Bologna … an amazing city

The plan ….
Friday evening – leave Hong Kong.
Saturday morning (disgustingly early) – arrive Heathrow.
Saturday morning a little later – arrive Gatwick.
Saturday night very late leave Gatwick for Bologna (after a day spent twiddling thumbs in Gatwick).
Saturday night (even later) arrive in Bologna.
… at least that is what it was supposed to be.

Thankfully, in the immigration queue at Heathrow we met Kenneth from SCBWI Singapore and found out about an early morning flight to Bologna. The end result? After a quick limousine ride to Gatwick we were transferred to that flight. And not only did we catch up with Kenneth, we flew here with Arthur Levine, Kathryn Morgan (daughter of a friend) and more than a few book people all heading for the one gathering, the Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

Arriving half a day early was just superb. It meant we could spend much of Saturday afternoon and the early evening strolling around the town, eating pastries and drinking coffees. This is such a gloriously beautiful town with so many people, ancient churches, restaurants galore, and cafes and food in abundance.

Sunday morning, after a beautifully rested evening, we woke to the sound of church bells ringing and birds tweeting. The wind is blowing. the piazza is buzzing, the sun is shining, the people are latte-ing, the pizzas are sizzling …. it must be Bologna still. Just gorgeous! Also caught up with Warren Buckleitner at breakfast and on Sunday afternoon the task of erecting the SCBWI booth began … !

Our stroll through the town.
It is just amazing what we spied:

bookstore in the piazza

market place entertainment

… petite alleys:

… the most amazing range of exquisite food supplies tucked down alleyways:

… dining on lasagne and calzone – delicious cheeses too!

… and canals that are a little dry (there’s a drought!)

At lunchtime, with other travellers from far flung lands having arrived for the fair, sitting in Piazza Maggiore feasting on fine food with beautiful people:

Pre Bologna book fair days are done.
Tomorrow the action begins.

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