Category Archives: Uncategorized

Jean Urry's blog: the experience of studying in Bologna told a South African schoolgirl/Her experience at our Italian School in Bologna

  • The wonder ... Where did it all begin/I wonder where and when it started

    A great love of the Latin language, renaissance art, ancient history, Italy and a desire to study Italian led me to Dante Alighieri in Houghton Johannesburg./Un great love of Latin, Renaissance art, ancient history of Italy and a desire to study Italian, led me to Dante Alighieri in Houghton, Johannesburg



  • Preparation for my adventure.. ../La preparation for my adventure. ...

    This time next week I will be in Bologna. I am busy trying to learn how to use this blog more efficiently with the help of Martin/ fra una settimana saro’ a Bologna. Cerco in questo momento di usare piu’ efficientemente questo blog, con l’aiuto di Martino

    Rosebank/Martino da Nino a Rosebank

  • Beautiful Bologna!

    After a long flight, and a full body search at Frankfurt Airport, we arrived safe and sound in Bologna. I took a taxi to my accommodation and the driver, Davide, taught me a new word. There are trees all over, and I told him about dry Joeys. He said that Bologna had just “rinverdita” ( regreened) after the long winter … I liked that! We found my accommodation and it is amazing, everything I need, including wifi. I unpacked and then got lost in this truly beautiful medieval city. Ther are porticoes everywhere, magnificent churches, towers, books, art, clothes to die for, shops full of interesting things, friendly people and ICE CREAM ….. MMM ….. More tomorrow

    Bellissma Bologna

    After a long flight and a complete control at Frankfurt airport, we arrived healthy and Hello Bologna. I went by taxi to my accommodation and driver taught me a new Word ... There are so green trees everywhere and we talked about Jo'burg so dry right now and he said that Bologna is just after the long winter rinverdita ... I liked this word. We found the hotel and perfect for me. It's all there and then there's also free wifi. I have undone the suitcase and then I met myself in Bologna. It is a medieval town and really nice, full of porticoes, ERS, wonderful churches, ' to die for ' as they say in English, books, people friendly and ice cream ... MMMM ... Until tomorrow then ...

  • Bewitched!/Incantata!

    I have been bewitched by Bologna and her porticoes, the porticoes and the light together. What a sight!! The weather here is beautiful, and so I headed off early this morning and climbed one of the towers. The view from the top is spectacular. I then went to Welcome Bologna, and they were very helpful. I came away with lots of literature. I visited The basilica of Santo Petronio in the Piazza Maggiore – it is enormous and was built to house the whole population of the city at the time. There are works here by Jacopo della Quercia that inspired Michaelangelo when he was painting the Sistine Chapel. Lunch was very good, at a little restaurant on the Piazza Santo Stefano. This is one of my favourite places so far – it is so old and has the most beautiful basilica, in fact, 7 churches together. The shopping is something else – beware Martin! It is so difficult to resist … Arrivederci ….

    I was enchanted by Bologna and its porticos, porches and their light. How wonderful! The weather here is beautiful, and so I started my day early and I got on one of the towers. The view from the top was wonderful. Then I went to Welcome Bologna, and helped me a lot. I have many brochures to read. I saw the basilica of San Petronio in Piazza Maggiore – it is huge and was built to hold the entire population of the time. Is there a masterpiece by Jacopo della Quercia – he inspired Michelangelo when he painted the Sistine Chapel. The lunch was delicious at a restaurant on St. Stephen Square, so far, one of my favorite places – the place is so old and has a beautiful basilica, in fact 7 churches together. Shopping, what else can I say, it is wonderful – I am sorry, but I have Neven use this word – Martin, and attention is hard for me to resist!

  • The Dante in Bologna

    Today was my first day at The Dante Alighieri in Bologna. There are four guys in our class, all young Asians, Justin’s sort of age or younger, who work in the tourist industries of their countries, and me. Our teacher’s name is Angela, and she is lovely. She is busy doing a Masters’ degree in translation. We did 4 hours straight of Italian. In the afternoon I felt a bit tired, and so took a walk in the lovely Margherita Gardens, just up the road from Bologna home. On the way, I picked up a delcious pear ice cream from the local gelateria … Immagine that! I decided to eat in tonight as well. There is a a very good restaurant at San Tommaso and their gnocchi is excellent. I also had a glass of white wine, bread sticks and a limoncello – wow for 8€. No lessons tomorrow, as 2 June is Republic Day for Italy …. Will decide what to do in the morning … Good night and deams of gold …. Arrivederci

    Today I went for the first time at Dante Alighieri in Bologna. There are 4 young Asians in our group, the same age maybe Justin, or otherwise younger, working in the field of tourism in their countries, and I. Our teacher, named Angela, it's wonderful. Is now a master's degree in translation at the University of Bologna. We did 4 hours of Italian. Later, I felt a little tired and so I took a walk in the beautiful gardens near my Daisy "Bologna home.". I also bought a PEAR ice cream so good. I decided to eat at home tonight – there's a St. Thomas restaurant and the food is very good – dumplings, buns, grisini, wine and limoncello – 8 €. There are no classes tomorrow – June 2 is the Republic day here in Italy. In the morning I decide what I'm going to today ... Good night and sweet dreams ...

