My Bologna Has a First Name

But it isn’t O-S-C-A-R as in the old ad jingle for Oscar Meyer. For me, it’s S-E-L-V-A.

I first met the Selva family in 2013, but Jimmy Longino was introduced to the Selvas in 1944 when they saved his life. I recall both encounters in When History Gets Personal.

Stefania Lepera, the daughter of Ada Selva, came to visit us last year at the Gulch. She is a wonderful person and we are blessed to count her among our friends. This year, Stefi has played hostess to Megan and now John and me. Stefi and her family, along with Ada, live in Bologna.

Wednesday, we arrived in Bologna and spent a wonderful day with Stefi — much of it centered around food. I never met an Italian meal I didn’t like and when Ada is the chef…well, the only word to do her cooking justice is magnifico!


This is just the antipasti!


Chicken never tasted so good!

What a wonderful time we had with Stefi’s family and Daniele Celli and his wife, Stefania! Daniele introduced us to the Selva family after he wrote a book about their heroic rescue of Jimmy in WWII.


(L to R) Carlo Selva, Elio Selva, John and Donna, Daniele and Stefania Celli, Stefi Lepera, Ada Selva

Yesterday, we toured Bologna with Stefi and Alessandro, her husband. The sunlight refecting off the warm colors of the buildings creates a light unique to Italy, bathing you in a sense of well-being.


I was surprised to discover that Bolgna has its own leaning tower beside the upright Torre Degli Asinelli.


The vibration from city buses threatens to topple the tower on the left so the road around the towers is being reconstructed to absorb the shock.

Bologna was damaged by bombs during WWII, but not decimated. Many ancient buildings remain intact. I particularly liked the complex housing seven churches.


The Basilica Di San Petronas is a testament to church politics. Construction on the facade was stopped in the 16th Century when the architect sought to outdo St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The pope put the cabosh on that effort and the beautiful exterior was never finished.


The inside is glorious, of course, as so many of these colossal edifices are.



Bologna also has a canal á la Venice…


Stefi is a freelance writer and, as all of us freelance writers know, it is a lonely job. After 10 years of working alone in her home office, Stefi recently rented desk space in this cool shared-studio in downtown Bologna.


Our dear friends, Stefi and Alessandro.

Our hearts were heavy this morning when we parted from our Italian friends. Time in their company is always precious as they are a bella familia!

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2 Responses to My Bologna Has a First Name

  1. Gerry crosson says:

    Happy Mother’s Day!! Give John a hug for me. Love to you both!!

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