10 Reasons Why I Miss You, Bologna

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  1. Life was simple. Life in Bologna consisted of waking up to a croissant from the Mensa, going to class, grabbing a slice of pizza and gelato, walking around an incredibly beautiful city and spending so much quality time with friends. Down time consisted of exploring and discovering new things right around the corner. There weren’t any Snapchat or Instagram notifications popping up as we walked beneath the porticos. There was time. Time to appreciate and SEE the things around us.
  2. Food was delicious and real. Even though all I ate was pasta, pizza, gelato and tiramisu, it was just as delicious every single time. The handcrafted tortellini stole the show. Dinnertime consisted of walking down narrow, cobblestone streets trying to choose from the many restaurants with meat hanging from the ceiling. Oh, and my favorite appetizer? Meat trays for the whole table to share.
  3. Walking was a must. There were no subways. We didn’t have a car. We could not call a taxi. We had no choice but to walk, and it was great. Walking allowed us to see and be in the city constantly. Something beautiful was around EVERY corner. And after a big meal, we didn’t even feel full by the time we made it back to campus. I never thought I would say this, but I miss the extremely tall staircase that we had to take into town every day.
  4. Dream vacations were a train ride away. Man, life was good when we got to plan a new trip every weekend. From London, to Rome, to Amsterdam and beyond, new cities awaited every weekend. The incredible became the normal, and I had to constantly remind myself of what I was seeing.
  5. No one lived in fear. Despite the horrendous events that were going on near by, people were still living their lives. People were happy. Joy never failed to fill the streets. There weren’t news stations blaring all day every day. The Italians were not letting terror overcome them, and it was inspiring.
  6. Two extremely tall towers always helped you find your way. Getting lost in Bologna never lasted long, because eventually you could look up and see the two towers that were in the center of the city and just walk towards them. I’m getting chills just thinking about these towers, and I keep forgetting that I can no longer walk outside and see them.
  7. People were not in a hurry. Italians value their time. They aren’t constantly rushing. Most of the time they are late, and that is ok. At dinner, you never ask for the check, but simply sit there and socialize for hours. Italians don’t let moments pass without appreciating them. It’s ok to have a 5 hour dinner… don’t worry about what else you have to do; simply enjoy.
  8. Everyone I passed on the street was fashionable. Italy is a fashion blogger’s heaven. The streets of Bologna were filled with constant inspiration. People always dressed up, and they always looked good. There were no t-shirt and shorts, even amongst the college students. Not to mention, the shopping was also incredible so once I was inspired I would just go shop.
  9. The little things were the most special. Some of my most favorite moments were simply sitting on a cobblestone street drinking coffee, or visiting my favorite Osteria and chatting with the owner. The smallest moments made my world view so much larger. It was the simple, everyday moments that transformed me. The smiles from the people on the streets who didn’t speak english, the church bells chiming while doing my homework, eating a delicious slice of pizza from our favorite pizza place, or simply staring at the beautiful architecture while walking to class.
  10. I miss making the memories that are impossible to put into words. I think it is just now beginning to hit me how much I miss this place that I called home for a semester. It’s the stories that you begin to tell and realize you can’t, and the feelings that you felt that are still so real. Bologna, you have become a part of who I am and I thank you for the memories that I can’t even begin to put into words. Thanks to you, my world is bigger and filled with more joy.

xoxo, Riley

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