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

  • Beautiful people, markets and food!,/Persone and food markets

    Another beautiful day in Bologna. Brigetta taught us, as Angela was studying and we covered the subjunctive tense. I was interested to hear that she had read JM Coetzee’s book, Disgrace, at university. In the story, he goes to Salem which is close to Grahamstown, where I was born. I am enjoying the classes very much. I met Beatrice, Odoardo’s sister, for the first time – a lovely lady – and she, Reanda and I went out for lunch – the food is excellent here and we had a wonderful meal – I ate torteloni. Afterwards we explored the market off via Independenza – lots of bags, shoes etc. I will return to do some shopping. I arrived home at about 6 – thank you both for a lovely day. Then, in the evening, I met Mauro for the first time – he is interested in the South Africans who died in Italy during the 2nd World War and is a friend of Colonels Joe and Sue Palmer, SAAF. We walked into town and ate at another wonderful restaurant – a beer, tagliatelle and salad. All was very good. Bologna was playing an important soccer match, maybe to move into another division, but unfortunately we didnt see the result. The Bologna team wears a red and blue strip. We talked and walked and had an ice cream. I saw the spot where the first Maserati was made. Mauro is very charming – thank you for a wonderful evening. I am not eating today …. Baci a tutti .. The Joburg Wonderer

    Another beautiful day in Bologna .... Brigetta taught us today – Angela had to study. We did the subjunctive ... Goodness me. The lessons are wonderful. I was surprise-Brigetta read at University a South African book-Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee – in the book the protagonist goes to Salem, near Grahamstown, my birthplace. After class I have Neven and Beatrice met – you're Odoardo's sister and is very nice and looks a lot like his brother. We ate together – the food is excellent here, especially the torteloni! Then we went to the market in via Independenza – many handbags, shoes etc – I have to go back to shopping! Thanks to both for a beautiful day. At 20.00 I met for the first time – Mauro interested to South Africans who died during the second world war and is the friend of Colonel Joe and His Colonel Palmer, SAAF. We ate at another restaurant, Osteria della Fondazza – a beer, taglietelle and salad. Everything was delicious. Bologna played to football – a game important. But I haven't seen the result. Strip him of the team's blue and red. We took a walk down the street of the city and we ate a good ice cream. I saw the place where they built the first Maserati. Mauro is very charming ... Thanks for a nice evening. Do not eat for at least two days ... Kisses to all ... The Joburg Wonderer.

  • Sunday, the day of rest/la domenica, il giorno di riposo

    … And so this will be a short message. Today has been another windless and perfect day. This morning I had breakfast and then started talking to the people sitting near me. The one signora, Milena, is from Slovenia and has a Ph.d in Economics (she is here for a conference) and the other is a young dutch student, called Flora,who is studying Communications. We discussed all three of our countries from their languages and politics to their energy related problems and education and Milena told us that her language has a word for example for “he does”, then one for “they do”, but also for “they do” when only 2 people are involved in the action – interesting. Needless to say this discussion carried on for two hours!! I still, however, managed to see St Michele in Bosco – it is beautiful – full of renaissance paintings and the view from the top of the hill is spectacular. Afterwards, I walked down and explored the area around Via Castiglione near my accommodation and also via Orfeo and via del Cestello. I took a city bus tour in the afternoon and have just returned from mass in the lovely and enormous San Domenico church round the corner from San Tommaso. A dopo …. Baci Jean e buona notte

    And so this post will be short. Today it was another perfect day and no wind. This morning I started talking to people who you sedevono near me for breakfast. A lady, a doctor of Slovenia, call Milena, studied economics and is here for a Conference in Bologna. The other, called Flora, is a young Dutch student. We produce spoke for nearly 2 hours of many things – problems, languages, politics, energy etc in our countries. It was a very interesting speech. Milena said that in his own language it says e.g. "he does" then "they", but then there's even a Word when there are only two people ... Goodness me... Complicated. I was able to see San Michele in Bosco and thank goodness the Church was beautiful and even the landscape ... See the photos! Are lit walk from Hill and I explored the beautiful area near me – via Castiglione, Via Orfeo and Via Basket etc. I took a City Bus tour this afternoon and I have just returned from mass in the Church of San Domenico ... I ate a pizza .... See you later.... Kisses and good night

