IES suffered a temporary loss of tons of brain power when Professor Turnovec (nickname Francesco), Roman (Branco) Horvath, Adam Gersl and me visited Bologna for an Europeum Workshop. The Workshop as such was amazing, and I do not hesitate to say that I much liked the political economy sessions. Most people there were post-doc or junior department members, so we could have a feeling of doctoral "underclass", but in fact the atmosphere was warm and discussions pretty focused and helpful.
Bologna is special in several respects. The city retains the original Renaissance layout with dazzling porticoes. The parade is almost 40 kms long, with the single longest one of 2.5 kilometres. Rain, not to speak of snow, is no danger for pedestrians. Speaking of architecture, the city is full of romantic lanes, lively markets, and fascinating churches. The most famous is Basilica di San Petronio, which once threaten to be bigger than St Peter's Cathedral Rome, so the pope forbid to finish the building. See the photo shot below.
Another intesting feature here is...politics. Communist have been ruling the city for decades, therefore it is not so difficult to buy here entire Marx Capital (what a wasteful production!). Yet citizens apparently don't complain. At least there is a curiosity - Bologna is the only place in the world with a statue of Alexander Dubcek, the 1968 Communist Prime Minister in former Czechoslovakia.
The unfinished Basilica
City Hall on Piazza Maggiore
Ceiling of our villa room
Marx is not dead (fortunately only in Bologna)