Foto Friday: Fancy

22 Oct

The historic city center of Bologna has 38 km (24 miles) of portici running along its streets, but this portico on Via Farini is one of the fanciest. The mosaic tiling mirrors the upscale stores the portico covers.

The portici, the “people’s umbrella,” protect pedestrians from sun and rain, as well as giving them a bit of distance from traffic. That wasn’t the original intent, but it makes for a pretty good sales pitch. When the University of Bologna opened, the city was flooded with students with no place to live. The city leaders mandated all buildings would be extended on the second floor and above to provide additional housing for these wealthy students, thus creating the marvelous pedestrian passageways on the ground level.

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