  • A lesson, wonderful shops and books/una lezione,i negozi meravigliosi e i libri

    Buona sera …. Today was cooler … We had an excellent lesson with Angela, as our outing had to be postponed because everything closes here on Mondays. Tomorrow, however, we will go to the Palazzo Poggi. Then I will tell you all about it. We went shopping in the “bestest” shops in downtown Bologna this afternoon, and I bought a book recommended to me by Angela. I had supper at San Tommaso – the food here is really good – tonight I ate only the second plate – beef and veggies, white wine, bread sticks and a limoncello! Wow! Good night, as I am nodding off … Baci

    Good evening... Today was cool anymore. We had an interesting lesson with Angela. Our ride has been erased, because all museums close every Monday, but we're going out tomorrow to Palazzo Poggi and ricontero. In the afternoon we have been shopping in stores and I bought a book, recommended by Angela. I ate at St. Thomas tonight, only the second dish – the food was good-beef, vegetables, wine, limoncello and grisini wow! Good night, I have to lay here ... Kisses

  • A rather special day/one day a bit special!

    Today was a day … un po’ particolare … there is no other way to say it. It was, in fact, a very special day. We met at 9.30 as usual at Dante Alighieri – Angela, Brigitte, Nat, Emm, Pingh, Ringo and I and set off for the Poggi Museum which is in via Zamboni and is part of Bologna University. We stopped first at Santo Stefano – the 7 churches – I have written about them before – they are so beautiful. We explored and photograhed and then continued our journey. I was blown away by the archeological museum, but Poggi is absolutely amazing! It is so old world and interesting. I never knew that Ulisse Aldrovandi is considered the Father of Modern Natural History, and that Luigi Galvani discovered that brains of animals send electrical impulses to the muscles. This is powerful stuff. There was an exhibition in Joburg last year, Body Worlds, which showed what happens under the skin of the human body – well it all started in Bologna – and there are the original models made from bees wax here in Poggi Then there are models of babies in utero which show all the complications that can arise in birth, there are huge models of ships … And much more. I have never seen anything like it – thank you, thank you, all my companions, and Bologna for a wonderful morning.

    Brigette and I then had some lunch and went to Dante Aligheri to meet Lucia Gaudenzi, the President of Dante, Bologna. She is lovely. I was awarded my bursary and we then explored the city together – the oldest porticoes, the wonderful shops – there aren’t many supermarkets in this area, but instead shops that specialise in various things … I just love it. Thank you all for a truly special day! Good night until tomorrow …

    Today it was a day a bit particular, what else can I say ... it was in fact a very special day. We met as usual at 9.30 to Dante Alighieri – Angela, Bridgette, Nat, er, Pingh, Ringo and me and we began our walk – Poggi Museum destination, Via Zamboni and a part of the University of Bologna. Our first stop was Santo Stefano. Remember? I wrote the first of these churches ... So beautiful. We explored, we took photos and then we continued our journey. I was "blown away", as they say in English, from the archaeological museum, but Parker is also really wonderful. It is very ancient and interesting ... I never knew that Ulisse Aldrovandi was considered the founder of modern natural history and Luigi Galvani had discovered that animal brains send messages to muscles. Last year there was an exhibition in Johannesburg called Body Worlds that showed what happens under our skin, ... Everything started here in Bologna – see the photos. Then there are the models of children in utero showing the problems that might arise during childbirth, and there are models of ships and many other things. I've never seen a museum like this! Thanks to Angela and Brigitte and our companions for a wonderful morning.

    Brigette and I have eaten something together and then we met Lucia Gaudenzi, the President of Dante in Bologna – she's really nice. I received a scholarship, and then we explored the city together. The most ancient arcades, shops so beautiful – there are no malls in the Center, but instead shops, each with their own specialty ... I really like. Thanks to all of a day so special .... Good night tomorrow ...


