Bologna: The university

Bologna is the first city that established a university. So… Bologna University is the world’s oldest of its kind, dating back to 1088. It’s 926 years old. Now that’s OLD.

Not only was it the first institution of the currently known form “university,” it was also the first to use the term “universitas” for the corporations of students and masters. So it’s safe to say the first concept AND the institution of university dates back to 1088, Bologna. Famous faculty members include Dante, Nicolaus Copernicus and Umberto Eco, among others. Aaaand of course, coming from the education-crazed country that is South Korea, I had to look up the school’s ranking. Shame on me. According to the QS World University Rankings, the University of Bologna ranked 188th in 2013. It’s the highest ranking Italian university on the list. (The first is MIT, Seoul National University is tied on the 35th with Kyoto University, fyi.)

볼로냐 대학은 세계에서 가장 오래된 대학교. 무려 926살이다. 사실 볼로냐는 대학이라는 개념 자체가 태어난 곳이기도 하다. 유명한 교수진을 꼽으라면 단테, 코페르니쿠스 그리고 움베르토 에코. 코페르니쿠스에서 약간 놀람. 대학순위가 궁금해서 찾아봤더니 2013년에 188위를 차지. (참고로 1위가 MIT, 서울대가 교토대와 함께 35위) 뭔가 낮은것 같아서 제대로 사이트가서 찾아봤더니 맞네, 맞아. 이탈리아 대학 중에서는 최고 순위를 자랑한다.


But before me and G even entered the school walls, we noticed the arcades all around the city. A LOT of them. I later learned that these are called porticoes and Bologna is especially famous and, well, vice versa. There are over 45 kilometers of such arcades and 38 kilometers of it is in the city center. It was quite handy for us because it was raining and we didn’t have an umbrella.  The single longest portico in the world is actually in Bologna. It extends to about 3.5 kilometers from the edge of the city to Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca.

도시 전체가 하나의 아케이드. 이 아케이드는 정확히 말하면 포치, 혹은 포르티고라고 불리는 건축 양식. 유럽에서도 특히나 유명한 이 건축양식은 신전이나 공공건물 주변에 세워지기 시작했다고. 나중에는 일반 주택들에서도 선보이기 시작했는데 건물 주인이 직접 공사비를 내야해서 디자인이 제각각이다. 가장 화려한 곳은 Palazzo della Banca d’Italia (Piazza Cavour 6)에 있는 아케이드.

So normally such porticos were used as decorative measures for temples, shrines or public buildings, and it’s said that the property owners had to pay and build their section of the portico, which made it somewhat difficult to keep the style and decoration universal. This is why some porticos are fancier than others. The fanciest, and most famous, is the one in the Palazzo della Banca d’Italia (Piazza Cavour 6)



bu2One of the fun things (for me, at least) of traveling Italy is the Fiat 500. I personally prefer the older design. The new one, which started being manufactured from 2007, lost its…personality? wit? cuteness? in my opinion. Now it just looks like any other “small” car (which is interesting because it redefined the term and was one of Italy’s first city cars). Apparently there are various versions, such as Fiat 500 K, L or F. The one in the photo, I believe, is a Fiat 500 F. (Or isn’t it?)

귀여운 피아트의 500 시리즈. 서울에서도 론칭했다고 하는데 반응이 어떤지는 모르겠네.

Since Bologna is a university city, it offers interesting exhibitions, museums, art galleries and events all year round. One of our favorites was the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, or the National Art Gallery of Bologna. It’s quite hidden between the school buildings, but it was quite amazing.

It was founded in 1808 and offers a very extensive collection of Emilian (the region of Emilia) paintings from the 13th to the 18th century. Although it’s one of the most famous galleries in the city, you can enjoy the artworks without being smothered by fellow visitors, thanks to its newly renovated, very spacious walls and hallways. It’s also one of the few places that offer an entire floor dedicated to contemporary artists, which I thought was smart. Mixing in the old and new.

