Our Trip to Italy: Visiting Bologna & Stamperia Bertozzi
Visiting Bologna is always a delight, and our recent trip was the perfect blend of leisure and work. We are fortunate that our work is in a field that we are deeply passionate about, as visiting artists and observing them as they create beautiful pieces feels nothing like work at all! Whenever we visit Bologna we like to visit new places that we are yet to discover, as well as revisiting the little treasures that we have always loved.
It’s been a long time since we visited Bologna as tourists. We used to live nearby, and as is often the case, we didn’t take full advantage of the charm and beauty of the place. We only seemed to visit when there was a specific reason such as our studies or visiting friends and family; that never left time for ambling through the picturesque streets. For this reason, we really enjoy going to Bologna and being able to devote the time to it that it deserves. It is such a stunning and memorable city, full of personality and character. The region is also home to many wonderful and inspirational artists.
Bologna Neptun Fountain
We enjoyed a full day, ambling about in the sunshine and visiting places that we have previously fallen in love with. This way we were also able to uncover new gems and really delve into the rich flavour of this remarkable city. Despite the immense heat we were able to keep cool by keeping in the shadows of the buildings, the traditional shutters giving us even more shade and adding extra charm to the delightful centre of town.
Piazza e chiesa di Santo Stefano
The Basilica di Santo Stefano is also known as Sette Chiese (Seven Churches) and it has an intriguing past. No-one is entirely sure about the origins of this majestic cluster of churches. Many believe that they were built in 430 to represent the sites where the Passion of Christ took place. Others are convinced that the collection of churches were built on a pagan temple site. The square is beautifully refined and a wonderful place to stop and take in the architecture that surrounds it. From the square you can see three of the seven churches. We really recommend that you pass by this area, if you are ever in Bologna.
Bologna Piazza Santo Stefano
Basilica di San Petronio
Bologna’s patron Saint Petronio was the 8th bishop of the city, and this beautiful basilica was founded in his honour. The construction for this striking building started in 1390. The impressive marble façade has been adorned with sculpture by Jacopo della Quercia, Amico Aspertini and Alfonso Lombardi. Scenes from the Old Testament are depicted on the main doors and the interior of the building is simply breath-taking. There are twenty-two chapels in the lower nave, and plenty of exquisite classical features. This is a vast and fascinating basilica with plenty of aesthetic, historical and religious interest. It’s a must-visit location for anyone in the area.
Basilica di San Petronio
Canale delle Moline
Water is immensely important in Bologna. It has brought economic growth since the middle ages and historically is connected to the production of silk that the area is so renowned for. Those of you interested in the mills that were used for silk production may like to visit the Museum of Industrial Heritage ( Museo del Patrimonio Industriale) where there are models of the mills on display as well as plenty more interesting exhibits. Because of this crucial link to water, it is no surprise that the Fountain of Neptune is the symbol of the city of Bologna. In the past, all of the water canals in the city were buried underground. If you are interested in this side of Bologna, then we advise that you turn into Via Oberdan, then take the first street on the right Via Bertiera and again on the right into Via Piella passing under the gate Porta Govese (called also Torresotto dei Piella). Passing under the gate, you arrive at a small bridge with a discrete window where you can see the water stream of Canale delle Moline.
Canale delle Moline
It is this combination of historic interest, beautiful and intriguing architecture and rich culture that make Bologna such a fascinating place to visit. However, our trip to Bologna would not have been complete without a visit to Stamperia Bertozzi.
At Stamperia Bertozzi
It is always a real treat and a feast for the senses to visit Stamperia Bertozzi. As Gambettola is only 80 km away from Bologna, it made sense to visit them both in one outing. We went to discuss their new Christmas collection and were blown away by the beautiful creations that they are currently working on.
Stamperia Bertozzi have been producing artisanal creations for us for some time and it is a real honour to be able to supply their work. The family run hand-printing business has flourished since it started in the 1920s. Using blocks forged from pear wood they create beautifully meticulous designs that embody traditional Italian designs yet capture a fresh contemporary aesthetic too. The use of natural colours means the designs are environmentally friendly as well as being beautifully refined and tasteful.
We were particularly attracted to the Oro Collection, especially the handmade porcelain tableware. It was fascinating to see how each piece is lovingly made, as well as admiring the end result.
A bowl from the Oro Collection in production
Finished samples of the Oro Collection
The Trifoglio Collection
The new trifoglio design results in the most charming linen collection
We were also enamoured by a new concept of work that was in progress while we were there. The passionate team at Stamperia Bertozzi have started using the art of handwriting to adorn their luxury bedlinen. This is not only immensely creative but the results were stunning. We love how individual each piece is, and the playful nature of this practice.
Gianluigi painting a pillow case at Stamperia Bertozzi
A selection of finished hand-painted pillow cases
Being able to spend time with the artists as they lovingly created such beautiful pieces has made us even more excited about their upcoming new collections. We hope that you love the work as much as we do. We urge you all to visit Bologna if you ever get the chance. The rich character of this lively and vibrant city make it a wonderful trip whether you want to explore the waterways and churches, or are out to discover more about the wonderful contemporary culture of the city.
For more information on Bologna, we recommend the following website:
Some of Bertozzi linens in stock