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Bologna

Certainly not my best work — just a few snapshots.
The thing is, this is one of the very few cities of which I thought
"Well, I wouldn't mind living here. At all."

Then, I had one of the scariest experiences of my life there.
Can't resist telling the story.



factory
It's an industrial city, pure and simple. It's full of rich industrialists, industrial slaves, and everything in between.
The main characteristic is the use of galleries. Exactly what Willemstad needs, but the Bolognans went ahead and built them.
Ed McBain thinks it's more complicated than Downtown Manhattan, which may be true. But it really is not so complicated.
Don't get put off by those signs, they merely point out factories.
knockersgallery piazza


urinal


castle


We missed it!

Fresco, Church of St. Petronio:
Giovanni di Modena, the Last Judgment - Devil dragging Mohammed into hell

Willy and I had this habit of driving around Europe in a Renault Estafette delivery van; a thing hard to do these days, as the Dutch government has taxed and regulated it out of existence. On arrival in Bologna it was dark & we were tired, so we found a quiet spot to park for the night.
Next morning, somebody started knocking on the van and fumbling with the locks. Having had some experience with this (in Morocco!), we applied our customary policy of not reacting, so whoever it was went away. Very satisfactory.
This was at the time, 1978, when the infamous Die Rote Armee Fraktion was making a powerful nuisance of itself all over Europe. They acted in the name of Mao or who knows what distorted principles; they were obviously influenced by the US Weathermen (of which one of the big shots published his reminiscences in the second week of September 2001 — right. It flopped, for some reason). You are aware that the name of that terrorist "organization" was based on a Bob Dylan song? Never cared for him, either.
Die Rote Armee mostly went about bombing, but made a special hobby of kidnapping rich bankers and industrialists for BIG ransoms; then they just killed them (or maybe tortured them a bit first). All these goings on as good clean fun in the name of Freedom, you follow me? I don't.
After we'd gotten up and were preparing our breakfast, a police vehicle arrived on the set, absolutely screaming with excitement, followed by the usual collection of civilians. They weren't exactly armed with pitchforks, but that's about all you can say. Also a higher officer in civvies, with his own car. Kipping their deestance this wild bunch formed a semi-circle at the Renault's back, and the officer asked to see our passports.
"No problem, mon", and I turned around to get them from the van behind me. Grabbed 'em and turned around again to look at the uniformed cop pointing a pistol at me. The Italians have the knack of making these mean-as-a-snake looking small guns, and this one was a good example of the breed. I thought "Hey! cool it, man"—obviously I had been moving too fast to his, admittedly probably over-exacting requirements at this stage of the game. He must have had me all figured out as going for a machine-gun or something. Something worse.
Well, I took the hint, slowed down and walked over to the officer at a crippled snail's pace, extending the passports towards him. The by-play hadn't passed him by.
It was all over then. As it turned out, we had happened to park right smack in a rich industrialist neighborhood. Just my proverbial luck. The guy who had rattled our doors suspected Die Rote Armee might be huddling in there, up to Tricks, and got the cops.
I admit being less scared in Bologna than when, only three months later, Loftleidir tried to kill us.

michelangelo

Italia


Italians really are much cooler that you'd expect
the cliché is they're much too easily excitable
but they let us photograph this UFO and no questions asked

UFO?
and I'm sure it's a
Top Government Secret!


Picture Book



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