Tuesday, 24 July 2018

FAMILY REVIEW: Bologna, Italy


VENICE (again)

We caught a ferry from Pula across the Adriatic Sea back to Venice. We didn't stop in Venice besides taking a bus to the Marco Polo Airport (paying full price... see rebellious trick from our Venice review).

On the ferry to Venice, there was a presentation from the ferry company selling their tours within Venice and if you were interested, you pay on the ferry and be a part of their tour. Had we not already rushed through Venice two weeks earlier, we would have signed up for these tours. It was good value for money for what you get to do and see. And it would have solved a few of our travelling and eating hassles we had.

If you do go to Venice but go to Croatia first, I recommend looking into the tours presented on the tours. They cover lunch and transport to and from the Piazza San Marco as well as some history about the area.

The ferry we went on was called Atlas Kompas. The ferry itself wasn't the flashest but it got us there safe (with a near sea sickness incident). The view of Venice as you re-enter the floating city from the Adriatic Sea is amazing! And going into Venice via ferry gives you a stamp in your passport when you arrive - something we wouldn't have unless we had flown into Venice.

BOLOGNA

We hired a car from Venice and made our way to Bologna. A one-night stop over so Hadrian could go to the Lamborghini Museum. 

ZTL NO DRIVING ZONE

But when we arrived in Bologna, our accommodation was in the middle of Bologna City - inside a ZTL (no driving zone). We didn't know this and had to drive into the zone to get to it.

Knowing driving into ZTL's was a no-no, we had to try and make sure we didn't get fined. Once arriving at our accommodation, the front desk worker (in his very limited English) led us to a specific supermarket to buy a permit to enter the ZTL that would hopefully cancel out our breach. With only one employee in the supermarket speaking more English than anyone else, we figured out we needed a permit for every day we were going to drive through the city.

Their ZTL permits are €6 per day. When you buy them, it's like an instant kiwi scratchy. You scratch off a panel with a code and scratch off the day, month and year that you are using the permit for (that part is just for your own use) then text the code and your licence place number to the mobile number on the permit and it covers your driving into the ZTL. Still hopeful that it covered our breach before the permit was bought... *fingers crossed*

But at least now we know what to do if we are ever in Bologna again!

ACCOMMODATION

Our accommodation was like a dorm house in a monastery. It was attached to a church - which we could see from our windows - which is why it was relatively cheap considering it was inside the city centre.

It needs an upgrade, for sure, but guys... it was the best sleep we've had so far in our entire stay in Europe. It was quiet (we were lucky to be on the side of the building that faced the quiet church); we all had our own separate beds; the pillows were pretty decent.

And we had a breakfast included so that was a big bonus!

BOLOGNA CITY

Before having the best sleep ever, we explored as much of Bologna City as we could before we would head to the Museum the next day.

Another old city but in a different kind of way to Verona. Different feel and environment.

We found a little food market place that had a lot of different options to choose from. We chose to eat bolognese in Bologna! But they don't call it bolognese... they call it ragu. It was delicious, of course!

We also ventured into what seemed like their main Piazza where it was abuzz with public political speeches with crowds around them, a massive outdoor cinema screen and enough seats to sit a few hundred people. We didn't get to stay and watch what it was about (which apparently was something Michael Caine related).

Bologna City, even with the small amount of time we got to explore it, was a beautiful city! I wish we had more time and if I can in the future, I would definitely return!

Swipe Right: The atmosphere starting to build in Bologna's central square

LAMBORGHINI MUSEUM





I wasn't supposed to go to this - leaving it to the boys to go grunt at cars. Alas, they couldn't do without their hit-and-miss navigator.

I went and as much as it wasn't my thing, seeing the excitement oozing out of Hadrian built up my excitement.

Prices for just going through the two level showroom of the Museum with no tour is €15 for adults and €5 for children.

Prices to have a full tour through the Museum including the manufacturing factory is €75 per adult and €50 per child.

To be more budget conscious, we chose the showroom with no tour. When Hadrian's old enough, he can pay for his own full tour!!!

There were all their cars everywhere throughout the showroom - upstairs showing the cars that have been in movies.

I haven't taken so many photos of cars in my life.

Besides Hadrian having the best time of his entire life so far, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

Be aware that parking for the Museum is not in the premises of the Museum. You have to park down a side street where it is first come, first serve. We basically had to park in front of someone's house because there were none there. Parking is free though.

Also, I didn't see any public toilet in the entire Museum... and I looked, guys, around every corner I could!

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FINAL REVIEWS

H: Bologna was cool! My !!!!!!!!!!!!!favorite!!!!!!!!!!!!! part was the !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Lamborghini Museum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was bucket list stuff!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We got to see all these awesome new Lamborghini's like the Huracan(a supercar), the Aventador(a faster supercar), the Centenario(a one-off supercar with a roadster counterpart), the Urus(which is the new Lamborghini SUV) and the Veneno Roadster(also a one-off supercar, which isn't really brand new, but then again the Huracan was first released in around 2014). There were also lots of classics, including the Miura, the Countach and the Diablo. It was awesome!! I would go there again hundreds of times, but next on my bucket list is the Ferrari Factory, which is about twenty minutes away?

N: Love Bologna - the food, the culture, the atmosphere. Bologna: the home of Lamborghini and Bolognese sauce. Did I buy a Lamborghini? Sadly no. But I did enjoy the Ragu.

T: I wish we could have had more time to explore Bologna but enjoyed the little time we did! Was glad we had some Bolognese in Bologna! Best sleep ever in that church accommodation. And the Museum highlight was seeing Hadrian so happy and not bored seeing more old buildings!


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