  • Medieval, Baroque and friends ... Medieval, Baroque, and friends ...

    There is always something special to see in this beautiful city … Today we met Angela and the guys at Neptune’s statue and then we headed for the Medieval Museum. Another wonderful place full of treasures …. You have always got to look at everything here … The buildings themselves are works of art , because they have interesting ceilings, and are full of porticoes, murals, frescoes etc. We walked and talked, and observed … We found a statue of the mysterious unicorn, a very well preserved mosaic, ancient and magical potterey, loads of beautiful carvings … youngsters at university in the medieval period, some of them captured forever, fast asleep … nothing has really changed …. and for me, calligraphy. At 1.00 I left for home and a rest. Thank you to my charming companions, Angela and the guys, for an amazing morning.

    At 16.00 I met Reanda and we walked to Dante to meet up with Lucia. She is reallly nice. After numerous photos we went exploring ….. We found a beautiful church, Santa Maria della Vita, full of terracotta baroque statues, so beautiful and so lifelike, we did some shopping, and then took the bus to meet Edera and her lovely grand children and to have an ice cream…. Thank you all for wonderful times and memories … Until tomorrow …. Buona notte from Bologna …

    There's always something special to see in this beautiful city. Today I met Angela and kids in front of the statue of Neptune and then we went to the medieval Museum, another wonderful place full of treasures – here in Bologna you must always look all ... Even the buildings are works of art, why have interesting ceilings and there are many arcades, frescoes etc. We walked, talked and looked and we found a Unicorn statue so mysterious, a beautiful mosaic, ceramics, and ancient magic, the bas-reliefs marble and stone to college students during the medieval period, some asleep, captured in time forever ... Nothing's changed! ... and then for me the script. The one I went to Bologna House to take a NAP. Thanks to my companions a fascinating morning special.

    At 16.00 Neven and I met Lucia to Dante – she's so nice. We made many photos and then we explored Bologna ... We found Santa Maria della Vita, a beautiful church filled with beautiful Baroque statues and pottery. We went shopping and then we met Ivy and her beautiful grandchildren and we ate an ice cream. Today it's filled with wonderful memories ... Thank you all... See you soon and good night from Bologna ...

  • Music, Art and friends/the music, art and friends

    Yesterday I had my last lesson with Angela and the guys, who depart for Rome tomorrow for a few days. I was so sad and will miss them all. It is amazing how quickly one can form friendships. Thank you all for a great time. Brigitta and I will explore another museum today and I look forward to that. We spoke about Lucio Dalla during our lesson and also listened to his music … his beautiful songs, “Caruso” and “4 March 1943″ and many more. There is another singer from here, Francesco Guccini, who sings about his city … Bologna e’ una vecchia signora ….. I spent the afternoon at the Palazzo Fava, looking at an exhibition on the art of Bologna over the years from Cimabue to Morandi. It was excellent, and also the building – dont forget, you need to examine everything! I saw a Lamborghini on my way – what a car. Last night I went out with a lovely family from Bologna, friends of Sue and Joe. Thank you Christian, Mia and Greta for a wonderful evening.

    Yesterday it was my last lesson with Angela and kids. I was very trieste – it's so easy to make good friendship ... I mancherate much all of you! Thank you very much! Brigetta today and I are going to a Museum – can't wait. During our lesson we talked about Lucio Dalla and his music ... How wonderful... We heard "Cannon" and "March 4, 1943" and many other beautiful songs. There's another singer in Bologna, Francesco Guccini, and he writes of his city. Bologna is an old lady ... I spent the afternoon at the Palazzo Fava. I saw an art exhibition in Bologna titled from Cimabue to Morandi. It was excellent, and the building. Don't forget to look around here! I also saw a Lamborghini when caminavo for the streets ... That car! In the evening I went out with a wonderful family of friends, Sue and Joe Palmer ... Many thanks to Christiaan, Mia and Greta an evening beautiful!

