FIVE. Yeah, I’d say the process of getting to Bologna was beginning to test me.

So, in the end, I spent an evening only at Bologna, and didn’t get to sample their fine dishes. Dinner at any of the restaurants I checked would not start until too late and I needed to catch the last train back to Lucca. So on this shortened trip, I took in the main sight, the Piazza Maggiore. And, damn, there are some fine looking folk out there. Granted, they were probably dressed from their work day, and that is probably why they looked so good. I accidentally walked through a private party at a bar – it’s when I noticed they all had the same drink, which would be odd on any given day, that I realized I’d pushed my way through the entrance of a private celebration…it’s a WEDNESDAY – maybe someone was being promoted.

My “excitement” at the train station didn’t disappoint. I asked the train information if I was to wait at platform 1. He says “You can take the 19:20 to Rome with your ticket”. That wasn’t what I asked, now was it? Not to mention it was 20:02! So I asked again, “which platform?” Mr. Very Helpful comes back with “It’s on the board outside” and dismisses me.

Very much like dejà vu, by the time I deciphered the board and found the platform I was to head to, I arrived just as the rear of the train disappeared around the corner. Bastard Italian. By the way, on the board, just about every train was delayed….ranging from 15 minutes to 3hours.

Three hours later, when I finally arrive at the parking lot, I realize the only cash I have is 50 euro and change – of course the machine will take any combination but NOT 50 euro bills. With a sigh of relief I note the large credit card icons on the front and fish out my VISA. But I discover this is only a cruel joke and it really won’t accept credit cards. (I am now enjoying the coke I bought at a nearby bar (which really is a bar at 11:30pm))

Useful Trenitalia link



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