It turns out that Karadi is a bit of a globetrotter! Off he went to Bologna in Italy last month to attend the Bologna Children's Book Fair - and he had such a blast! He met interesting people and made lots of friends and has decided to learn a few foreign languages as well!
Here's a report from Shobha Viswanath, publishing director of Karadi Tales:
Bologna (pronounced bolownya by the Italians), a small city in Northeast of Italy, is hardly ever on a tourist itinerary and certainly not ever known to tour operators. Thank god for the book fair that allowed us a glimpse into this beautiful city.
The book fair, happens, luckily every year at the start of spring, and as you drive into the city from the airport you can see hundreds of trees bursting with green. Special to this time of year are also the cherry blossoms, and I was lucky enough to be in a hotel that was surrounded by these beautiful trees.
I could talk about the book fair, and the hundreds of wonderful children’s books I saw, the spectacular illustrations that filled the walls of the Illustrators’ Café, or the many authors who came to the fair.
But you know how places leave impressions? Some with their smells, some with their sounds, many with their sights, few other with their tastes – I have recalled places I have been to by the fragrance of a soap or the taste of an artichoke. The last impression that Bologna leaves you with is that of the book fair.
Instead, the city conjures up images of an old university, red cobble- stoned pathways, arched porticos, medieval streets, plentiful arcades, quaint churches and charming squares. Of these, the Piazza Maggiaore – the centre square dominated by a huge 14th century basilica is quite simply spectacular. And then there is the image of the beautiful 666 arches of the portico of the San Luca Church, up on a winding hill that will make the infidel want to believe in god.
If the sights are not enough to overwhelm you, then the smells and the tastes of Bologna will leave you weak at the knees. Called Bologna la Grassa (the Fat One) because of its legendary culinary art, the food of Bologna is as much a topic of conversation at the book fair, as are the books.
I have been going to the bookfair in Bologna for 5 years now, and while the smell and feel of books do give me a great high, Bologna is complete in its sensorial experience.
But perhaps I should write about the books I saw as well!