대학도시라 그런지 특히나 박물관, 도서관, 미술관과 다양한 이벤트들이 많다. 걸어다니다보면 학생들이 세미나를 하고 있기도하고 곳곳에 박물관이나 미술관이 있어서 여행객 입장에서는 편한 도시. 아, 대학도시라 주변에 쇼핑거리, 먹거리도 많다. 점심시간을 까먹고 가는 바람에 문앞에서 한 20분 기다려야했던 볼로냐 국립미술관. 1808년에 개관한 이 미술관은 프랑스의 작가 스탕달이 특히나 즐겨 찾았다고. 최근에 새로 모던하게 리모델링을 해서 깨끗하고 높은 천장, 넓은 홀들이 인상적. 대학가 안쪽에 위치하고 있어서 사람들도 많지 않아 천천히 작품 즐기고 싶다면 추천.

bu3So apparently, the French writer Stendhal used to pay the guard of the museum to skip ticket checking and getting in line to see some of his favorite paintings whenever he had the time. Namely, the Ecstasy of St. Cecilia by Raphael and Saint Agnes by Domenico Zampieri, who was a Baroque painter of the Bolognese School of Painters.

buThose EYES.

bu4Another interesting museum would be the Museo di Palazzo Poggi, or the Palazzo Poggi Museum. It was the first public institute dedicated to scientific research and study following the methodology of direct observation and experimentation. And yes, the museum clearly showed those two closely linked methods. (The globe you see in the photo dates back to the 17th century. Impressive.)

The museum is part of the Poggi Palace, which got its name from a powerful clergyman and future Cardinal named Giovanni Poggi. It started as a home, but later became the house of the Institute of Science of Bologna, which included a library and observatory. The institute was one of the few science institutions in Europe and also one of the few that flourished during the Age of Enlightenment. Its collection is quite extensive, including natural history, anatomy and obstetrics (which was quite horrifying, even for me and G who are quite used to zombie series and slasher movies), physics, chemistry and geography.

또 하나 인상적이었던 박물관은 팔라조 포지 박물관. 학교내에 위치하고 원래는 지오반니 포지라는 추기경이 살던 곳이었는데 과학에 관심이 많았던 추기경이 본인의 집을 과학 기관으로 발전시켰다고. 유럽 당시에 흔치 않았던 기관으로 실제로 관찰과 실험을 강조해서 유명해졌다고 한다. 박물관내에는 다양한 전시관들이 있는데 좀비 영화나 시리즈에 익숙한 나와 G도 진짜 같은 마네킹과 해부관련 사진, 왁스 모델등 앞에서는 약간 불편한 정도.

bu5Aaaaand, I had to be corny and patriotic and find Korea from the ancient maps. One famous wax model, among the many, MANY, is the Venerina of Clemente Susini. Venerina means “little Venus” and Clemente Susini was an Italian sculptor who is renowned for his wax anatomical models. It’s basically a wax model of a young pregnant woman which shows her, well, everything, including her internal organs. Susini and his work was praised for “the beauty which he gave to the most revolting things.” It was quite disturbing to find yourself looking over her wax body in awe, but it seemed everybody just couldn’t help it. Oh, and she was wearing pearls. (You can look it up if you want to see, umm, her. Call me a bad blogger but I just didn’t have the guts to link it the images of her. You’ll see what I mean once you see it. Now you HAVE to.)

특히나 유명한 왁스 모델이 있는데 이탈리아의 조각가 클레멘테 수시니가 만든 베네리나, 즉 작은 비너스. 해부학을 위해 만들어진 이 왁스 모델은 임신한 젊은 여성인데 가짜인걸 (그리고 약간 무서운걸) 알면서도 계속 보게 되는 마성이… 잠깐 낮잠을 자는것 처럼 평화로운 얼굴을 하고 있는데 목 아래는 무서움. 사실 그 시절에도 수시니의 작품들은 해부학적으로 정확하면서도 아름답기로 유명했다고 한다. 이 작은 비너스라고 불리는 여인은 무려 진주 목걸이를 하고 있었다. (보통 같으면 링크를 걸었겠지만 멋모르고 눌렀다가 악몽을 꿀수도 있을것 같아 자제함. 직접 찾아보시는게…)


bu13Who says bibles have to be black, dark blue or dark red?

bu15I was trying to be artsy with this one, but it didn’t quite work out. I find that a lot of Italians don’t seem to mind having broken glasses, windows or mirrors. I would think any Korean, or even German, would go out and seek help to get it fixed ASAP.

이건 이탈리아를 다니면서 늘 느끼는건데 우리나라 같으면 뭔가 자동차나 오토바이 등에 망가진 부분이 있으면 바로 고칠텐데 여긴 그대로 놔둔다. 그냥 깨지거나 없어진대로 다니거나 테이프로 칭칭 감아서 다니기도. 쿨한거냐 게으른거냐. 서양인들 비오는데 우산안쓰는거랑 같은 느낌.


bu17Who controls the controllers? The Aliens. End of discussion.

bu18This was a happy coincidence. Salute!

Other interesting places, all libraries, include: Biblioteca Sala Borsa and Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna and also the Archiginnasio Municipal Library. We missed them this time, but these were recommended by many, especially the last one.

Places mentioned:



All photos by rachelsanghee

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