A few nights in York has been swiftly followed by four nights in Bologna; we are back after an absence of thirteen years.  I feel a great affinity with this working university city of the Italian north and last night I worked out why.

It has been raining for much of the last two days, the roads and piazzas shine.There is constant movement, a chaotic rush towards the future.  The dimly lit streets bustle, umbrellas in the dark queue in long lines for over-full buses or wander across empty squares overlooked by architectural monsters – Basilica di San Petronio’s façade  is deliberately unfinished. The buildings wear the dust of age, they are purposeful, lived-in and not prettified, The view upwards towards the twin peaks of Torre degli Asinelli and Torre Garisenda is obscured by trolley-bus wires.

Rain, the dirt of ages, dimly lit streets, continuous movement, this is Manchester in the 1950s – rough around the edges but safe, solid, secure.

Piazza Nettuno ... A rainy night ... The Towers ...

Today we did the Ducati Factory tour at Borgo Panigale – you can guess what is coming next 🙂


  1. Made in Rome · March 9, 2016

    Nice recreation of the city’s vibe. You write with a really nice energy and at a good pace. Reminds me of some of the old school writers. You don’t see that much anymore. Cool post. I also miss Bologna!

    • northumbrianlight · March 10, 2016

      Many thanks for your generous words – this morning the sun is shining in Bologna – at last 🙂

  2. Cate Franklyn · March 9, 2016

    Oh that second shot, just love it. It really is all about the Ducati Factory….isn’t it?

    • northumbrianlight · March 10, 2016

      You got it, Cate! A wonderful afternoon in motorcycle heaven – only two complaints – no photography allowed in the factory and no free samples 😀

  3. restlessjo · March 9, 2016

    I might skip the next post, but that middle photo is worth looking at a time or two. 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · March 10, 2016

      Thanks Jo – there might be more than bikes on the next post – Pam tells me the shops are good too (how would I know) – all the best, R

      • restlessjo · March 10, 2016

        More grand squares and arches, please 🙂 Have fun shopping!

  4. LaVagabonde · March 9, 2016

    Love the shadow on the first shot. I can sense your giddiness about the Ducati Factory. 🙂

  5. Un Artista Minimalista · March 9, 2016

    I love Bologna, good photos

  6. harrienijland · March 9, 2016

    Wonderful trio!

  7. greenmackenzie · March 9, 2016

    Looks wonderfully drenched in atmosphere✨💕✨

    • northumbrianlight · March 10, 2016

      Many thanks – Drenched in atmosphere and drenched in rain but none the worse for it.☔

  8. Malin Ellisdotter H · March 16, 2016

    Amazing images, Robin. I love them all.

    • northumbrianlight · March 16, 2016

      Many thanks, Malin – sometimes it pays to go out in the rain 😉

  9. litadoolan · April 1, 2016

    These are stunning. Thank you for giving me a strong lens to see Bologna through. I love the way there is so much contrast in the black and white images. The pictures are unforgettable with the level of clarity you achieve!

    • northumbrianlight · April 3, 2016

      Many thanks Lita – I cannot recommend Bologna highly enough even if you skip the Ducati factory tour 😉

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