  • Today, a quiet day, today, a quiet day

    Today was a quiet day for me. I spent the morning organising my life, and then set off for Via Zamboni. A large part of the university is situated here. I had lunch at a typical student cafe’ and then went to see the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna – This is the art gallery of the city …. Wow …. It houses the most beautiful paintings and they are enormous … periods covered are medieval, renaissance, boroque and the romantic period. There are works by Giotto, Carracci, Reni, di Filippo and many many more. Bologna has so many treasures , and there are still the treasures of Rome, Florence, Milan etc, etc – the list is endless. After this very good experience, I decided to do some shopping. Martin, you will be happy to know that the shopping is almost all done …. There was a market in the beautiful square of Santo Stefano, and so I stopped for a light meal and a beer….until tomorrow … Kisses Jean

    Today was a quiet day for me. In the morning, I organized my life. Then I went to Via Zamboni. It seems to me that a large part of the University is here. I ate something small to some coffee, used by students, then I went to see the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna .... wow .... There are beautiful paintings here and there are many ... The historical periods of the paintings are medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and romantic. There are paintings by Giotto, Carracci, Reni, Philip and many other artists. Bologna has so many treasures, and there are also the treasures of Rome, Florence, Milan etc etc etc – the list is long. After this very special experience, I decided to do a bit of shopping. Martin, you'll be glad to know that I have in fact done almost everything. There was a market in piazza Santo Stefano, and today I ate something to read and I drank a beer in a small bar ... Until tomorrow then ... Jean Kisses

  • My last lesson at Dante Bologna/La mia ultima lezione alla Dante a Bologna

    Today, Friday, was my last lesson at Dante Alighieri, Bologna. The two weeks that I have spent here have been fantastic, and I want to say thank you to Lucia Gaudenzi, the Director, Angela and Brigida, her excellent teachers, and my to fellow students, Nat, Phing, Em and Ringo – my experience has been a dream come true…

    Brigida and I met at the school at 9.30 and then set off for “Museo per la Memoria di Ustica”. I was not expecting to see what I saw, and I was initially rather shocked. On 27 June 1980 a DC9 plane, belonging to the company Itavia, set off from Bologna for Palermo in Sicily with 81 passengers on board, but tragically it never arrived. Perhaps a bomb or a missile caused the accident, maybe we will never know …. It crashed into the sea and all lives were lost. Over the years much of the wreakage has been recovered and the DC9 has been reconstructed over a wire frame. There are black mirrors all around the hall, one for every passenger, and voices whisper continuously. They ask questions of their loved ones … and seek closure and answers. There is also a film explaining what happened that day. The museum is a powerful memory to those who died .. An innovation of the city of Bologna … I found everything very moving and sad.

    Brigida is really lovely. We walked and talked, saw the beautiful Sacro Cuore church, did some shopping and then had lunch at a very good Vegan resaurant called Fram Caffe’. I saw Brigida’s excellent photos on show there.

    I then headed for home and had an ice cream and then a sleep and around 19.00 went down to the piazza, had a beer and some snacks and listened to a little jazz … What a life …

    Thank you again to Dante Alighieri, to Bologna and to everyone who has been part of the last two weeks …. A truly remarkable experience …. And there is still more!

    Today, Friday, it was my last lesson to Dante Alighieri. The two weeks spent at the school were beautiful ... Many thanks to Lucy Gaudenzi, the headmistress, Angela and Bridget, the two wonderful teachers and my fellow studio – my experience was a dream come true!

    Bridget and I we met at the school at 9.30 and then we went to the museo per la memoria di Ustica. Not expecting what I saw and I was a bit shocked. On 27 June 1980 an airplane, DC9 Itavia's, went from Bologna to Palermo. Had 81 passengers aboard, but tragically non arrival '. There was an accident, perhaps caused by a bomb or a missile .... who knows, but all passengers have died at sea. Over time they found almost all the pieces and have reconstructed the plane over a wire frame. The wall of the Hall there are 81 black mirrors, one for each dead person qella night and there are rumors of whispering families. Want to know what were the problems and express the feelings of relatives. It is a very sad and moving ... An innovation of the city of Bologna and a strong reminder of what happened on June 27.

