By Travel Ambassador Enora from A Frog On The Run
Leave the rain and the gloom behind and opt for a sunny getaway this Autumn! We may have the perfect destination for you : Bologna, in Italy. On top of being a beautiful and living city where you can stuff yourself up with italian pizza, pasta or cheese, Bologna is full of secrets...
In fact, the city is known for its infamous seven secrets. Follow us as we take you for a little tour in the city!
Bologna's Seven Secrets: The Little Venice
The main reason that makes this one a secret, is because it is hidden... in plain sight.
Walking in the Via Piella, in the historic center, the most observant ones might notice a little door on the wall, something that looks likes a window, but shut. Open it and you will get a surprising view on the canal that runs under the city!
Indeed, Bologna is built on top of a network of underground canals. But open this little window, and you will discover the beautiful Canale delle Moline, resembling of Venice.
Bologna's Seven Secrets: The Intersection in Palazzo del Podestà
Walking underneath the archway in the middle of Palazzo Podestá, you could not help but notice people talking to... a wall. Quite literally.
Facing a corner of the wall while someone else faces the opposite one, you could have a conversation with what seems to be the wall, and yet your partner in crime could hear every single word coming out of your mouth.
Magic ? Not quite, but it's definitely an interesting architecture that led to a dazzling acoustic effect.
The best way ever to share a secret?
Bologna's Seven Secrets: The Arrows in Strada Maggiore
Time to see if you're good at spotting details : does anything look unusual on this ceiling ? Well, I guess you know the answer, or else I wouldn't ask the question... There are three arrows planted in the ceiling!
Well, its' meant to be three, but to be honest, we could only spot two of them. These three arrows can be seen on the Strada Maggiore, underneath an arcade, and it is said that they have been there since the midt 13th century.
Legend says that, once upon a time, three thieves were planning on murdering a lord that was living on the third floor of the building. They went out his window and got ready to shoot when a lady, in a desperate attempt to distract them, took off her clothes in front of one of the window.
You could imagine that it worked, looking at how the arrows landed on the ceiling rather than on their target.
Bologna's Seven Secrets : The Statue of Neptune
To be able to spot that "secret", you have to be looking at it from the right angle. Lucky for us, the artist who created it also thought of marking the floor on the Piazza Maggiore with a darker tile to indicate where you should be standing when looking.
Looking at what, exactly ? A quite manly and virile statue of Neptune, where his finger rises in such a way that it gives the perfect illusion that Neptune really likes whatever it is that he is looking at.
This is probably one of the worse kept secret of Bologna too.
Bologna's Seven Secrets: Cannabis Is Protection
How is your latin? Even if the answer is « as close to non-existent as possible », there's surely one word you can get out of this sentence: panis vita, canabis protectio, vinum laetitia. It roughly translates as « Bread is life, canabis protection, wine happiness »
That writing that you can find on the via Indipendenza refers to the rich history of Bologna. For centuries, canabis was one of the main wealth source of the city! It was mainly used for textile and rope-making.
Bologna's Seven Secrets: The Broken Vase On Top Of The Asinelli Tower
Walking in the historic city center of Bologna, you cannot miss the two magnificient towers Garisenda and Asinelli. Out of the two, you can only visit the Asinelli tower. Walk to the top and enjoy the breathtaking view on Bologna.
But the Asinelli tower is also home to one of Bologna's secret : a broken vase, which is seen as a symbol of the Bolognese ability to settle conflicts and disputes, which helped it become a prosperous city.
Bologna's Seven Secrets: Panum Resis
Bologna is home to the oldest university in the World, founded in 1088. It is also within this university that leds the final secret of Bologna, which is also the most enigmatic.
It is said that somewhere, inscribed into one of the historic tables of the university, is written « Panum resis », for which a translation could be «Knowl