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2007a
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Op deze pagina: [M01 Italië: Reggio / Bologna]

M01 Italië: Reggio / Bologna

24 May 2007

I left Holland by car, the day after my birthday. My colleague advised me to drive through France. This sounded like a good idea, since I've never been south of Paris/Strasbourg in France. I didn't visit the places that Fran├žois had recommended, but ended up in a little village near Grenoble (Veyrins). I planned to see more of France on my way back, the next week.

25 May 2007

After a wonderful trip (with beautiful weather) through the Alps (Celin pass, not taking the autoroute), it started to rain when I was exactly on the Italian border. So I took the autostrada from there. After some hours I could see that I was able to reach Bologna that day. I knew Martin O. was staying there in a hotel, so I phoned him to warn him that I would be coming there too.

Finding Bologna was easy, but finding the hotel was more difficult, even though Martin said that it was on the only main road of the city. When I was in the centre of the city, I phoned Martin again, so he could lead me to the hotel. Unfortunately, Martin's map didn't show the one-way streets. In the end I simply parked my car somewhere and walked to the hotel. After checking in, Martin and I walked back to the car and drove to a parking garage near the hotel.

That evening I had the first impression of Bologna. I didn't really know anything about the city, so it was really a pleasant surprise. In the coming 4 days, Martin and I would use Bologna as a "base" for our various trips.

Reggio Emilia, 26 May 2007

Today was the convention where we came for to begin with.
We drove to Reggio Emilia. There we met lots of Italians and another Dane (Niels H.H.), one by one.
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It was nice to see all these people again; some of them I hadn't seen in 10 years! And I saw some people for the first time In Real Life, like Alessandro C., our Gemstone comics indexer.
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I met Luca B. only briefly. He was very busy the whole day, as someone already had predicted. I gave him a Dutch comic with a Sinterklaas story that is NOT in next October's ZIO PAPERONE issue.

Frank S. was also there, from the UK. It was clear that he hadn't seen many fellow Italians in a long time either. And I met Italian artist Luciano Gatto for the first time. He would get a Papersera Award later that day. The various greetings were probably the most photographed event of the day. After a while we were even sent away by a standholder because we were blocking the access to his merchandise.

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After walking through the fair itself, Alberto B., Marco B., Martin and I went to my car to get a box of Dutch comics that I planned to get rid of during my trip. We found a room in the entrance building where we could sit quietly and look through the comics. Another advantage was that this room was the coolest place.

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Later on, other people joined us. Armando B. brought his own boxes with Italian comics, so we could trade.
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Then Frank came in with a big box of comics. But they turned out not to be doubles, but comics he just bought at the fair.

We found out that most collectors have the same problem: their wives tell them not to buy too much comics, since they take too much space. Other collectors (like me) don't have that problem, since they don't have a wife.

Inbetween, I also got the chance to ask Gatto for signing a Dutch comic where one of his stories appeared. I made a photo of him signing, as a proof that it was really him.

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16 people went for lunch, somewhere in the city. We drove with the car of Matteo S. Matteo was smart enough to park his car in the shadow, so it wouldn't become too hot on our way back!
Still outdoors, next to Frank was the coolest place.
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The lunch was a nice event, with Leonardo G. "auctioning" some books. Frank presented the book that was given to Cimino the day before.
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And a new book on "ancient" comics by Fabio G.. (Fabio was in Reggio, but not at our lunch.)
And lots of talking. And eating, of course. But that seemed to be a secundary activity during the lunch.

On the lunch table were 16 people. Some of them I still don't know by name. But I think calling them Francesco has the biggest chance of being right.
(Apart from the people I already mentioned, there were Nicola R., Francesco S., Francesco G., Paolo C., and a guy named Manuel who was happy to take the rest of my Dutch comics.)

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In the afternoon, awards were given to various people, including Gatto and Chierchini. I didn't meet Chierchini. But Gatto was really happy with his award.

Then it was time to go "home" again. In our case, that means the hotel in Bologna. We took the "scenic" route: the ancient Via Emilia. This gave us a nice idea of what the countryside looks like. During the trip, we got rain and thunder. But back in Bologna the weather was nice again.

