Katie envisaged Bologna to be the slight dip in brilliance that all trips must have. We hoped it wouldn’t be, but the Roman gods were not kind and she turned out to be right.

Originally we had planned on going to Bologna with Paolo and Ashleigh and enjoying the nightlife in this very studenty town. But because of the sudden move to Manchester they were undertaking a few weeks later, it was understandably a bit much for them to fit in.

So instead of partying, Katie and I wandered through endless piazzas and ate some delicious food, sticking to the theme of the holiday! We had fun, but Bologna didn’t have the pizzazz of Venice or even Veraina, nor did it have the serenity we experienced in Bergamo, Como, and Garda. It also did not help the situation that the weather had turned again and it rained the whole time we were there, although this is less of an issue in Bologna than other places, since a lot of the pavements are under covered walkways, like little arcades.

One thing we did start doing in Bologna, which we had ignored up to this point, was visiting churches. Catholic churches are very grand and ostentatious and it is impressive to see such structures. One night I wandered off in search of some late night drunken gelato and ended up stumbling into a huge church. It was stunning, and I do always find sights more interesting when a little drunk. Note to self: Buy a hip flask.

One peculiar oddity that I have noticed so far during our time in Italy is the men’s bathrooms. I have had the pleasure of visiting many bars, restaurants, and public toilets over the last week or so and have yet to find a single urinal. Men have to queue like the female gender for a cubicle. This is absurd. I am a firm believer that the best feature of being a man is the shorter queue for the bathroom. No matter where equality goes, we – as men – will always have the urinal and our external weeing appendage to quicken our yellow release. Unless of course you are in Italy, where urinals don’t seem to exist. From watching such historical dramas as Spartacus and Rome, I was led to believe that Italy had looser rules on public privacy. This has been shattered. I have found a place that goes beyond even our British Victorian reserved ways.

I wonder if Italians look upon our urinals with the same distain that I had for the public shitinal that was common in China. Oh cultural norms, you have thrown up another talking point.

So much deliciousness!

The tipsy night time Church