    Bridget is very nice and polite. We walked and talked and we went shopping and then we ate some vegan to Fram coffee. I saw the exhibition of photos of Bridget in the restaurant-very nice.

    Then I went home. I went to the ice cream shop – perhaps the best in the world and I ate ice cream. I took a NAP and then I took a beer in the square ... There was jazz music ... That life .... See you soon

    Thanks again to Dante Alighieri, in Bologna and all ... The last two weeks have been beautiful .... An unforgettable experience! And there's even more!

  • A day of history in a beautiful city/una giornata di storia in una bellissima citta’

    I went to mass today at the most beautiful church – San Michele in Bosco – I have mentioned it before. The service was lovely. I met two ladies who showed me the convent – there is a wonderful sundial in the complex. I then walked back though the forest (bosco) of St Michele and ended up at Il museo della Storia di Bologna. It is a superb museum – it traces the history of the city from Etruscan times through to the present day. I watched a very good virtual movie, 3-D sort of stuff. I have put in the Ducati for the guys! It was raining when I came out, so used my new Italian umbrella and returned home for a sleep. Have just eaten some good tagliatelle … Buona notte … And dreams of gold …

    I went to church this morning – the beautiful church of San Michele in Bosco – I mentioned before. The setting was beautiful. I attacked as Neven says button – I met 2 ladies and they made me see the convent – there's a very interesting Sundial. I returned to the woods of St. Michael and then I went to the Museum of the history of Bologna. It's a beautiful museum traces the history of the city from Etruscan times until today. I watched a good movie at a theater-virtual 3D. I made the photo of the Ducati for men. It was raining when I left and so I used my new Italian umbrella for the first time. I took a NAP and I just ate some good noodles ... good night and sweet dreams ...


  • Bologna with Beatrice/ Bologna con Beatrice

    I spent the day with Beatrice, and it was lovely and a great privilege. She lives in Bologna, so knows it very well. She took me to see beautiful churches like Corpus Domini, San Paolo Maggiore and the Church of SS Salvatore. We wandered through narrow streets where we found ancient pharmacies and lovely buildings and shops. We ended up near the university, and had some lunch, then went to the Botany department, one of the places where she studied, and afterwards to the Department of Anatomy, where she worked for many years. Here, there is a wonderful museum, il Museo delle Cere Anatomiche Luigi Cattenao and Beatrice organised for me to go on a tour of it with Professor Luisa Leonardi, and Christian Mancini. Everything was so interesting. In this department, for the first time in the 1600s, they used bees’ wax models of various parts of the body showing veins, blood vessels, organs and various types of medical problems, to teach the students. The models were used together with a text book, and Bologna University was said to be the best university in Europe, especially for medicine. It is still very highly rated today and is the oldest university in Europe. Thank you for a wonderful day. The medical photos are for James, Cathy, Lucy, Grant and Wilma.

    Today I spent a wonderful day together with Beatrice – what a privilege! Lives in Bologna and so is familiar with the city. We have seen many beautiful churches – Corpus Christi, San Paolo Maggiore and San Salvatore. We did a walk through the narrow streets and we found the ancient pharmacy, beautiful buildings and shops. We ate anything close to school and then we went to the Botanical Institute where Beatrice studied for 2 years, and later at the anatomical Institute where she worked. There is a wonderful Museum, the Museum of anatomical waxes Luigi Cattaneo. Beatrice I arranged a trip to the Museum with Professor Luisa Leonardi, Christian M. It was a very interesting experience. In this Department of the University, for the first time in the 800, used wax models to teach medicine to students. Knowledge of the human body was much improved. Models made by Francesco Mondini, by Louis heat and Cesare Taruffi form today a collection of normal and pathological human anatomy a bit special! Bologna was considered one of the best universities of the world, especially for the medicine. Today the University is excellent and is the oldest university in Europe. Thanks to a special day ... I appreciate it. You have to see the Museum of anatomical waxes! Medical photos are especially for James, Cathy, Lucy, Grant and Wilma!