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Some photos on this page were taken by Nicola R. Thanks Nicola!

27 May 2007

Today was our "touristic" day. We walked through Bologna.
Martin had already seen a lot of the city on Friday (before I came). But one thing he wanted to see was the 3.5 kilometer portico to the San Luca church.
It's said to be the longest portico in the world. More than half of it is up a hill. But it was really worth the walk!

When we were back in the city centre, it started to rain. But in Bologna, that's no big problem: most streets have porticos so we could stay dry! We chose our directions at random, even considering using flipism for that.

Bologna is an interesting town. Did you know it has a street called Via Senzanome - Street Without Name?

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And that all trees in the parks have a unique number? (Maybe someone is indexing the trees in Bologna?)
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Firenze (Florence), 28 May 2007

As decided on Saturday, we went to Florence today, where Marco and Alberto live.
Marco had to work in the afternoon, so we spent the morning at Marco's.
Alberto had to work in the morning, so we spent the afternoon at Alberto's.
But first, we did some sightseeing around Florence. That is, we saw the autostrada and the factories around it, while being in a traffic jam.

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With Marco, I had a "serious" discussion about some Inducks/FSB technicalities. We came to an agreement quite fast. Talking directly is so much easier than by e-mail. Or maybe it was just that I hadn't really thought about the matters before...

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At Alberto's place, we even indexed some French comic albums!

Our return trip to Bologna was in rain, hail (!) and thunder. And the autostrada seems to be used as a parking place for trucks, during the nights.

Rapallo, 29 May 2007

Martin went back to Denmark, and I drove to Rapallo. I like driving in my car. I took the autostrada from Parma to La Spezia, and then some scenic routes along the coast.

I was to meet Carlo Chendi in the restaurant U Giancu in Rapallo. Chendi had given me the address by SMS. This was the first time he used SMS. But it was also the first time I used SMS with my current mobile phone!

But how was I to know where to go with only the address? Alberto had told me that I could simply ask anyone, and they would know. But Rapallo is larger than I thought (and full of tourists with big boats). Luckily, I saw a sign while looking for a hotel! So I first followed the sign to see if it really led to the restaurant. It did. So now I could really start searching for a hotel and come back later.

On Saturday, Armando had told me that he lives near Rapallo, so I asked him to come too.
It was nice meeting Armando on this trip. I only had seen him for five minutes, ten years ago! Now I learned that he is much older than I thought (but still a few years younger than I am). And I could finally give him the book that I promised to send him 7 years ago.

I was surprised that Fausto Oneto, the owner of U Giancu, remembered me from 10 years ago. We first met in 1997, when Don Rosa visited the restaurant (and I drove him there from Lucca).
Fausto thought it was 11 years ago, since Don Rosa visited the restaurant on 2 years in a row. To prove I was right, I could show him this drawing of Don that he made in Rapallo in 1997 and he put the date on it. (I remember asking Don explicitly to put a date on the drawing. Now I know why!)

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Chendi brought some interesting comic material for us. And a replica of the "real" American number one dime, reproduced from photographs that Don Rosa had given him. But the replicas where quite a bit larger than the original - as if a steam roller had gone over them. (Well, that's a different story.)
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And we had an excellent dinner too, of course!
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30 May 2007

Today I had a nice trip along the coast, from Rapallo through Genova and Monte Carlo to Grasse. Grasse is a small medieval town north of Cannes, France.
The whole day, the weather was beautiful. My average driving speed was 30 km/h. I think I've never driven so few kilometers in so may hours! One drawback: because of the many hours sitting still in my car, my feet became thick.
So I had to think of the story that always comes first in INDUCKS, because it has the lowest storycode, alphabetically: "Big Feet!" (AR 101). (The big feet went away after a few days. Ventilating my shoes helped a lot.)

31 May 2007

Totally different weather today: clouds, rain, thunder. No hail though.
The predictions for the coming days were not any better, so I headed for home. A touristic detour through the south of France will have to wait for a next time.
In the evening, when I was in Belgium, the weather was much better there...
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