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BolognaBologna, is a city of food, architecture and, the OMAS pen factory. It was almost fifteen years since we have been to Bologna and we looked forward to our return. This is a city of great food, endless arcades and interesting architecture. It is also the headquarters for the OMAS pen company.

Omas factory BolognaOMAS makes some of the finest fountain pens available. Anyone who has written with an OMAS pen knows how smooth the nibs flow across the paper, how the pen has one of the most classic well-styled looks around, and its celluloid pens, making of is an art in itself, are among the most attractive pens you can buy. OMAS does not do tours, however, with an introduction from my friend Marco at Novelli Pen & Pipe in Rome, I was extended the opportunity to meet with OMAS and tour their factory. I have written a short piece on OMAS and the vist.


The company president, Christophe Arteux, the Marketing Manager Marta Cruciani, and Operations Manager Raffaele Rispo were incredible hosts and out time was most enjoyable. I am the proud owner of a couple of Omas pens this year - the Art Italiana Milord and Arco Paragon are now two of my Pens of Note.

Of course, being in Rome/Roma laster in the trip meant a visit to Novelli Pen & Pipe and a new pen, that is talked about when we get to Rome/Roma.

BolognaBolognaFeatured in the May 2007 issue of Travel + Leisure, the Emilia-Romagna Region has been described as being "blissfully crowd-free". The Travel + Leisure article highlighted some of the architectural treasures in Bologna, Rimini, Ferrara and Ravenna. We c'an't agree more.

The centre of Bologna has retained a classic look with dusky red-coloured buildings because of the use of brick, grand wide piazzas that create lots of open space, and endless arched porticoes with floors laid with marble.



BolognaIt is a plesure to walk around Bologna. The city is known for its food so be sure to plan at least one evening so you can go out and enjoy a great meal.

This is a city where you will want to see some of the churched. The Basilica of San Petronio is one of the largest in the world. And if you think it is large now, because it was going to be larger than St. Peter's in Rome, Pope Pius IV had the transepts of the church removed.

The Portico of San Luca is reported to be the longest in the world. It goes for 3.5 kilometers with 666 arcades and connects the Porta Saragozza which is one of the twelve gates built into the walls during the Middle Ages with the San Luca Sanctuary.

Bologna TowersBologna: porticos and towers.

In the 12th and the 13th century it is estimated that there were up to 180 of these towners in Bologna. And like San Gimigano in Tuscan, the reason for the towers is not clear. Rich families may have used them for defense. In the 13th century it seems that some were demolished.

The two towers that Bologna is known for, the Asinelli Tower (97 m) and the Garisenda Tower (48 m) are often photographed. These represent significant work as it is estimated that to build a tower of 60 meters would take between three and ten years.



Arcaded streets in Bologna Al Balanrone pen store in Bologna Walking the arcaded streets of Bologna is a pleasure. And coming across a Great Pen Store make it all the more rewarding.


Hotel Porta San Mamolo in BolognaIn Bologna we stayed at the very pleasant Hotel Porta San Mamolo..

Hotel Porta San Mamola BolognaWe connected up with Roberto Condello and we found the hotel, its staff and ambiance to be excellent. The rooms as very nicely decorated and there is an attractive courtyard with citrus trees, fragrant herbs and wonderful flower-clad pergolas.

The hotel is about 1/4 km from the Piazza Maggiore, the main square in Bologna.