We have just arrived in the city. Where shall we go?
To voice what is not a commonplace: Bologna is truly a city to be enjoyed at a slow pace. To get into this frame of mind, just take the first steps along a portico. It is also easy to travel, on foot or by bicycle, following the lines of the urban green areas, discovering the countless routes that take you in the outskirts, towards the Apennines or the great Plains, which are considered our lowland. Or the complex of San Michele in Bosco up the hillside, following the CAI path 902. Certainly one can explore the territory also through the traces of hidden canals, from the Certosa in the west to the Parco della Chiusa and beyond... Castel dei Rossi, the Reno canal. From Villa Angeletti in the north, along the Navile canal, up to Malalbergo and the Due Portoni, aiming finally at Ferrara from the top of the banks. You would never want to leave and surely, at some stage, you would find a train taking you back home.
And what events do we mark on the agenda?
Every scheduled festival or holiday event is a good excuse for a good trek, allowing yourself time to challenge the cold weather and, with good shoes, start walking off the beaten track. You have in this territory a number of paths to choose from, such as the Path of Gods, the Path of the Wool and of the Silk, the Mater Dei or the Gothic Line. Just a quick glance at a trail map, or at the now wellknown programme of the Trekking with the Train, is enough to get oriented and intrigued by the walk.
There are very special places to which I return, sometimes, even extending my routes to work. Bagnarola di Budrio, La Rizza Oasis, Monte Adone. The Italian Switzerland, as my mother used to call it with her bicycle friends: via Olmetola ... up to Zola Predosa. And then the Sabbiuno monument, the gullies, the parks in the hillsides. Or further on, the Alidosi bridge in Castel del Rio... the Santerno river, so special as each Bolognese brook is somehow special. In the city, the great wall of the Certosa in the Nicholas Green park or the wonderful view from the San Pellegrino park. We fill our heads and hands with the winter light.