There are monuments or landmarks that come to represent a city – think Big Ben in London or the Tour Eiffel in Paris. And then there are people so closely associated with a city they become the embodiment of it.
My birth city, Bologna, is known for its two leaning towers, for its red roofs and for the oldest university in the world (and for its food). The main medieval square is wide and open, framed by porticos, an unfinished cathedral and a pretty palace. It’s the heart of the city, whether you sit on the church steps or at one of the fancy cafes and watch the world go by, the groups of old men huddled in their coats to talk about sports and politics and the tourists with their noses in the air.
Some of the most personal images of Piazza Maggiore came in a song by Lucio Dalla, a famous singer songwriter who, despite his success, chose to keep on living and working in the warmth of his native Bologna. Lucio died yesterday and, among the many songs I browsed on You Tube to feel closer to home, I am choosing to post the one about the Piazza I grew up in, the one I said goodbye to the night before leaving for good, the one that is always there, immutable in its medieval beauty, whenever I choose to go back.