Eating our way through Bologna... - Let Us Be Saints!
Let Us Be Saints!
Cheers to Bologna!
Yet another weekend of travel...yet another weekend of community-building, site-seeing, and expanding our minds!  Our Friday-Saturday trip to Bologna was with our fabulous art professor Dr. Lev, who studied during college here in this city and thus knows it well.  She was quick to inform us that Bologna is the culinary capital of Italy, and this was no lie, since the cuisine was the best I have tasted so far! 

We hopped on the bus at the bright and early time of 6:30 am and were in for a nearly five hour long bus ride.  There were plenty of tunnels, a typical rest stop on the side of the road featuring a snack bar and a huge array of chocolates, snacks, wines, and pastas - much more selection than the vending machines you get at wayside rests in Minnesota!  We were surprised to drive past snow-capped mountains since we hadn't seen this fluffy white stuff since last month in Minnesota!  And no, I cannot believe a month has gone by already!  Just three left! 

Though there was no snow in Bologna, the weather was rather frigid cold and we were not quite prepared with warm enough clothing.  Thank goodness for tape recorders (so the hands can stay in the gloves and pockets) and ear muffs (hooray for care packages from home)!  On Friday we visited the Church of St. Petronius, the patron of the town; the University of Bologna, the first university ever to be established; the Church of St. Mary of Life; and what is called the "seven churches" complex, which is essentially meant to replicate the sites of the Holy Land (including the Holy Sepulcher, Pontius Pilate's courtyard, etc).  I got to eat authentic Lasagna Bolognese for lunch (delizioso!) and our dinner was a magnificent four course spread.  My tummy was sure happy at the end of that day!

After a delicious breakfast at the hotel on Saturday (Italians know how to make breakfast pastries!) we headed to the museum of sacred art where we got exposed to a plethora of Bolognese oil painters and the genre of Counter-Reform art.  Next was a quick stop at the Oratory of St. Cecilia where beautiful frescoes of the life of this saint (who holds a special place in my heart because I dressed up as her and told her story to the kids all last summer) line the walls.  Finally, we visited the gorgeous Church of St. Dominic, prayed by his tomb (saw his skull), and went to Mass.  Then there was just time to grab a panino (sandwich) and some fresh fruit from one of the many stalls at the market and we hopped on the bus to come back to Roma! 

The rest of the weekend has been quite fun.  We watched the Audrey Hepburn film "Roman Holiday" last night while making signs to decorate doors since two of our Bernardians have birthdays today!  Ironically, their names are both Maria and their rooms are right next to each other!  The movie was fun too because we saw many of the sites we see on a regular basis (Trevi Founatin, Coliseum) and how Rome looked different decades ago.  This morning was Mass and the Noon Angelus with Papa Bene!  So many people crowd the square each Sunday to catch a glimpse of our Holy Father and hear his words of encouragement!  Praise God!  Sunday night community dinner is at 7 and it is bound to be delicious!  God is very good!

3/6/2011 06:00:02

:) yum melted chocolate bar in a glass. Audrey's face makes my day. Tell her I miss her too. Love you!

3/6/2011 12:54:42

Hey Paula!

Loved hearing about Bologna. What are you Bernardians doing for Lent? What will that look like for y'all communally and individually?

Hope everything is grand, and I'm praying for you!!!!


Lizzy Schmitt
3/9/2011 02:06:13

Also, this is just a random comment: Sarah and Audrey kind of look alike. And Sarah kind of looks like Audrey Assad (who is a singer, you should look up her songs cuz they're awesome). That's pretty much all I wanted to say.

Are you having a great Ash Wednesday!? Yours is pretty much over by now I guess! Love you Paula! Yes, tell us about Lent in Roma and in your community. Lots of us are fasting here, many of us for the first time ('real fasting') so it's pretty darn awesome.

Love you Paula! We're praying for all of you at night prayer!


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