  • Buses, trains and dear friends/autobus,treni e cari amici

    Today I tried the public transport for the first time. I took an early bus to the station and a train to Modena, where I was met by Reanda, her son Diego and her daughter-in-law Judith. We spent a lovely day together in the countryside of beautiful Emilia Romagna. First we had a look at Pavarotti’s home and then drove past the Ferrari factory – I saw where it all happens, Alistair and Andrew! We also explored the beautiful village of Castelvetro and I bought some basamic vinegar – the real thing, and afterwards we lunched at a superb restaurant nearby, Le Casette. I tasted tortellini for the first time – wow. The entire meal was mind blowing – there were so many courses. To help our digestion, we went for a long walk around Arceto, Diego and Judith’s village, and then on route to the station stopped at Scandiano – a lovely place with a huge castle. In the square there is a statue of the scientist, Lazzaro Spallanzani examining a frog with a magnifying glass – google this guy

    Today I used public transportation for the first time. I took a bus to the station, and then went by train to Modena. Here I met and I knew Neven his son Diego and his daughter-in-law, Judith. We spent a beautiful day in the beautiful countryside of Emilia Romagna. We saw Pavarotti's villa, and the Ferrari factory – the place where everything happens, Alistair and Andrew! We explored the beautiful village of Castelvetro and I bought a bottle of balsamic vinegar, the real thing, and then we ate so well in a nearby restaurant called le Casette and I tasted for the first time in Italy the tortellini – mamma mia that food – many dishes. To aid digestion, we took a walk to the village of Grou, Diego and Judith and then we left for the station and we made a stop at Scandiano – a beautiful place with a huge Castle. There is a statue in the square of a famous scientist, Lazzaro Spallanzani. He examines a frog with a magnifying glass – you have to google this man – it is interesting. I took the train to Bologna and then I come back home on foot. What a beautiful day with beautiful people – thank you all – Martin and Odoardo we felt your absence. Tomorrow ... Dante Alighieri ... Good night, or I say good morning ...

  • A pilgrimage and Escher/Un pellegrinaggio e Escher

    I set off early this morning, hoping to find a bus to take me to The San Luca church, but there wasn’t one, so I walked … Mamma mia … There and back was about 20 ks, but what a beautiful church and almost the entire route is “porticoed” – my fellow pilgrims told me that the portico is the longest in the world, and that all people who originate from Bologna go back to the church when they return to their city – Reanda, is this true? I went to the mass – it was packed, and then I wended my weary way down, and in via Saragozza discovered the Escher exhibition – always had a soft spot for him, so joined the queue – it was worth it. I found a whole lot of Italians interested in South Africa and we chatted. Before we knew it, we were in and what an exhibition it was … tesselating fish and birds, and staircases that go on for ever … I am now home and quite exhausted … I think I will go and have an ice cold beer somewhere …. Arrivederci …

    I started early in the morning – I wanted to find a bus to San Luca, but there wasn't one, so I took a walk. Goodness me... I think I walked today almost 20 km! Thank goodness, there was always a portico and so always the shadow and the pilgrimage was very interesting. Other pilgrims have told me that the portico di San Luca is the longest in the world and that the Bolognese who left Bologna, when they return, they return to San Luca also always – it is true Neven? What a beautiful place and beautiful church. I went to mass and then they slowly drop from the Hill and via Zaragoza I found the view of Escher's art. I like a lot his paintings and so I joined the queue and it is worth it. I found a group of people interested in South Africa and we talked a lot. The view was wonderful – fish, animals and birds together as in a mosaic and stairs that continue forever. I'm at home, but I'm tired. ... I think I take between not much a cold beer ... Good bye...

  • New friendships, books and happy hour Italian style/Nuove amicizia, libri e “happy hour” stile italiano!

