Bologna: "the Learned, the Red and the Fat" with Laura Benitti

Bologna: "the Learned, the Red and the Fat" with Laura Benitti


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For centuries, Bologna has acquired three nicknames: “la dotta” (the learned), “la rossa” (the red), and “la grassa” (the fat). The first is because Bologna is home to the oldest university in the Western world (founded in 1088). The red is due to the terracotta color of its ancient buildings, and lastly ‘the fat’ refers to the goodness of its cuisine. This conversation will explore these three aspects as we trace the evolution of this fascinating city and some of the most important stories that go with it.

The location of Bologna is a highly strategic one. Positioned along the ancient roman road ‘via Emilia’, the city is both close to the sea and was close to the pass of the Apennine chain (and therefore close to Florence). Founded by the Etruscans around 1000 BC (then called Felsina), the city was re-named Bononia by the Romans in the exact place it stands today, around 3000 years later. Its colorful past is exemplified in its architecture, monuments, and artworks. We will explore its magnificent arcades (more than 14 miles in length), we’ll virtually visit its tall and imposing towers (symbolizing the power of its families in the Middle Ages) and we’ll learn about the charming squares. We’ll note Bologna’s magnificent palaces, fresco-adorned churches, and discuss the city’s long-standing University tradition, famous for its alums and teachers including Dante Alighieri and Copernicus. And lastly, it would be impossible to talk about Bologna without mentioning its gastronomy: we’ll finish our discussion learning about anything from tortellini to tagliatelle al ragù to lasagna and mortadella.

Led by an expert on art history, Laura Benitti, this interactive seminar will introduce the historic city to curious Italophiles. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a deeper understanding of why Bologna is such a celebrated Italian city, accompanied with a better knowledge of the history, food, and architecture of the learned, the red, and the fat.

Laura was born in Turin, where she studied history of art, but moved to Milan in 2002. Since her graduation, she has accumulated a long experience as an art consultant and registrar in a few museums in Turin, as well as expertise as a local Milan guide. She loves to be both an experienced and friendly local ambassador of Milan and Como area for her travelers.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
64%
(7)
27%
(3)
0%
(0)
9%
(1)
0%
(0)
J
J.A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.R.
Bologna

Info was excellent, and especially enjoyed the good narrative! However there was a problem with the sound in the middle of presentation. I think it must have been one of those Xoom “freezes” but completely lost commentary on several occasions.

S
S.G.
Informative and fun!

I went to Bologna a few years ago and now I’m determined to go back after this talk. I didn’t realise all sightseeing I missed mostly because I was too busy eating (which was a treat in itself).

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.
What a fun trip!

What a delightful trip to Bologna with Laura. It was a fantastic escape for a time when we are stuck at home - a great balance of history, walking tour, and food. A great lift for our spirits. Highly recommend.

Customer Reviews

Based on 11 reviews
64%
(7)
27%
(3)
0%
(0)
9%
(1)
0%
(0)
J
J.A.

Guest did not leave comment

M
M.R.
Bologna

Info was excellent, and especially enjoyed the good narrative! However there was a problem with the sound in the middle of presentation. I think it must have been one of those Xoom “freezes” but completely lost commentary on several occasions.

S
S.G.
Informative and fun!

I went to Bologna a few years ago and now I’m determined to go back after this talk. I didn’t realise all sightseeing I missed mostly because I was too busy eating (which was a treat in itself).

A
A.

Guest did not leave comment

A
A.
What a fun trip!

What a delightful trip to Bologna with Laura. It was a fantastic escape for a time when we are stuck at home - a great balance of history, walking tour, and food. A great lift for our spirits. Highly recommend.