San Luca, Bologna

November 08, 2015

This week the weather has been, for want of a better word, on point. 

London, I do not miss your grey, gloomy, rainy autumn weather. At all. Being able to sit outside in a t-shirt in November is a concept that is highly unfamiliar to me - but one that I could definitely get used to. 

However, it's probably unlikely to continue for much longer (alas) so, this week, we decided to make the most of it and do something I've been putting off for a while. 

Sat on top of the hill just outside Bologna is a basilica, with an arched passageway leading all the way up to it from the city. It's an infamously long, uphill climb to get there - hence why I've avoided it for so long - but once you reach the top, the view is pretty great. 

With another sunny day and a totally free afternoon (it's almost reassuring to know that in Italy classes are cancelled just as often as at home) we decided to make the trek and take a little picnic up to the top. 

dolce far niente

November 01, 2015

According to the Italian lifestyle bible that is Eat, Pray, Love, there's a saying in Italy: 
"Dolce far niente."

If Julia Roberts is to be believed, it literally means 'sweet doing nothing'. Whether Italians actually use this expression I don't know - I've made a mental note to ask next time I see one - but I kinda like it because it basically sums up my life in Italy. 

I think I've explained before that Italians don't really observe the concept of time like the rest of us do. I've learnt not to expect anything official to be done in less than two weeks, and a couple of hours must be added to every appointment time. Which is annoying if you're a control freak like me. 

But after a couple of months here, I've actually realised it's quite nice. It just means that Italians take life at a much slower pace - having a three hour lunch break means that instead of a quick sandwich at your desk, lunch can be a three course meal in the sun, with a bottle of wine. (And who could refuse that?) 

It also means that there's never a bad time for coffee with a friend, or an Aperol spritz and some aperitivi in the evenings. Unlike in England, there's no need to rush around anywhere - even I am now half an hour late for everything, meaning I am totally running on Italian time. 

So today, whilst I fully expected to be a hungover mess (in case you live under a rock, it was Halloween last night. More on that later), it was beautifully sunny and I decided that it would be quite nice to just go and and enjoy doing nothing. So I grabbed my book - Cinquanta Sfumature di Grigio (No judging please, it was €3 in the second hand shop) - and headed out for a coffee.