Bologna - Porticoes for miles

After a long night on the train we arrived in Bologna in the morning.
Hello railway station number 5!
Bologna Centrale at 7:30 AM
You would think that traveling around in a country is no big deal - but actually, I had several culture shocks after I arrived here. 
First of all: So many people! And why are they all running? It might have to do with it being the time when people are going to work and school. But still, after the relaxed off-season groove of small towns and villages by the sea in Puglia, I had to get used to city speed and crowds.
Getting out of the train station and immediately spotting old monuments is a good sign though.
If there's one thing that defines Bologna it's the endless arcades, or rather porticoes as they are called here. 
We had about 3.5 hours to kill until check-in to our apartment. So we went window shopping on our way there.
Through the historical center. The white tents were for a religious festival that was to be held that day.
Into a smaller street.
Next culture shock: Lemonsoda in a bottle instead of a can! Those pastries were very delicious though.
While we were sitting outside that café, the shops opened up and the market stalls were installed.
Mostly fruit and vegetables on one side of the street and butchers on the other.
Shortly before 11 AM the apartment's owner texted us that we could come in early (instead of 1 PM). She still had to clean the rooms though as the last guests had just left. 
So we went there, to just quickly get out of the clothes we had been sleeping in on the train and put on something fresh to walk around town.
One of many city gates.
Here we were back to walking through porticoes for quite a while.
Porta Saragozza where we started the "official" sightseeing tour.
Here it is, the Salita di San Luca, pilgrim path up the hill - all covered of course.
It's actually quite steep a time. Culture shock number 3: walking uphill again - Puglia is mostly flat...
After nearly 3 kilometers the view is great and I can't lie: Seeing green hills on the horizon instead of just flat, dry land really pleased my eyes.
Let me guess: The basilica is closed at noon and only opens again at 3:30? Right. Some things ARE the same all over Italy after all.
The lovely hills of Emilia-Romagna
That's Bologna down there.
Walking back down through about 650 porticoes...
Once you get down it's a short walk to the big cemetery.
Monument for the fallen of the last world war.
But family graves are always the best part. It's where people with money show off even after death.
So much better than just a meagre grave stone.
Angels are always a good choice.
Like a row of houses, only that they are tombs...
Another one for fallen soldiers.
We could have walked around there for hours. But the sleep you get on a train is not the best and I also grew hungry. So we made our way back into town and had a good, long nap.
On the way Olivier had his own culture shock: no more gelaterias on every 3rd street corner! You are lucky to find one every half an hour's walk. 

Then all we needed was a visit to a good trattoria, full of locals who all seemed to be regular guests there. Always a good sign. Instead of gelaterias, a frequents sight here are shops that sell fresh pasta. Of course that's what I ordered for my dinner, tortellini filled with ricotta.
Previous day: Lecce - Next day: Bologna from below and above