Here we are, the final week of August!
And the hot weather is supposed to break today, at least in Bologna, where I live.
We’re looking forward to a storm, plenty of rain, and a welcome drop in temperature – from the mid-thirties to the mid-twenties!
The final week of August in Italy, besides being when the unpleasantly hot weather starts to subside, is also the moment that a lot of people start back at work after what is typically a two-week break (longer, ideally!)
Italians spend their vacations at the beach, in the mountains, or a bit of both, so as to satisfy everyone in the family. Pre-pandemic, perhaps a trip abroad, for those with the money and the language skills. Italians are enthusiastic globe-trotters in normal times.
We’ve been stuck here all summer, though, partly because of the travel restrictions, partly because of our kids, who were respectively working, studying/taking exams, coming home from ‘estero’ for the first time in a year.
On the plus side, for the last few weeks, it was feasible to drive places and actually park the car somewhere adjacent to our destination. Which was just as well, as few buses were running and it was way too hot for motorcycling!
From today, however, and for the next eleven months, finding a free parking space will be time-consuming and frustrating – living in a beautiful, medieval city has its disadvantages… But public transport will be up and running once more, and for the next three weeks it should be blessedly free of noisy school children.
Never been to Bologna? It’s where we have our Italian school! And the best times to visit are the fall/autumn and the spring. Just saying…
Talking of medieval cities, I’ve previously mentioned the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. It’s the only historical date I manage to remember effortlessly, probably because I lived in Turkey for three years and people there would not shut up about it.
But anyway, did you know that that same, Christian Orthodox, medieval mega-city, which was more or less the center of the world for the thousand years since Rome had been under the pope’s poor management, had already been totally trashed, two hundred and fifty years before?
In happened in in 1203, but that time the culprits were fellow Christians!
Find out more in Episode 19 of our free 30-part Summer Series of articles with audio:
Missed ‘Le corciate, prima parte’?
Don’t fret – you can find it easily, along with all the earlier episodes, on our History page.
Scroll down past the Romans.