    Today we had another lesson, and what a lovely class I have – friendly, handsome young guys, what more can one ask for. Angela is also great – we discussed Bologna and Verdi, and listened to some wonderful music. I saw Reanda, Edera, Reanda’s sister, and Renata, her friend, briefly – lovely to meet them, and then I had some lunch and headed for the city centre. The bookshops are very good – I went to Feltrinelli and to another store, and bought a dvd – Montalbano, the famous detective. It is hot, so hot today, so I had a beer at a lovely restaurant on Piazza Galvani – it arrived with many excellent snacks. I heard a familiar accent and met two South Africans from Cape Town – power cuts seem far away! I am now back home and ready for bed – it is still sunny and bright…. Arrivederci …

    Today we had another lesson. I have a wonderful group – 4 young boys, friendly and beautiful, I can't ask for more. Also really like Angela. We talked about Bologna and Greens and we heard beautiful music. This afternoon I saw Neven, her sister and Renata, her friend, only briefly – good – then I ate something and went to the city center. Libraries are excellent – Feltrinelli and co-op Bookstores. I bought a dvd of Montalbano, the Commissioner so famous. It's hot, very hot today, so I took a beer in Piazza Galvani, and delicious assaggini are also arrived. I heard a familiar accent – two South Africans in Cape Town – we stuck button! Current problems seem so far – I'm at home and I lay there, soon – yet the Sun ... Good bye...

  • A day full of wonderer….ful things/ una giornata splendida

    Today was wonderful …. I saw, and learnt so much about beautiful Bologna. Classes started at 9.30, and Angela gave us all an article to read on “The Sala Borsa”. We discussed it, and then set off to explore. Our first stop was Il Palazzo dell’Archiginnasio – the university began here. We then headed for the Sala Borsa. Today, It houses Bologna’s public library, and what a library it is, but over the years the building has had many uses. Google it and have a look. There are wonderful ruins beneath it which date from 189 BC – immagine that. We managed to have a close look at them, and in general, saw a lot of the library. At around 1, we said our farewells and I wandered around a bit and found Lucio Dalla’s house. Then I went to see The Archeological Museum … Wow, I was blown away – I only examined part of it, and will have to return and spend a day there. Remember, I Giardini Margherita from about two blog posts ago .. Well, they have full human skeletons discovered inthe gardens that date from 550 BC … Incredible, and many more amazing artefacts. Lunch was at my favourite restaurant on Piazza Santo Stefano, and then I returned home for a rest. At about 4, I set off to find one of Bologna’s hidden waterways … See the photo … There is a tiny window with a beautiful view. Thank yoy my fellow explorers for a splendid day … See you all tomorrow … Buona notte …

    Today it was wonderful ... I saw it and I learned a lot of Bologna so beautiful. Our lesson is begun at 9.30, and Angela gave us an article to read on the Sala Borsa. We talked a little bit about this building and then we went exploring. We passed the Palazzo dell'archiginnasio, where it started the ancient University. Then, we went to the Bag Room. Today, there is a public library in Bologna, and that Library ... Mamma mia ... but with the passage of time the building had many uses. You must googlarlo! There are the wonderful ruins which date back to fund 189 BC. We managed to see them well – usually we saw much of this beautiful place. The one we ended our tour. Then I took a walk on the streets and I discovered la casa di Lucio Dalla, and I went to the Museo archeologico ... Wow ... How do you say in English "mind blowing". I've only seen one and I'm going to have to come back soon. Remember the gardens Margherita of 2 or 3 blogs before? ... Have discovered human skeletons dating back to 550AC in these gardens ... Amazing, and there are many other artifacts. I ate a sandwich in St. Stephen's square and are returned home to rest. 4:00 I went out and found a hidden water in Bologna ... There's a picture ... There is a window with a beautiful landscape ... Thanks to my friends ... A wonderful day ... Tomorrow and Goodnight ... Perhaps many mistakes because I'm tired.

  • 7 June/7 giugnio – a hot and steamy day in Bologna/afa a Bologna

    This morning I wanted to see San Michele in bosco, but when I arrived it had just closed. I did, however, see the superb views of Bologna and will return tomorrow. Couldnt face the walk down, then luckily a bus arrived, so decided to head for the station where I picked up a train for Ferrara. Marco who works at San Tommaso lives there and recommended it. It is a lovely place, much smaller than Bologna, but the weather was steamy, so I explored the cathedral, some of the lovely streets and the market, then noticed a wonderful art exhibition in the castle and decided to go there. Works by an Italian impressionist artist, Boldini. The castle, itself, is also very interesting. Afterwards went to the station, caught the train, then the bus and was home in no time. It all works so well, and my transport-catching skills are improving. Air conditioning came on here yesterday. Have just done the washing and am off to bed. Baci e buona notte xxx forgot to mention that there are heaps of bikes in Ferrara – city of bicycles

    This morning I wanted to go see San Michele in Bosco, but when I arrived, it was closed. I saw, however, a beautiful view of Bologna, and return tomorrow. I didn't have the energy to do a walk so I took a bus to the station and went to Ferrara, because mark, who works at St. Thomas, lives there. It's a beautiful place, but it was so hot ... I explored a little narrow streets, the Cathedral and the market and then I saw an art exhibit at the Castle – an Italian Impressionist paintings, Boldini – that paintings – after that I took a train and a bus and are returned home – everything works so well here. Since yesterday there's air conditioning in the hotel. I just did the laundry and so good night and kisses xxx I forgot – Ferrara is a city of bikes!

