Following the Gelato Challenge, the second challenge that I prepared for the class was the 7 Secrets of Bologna. I wanted this to be way to get everyone out into the beautiful city of Bologna and to practice some Italian. Bologna has 7 ‘secrets’ that are hidden around the city and everyone was required to find at least 3 of the 7 in order to complete the challenge. The seven secrets are:
- Little Venice- Much like Venice, Bologna used to have a large water network that used to transport merchandise throughout the city. This was only about two blocks away from our hotel so it was a great starting point for the challenge.
- Cannabis is Protection- On the ceiling of the arcade at the end of Via Indipendenza which near Piazza Maggiore are the words Panis Vita | Canabis Protectio | Vinum Laetitia. Bologna used to harvest a lot of hemp.
- Fountain of Neptune- At the Piazza Maggiore at the end of Via Independenza you will find the Fountain of Neptune sculpted by Giambolgna. When Giambolgna was creating his sculpture the cardinal asked if he could reduce his private area due to religious reasons. It is said that Giambolgna added a humorous secret to Neptune however. If you walk behind Neptune at the right angle it looks as if his finger is in just the right place to make it look like Giambolgna did not actually comply with the cardinal’s request.
- The Telephone Without Wires- this for sure is my favorite secret that I also discovered two years ago. At the Piazza Maggiore under dell’Arengo Tower of Palazzo del Pedestal is a ceiling and for posts that transmit sound in an unusual way. When I stood and faced one of the corners and spoke very quietly my friends could here at the other 3 corners. According to the legend, this secret was created in so lepers would be able to make confessions
- The Arrows in Strada Maggiore- On the Strada Maggiore are three arrows in the ceiling of an archway that were meant to kill the disloyal wife of a rich lord in Bologna.
- The Broken Vase at the top of Asinelli Tower- This secret is supposed to show that Bologna is able to settle and resolve conflicts. It can be found at the top of the Asinelli Tower which is the taller of the two large towers that is seen through Bologna’s skyline
- Panum Resis- this one I heard was very hard to find