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July 29, 2019

Italy: Bologna, Porticoes, Floors, and Bathrooms

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Italy, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , , — anotherheader @ 8:42 am

Bologna’s Portico di San Luca, at 3.8 km in length it is the city’s longest arcaded structure.

In Bologna porticoes line many of the streets. The city is famous for its arcaded walkways; Bologna’s 40 kilometers of covered sidewalks is enough of a characteristic feature of the city to warrant a submission to UNESCO as an entry on the list of World Heritage sites. The shade of the arcades protects beautifully crafted walkways of stone tiles or terrazzo. It is a simple but very appealing design that beats the heat of summer.

It’s Italy and the condition isn’t perfect. There’s pealing plaster on the walls of the buildings and cracks in the terrazzo walkways. But what might look rundown elsewhere in the world is here part of the appeal. Indeed when a building is made to look Italian elsewhere in the world it often includes faux peeling plaster. The artful decomposition in Italy is aesthetically pleasing, elsewhere not so much.

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Sometimes the stylistic decay extends to the walls inside the buildings. There seems no hurry to fix cracks and fading paint in hotel rooms, as long as it can be argued that it is part of the rugged appeal. That does come with one exception: Italian hotel bathrooms are often pristine shrines of clean modern stylish porcelain. The terrazzo and the plaster may be cracked outside but in Italy the bathroom basins, tubs, and bowls are will likely be a shining white ceramic spectacle.

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We roamed Bologna’s porticoes in October of 2018.

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