500 world Committees

The Società Dante Alighieri is an Italian cultural institution whose aim is to protect and promote the language and the Italian culture in the world; He is a member of’EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture – National Culture institutions of the European Union).

THE Dante Alighieri Society committees are over 500, including about 100 in Italy and more than 400 elsewhere in the world.


European committees

European committees

world committees
Committees of Dante Alighieri in the rest of the world



Some cities have a nickname that you remember the historical origin or that describes: Rome, the "eternal city"; Venice, "la Serenissima"; Florence, "la Bella". Bologna has three nicknames: "La Dotta, La Grassa, la Rossa".

archiginnasioThe first is due to the presence of a University that dates back to 1088, the oldest in the Western world;

the second features the best tradition of hearty cuisine and opulent;replace

the third for the reflections of the bricks with which since the middle ages were built towers and palaces butin more recent times, the red color makes us think of the "red" Ducati and Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati to make Bologna and its region the "land of engines".

Lamborghini in the square


100000000000010F000000BA37247AD0The first University of the West, since 1088 Bologna University attracts students from all over Europe. By the time of the illustrious students Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio, Bologna University said in his role as a source of knowledge and about 80,000 now, keep alive culturally and socially.

Visit Palace of ’ Archiginnasio, the ancient seat of the University which houses the impressive anatomical Theatre, where they were dissecting cadavers during lectures in medicine and Anatomy, means making stage in place that for centuries has been one of the leading and most fervent landmarks of European knowledge.

The picturesque old town, one of the best preserved in Europe, where are the ancient palaces and churches rich in works of art, is characterized by its 40 kilometres of porches, that make the city unique in the world. As early as 1100, when the growth of the University led to invent new urban space, the porches have become a public and private place of sociability and business, outdoor seating area very symbol of bolognese hospitality. The portico di San Luca, linking the town to the sanctuary of Colle della Guardia, It is the longest in the world (3,796 meters and 666 arcades). Climb walk is tradition in case of thanks received from those series to lighter ones, as an aid in love or for an exam. The porticoes of Bologna are history, tradition, Urbanism and architecture, and for these reasons are candidates to become UNESCO World Heritage site.

portici"Oftentimes, at two in the morning, back in my lodging, in Bologna, through these long porches, the soul enhanced by those beautiful eyes that I had just seen, passing those palaces which, with its large shadow, the Moon drew the masses, I happened to stop, oppressed by happiness, to tell me: how wonderful it is!" (Stendhal, Voyages en Italie, 1826)


bologna oilyWhen you hear talk of the bolognese cuisine take a curtsy that deserves ". To weave this enthusiastic praise of bolognese food is the great Pellegrino Artusi, in his famous gastronomic Treaty released at the end of the 800. In his lucky Cookbook reserved large space to the culinary tradition of Bologna, indicated to the attention of the whole Italy. If we move later in time, we see that the imaginary perception of the city as paradise of delights for the palate unfamiliar with inflections. In the gastronomic Guide of Italy of the Italian Touring Club, published in 1931, it is stated that Bologna is a place where "the love of the canteen is giocondo satisfactions more complete, nice atmosphere and for their protection".

tagliatelleFor each DOC bolognese eating well is a top priority.

middle market

Near to the famous basilica di San Petronio there is the old "middle market" where foodies would not know of course which featured watch. The traditional local specialty stores are the perfect example of bolognese hedonism, with meats and cheeses of all kinds, but rigorously crafted to satisfy the most demanding palates. Not surprising, then, that the regional economy is based on the food industry.


Not surprisingly, typical products of this region are the prosciutto di Parma, Parmigiano Reggiano, the ’ balsamic vinegar and the mortadella di Bologna. Three of these products, ham, parmesan cheese and mortadella, are the fundamental ingredients of tortellini, famous throughout the world.

"You eat more to Bologna in a year in Venice in two, three in Rome, Turin and Genoa five in twenty" (Ippolito Nievo, Confessions of an Italian, 1867).sfogline


Bologna is the capital of the world's most famous for the concentration of automotive companies, the so-called "land of motors", for excellence in field of automotive and racing culture. The Red Ducati and the Red Ferrari, the Lamborghini, the Maserati have always been fascinating and power icons.

Ducati in Piazza Maggiore
Ducati in Piazza Maggiore

Just A few minutes from the historic centre of Bologna is the Ducati Museum and Factorywhere you can find out how it is built one of the world's most famous bike; at Sant'Agata Bolognese is the legendary Lamborghini; in the historic Galleria Ferrari Modena, with the new Home-Enzo Ferrari Museum; Finally in Maranello you can try “the Red” and do a test drive on the road driving a Ferrari F430!

Modena art and enginesFerrari drive