Thursday 23rd September: A visit into Spanish territory: mini-buses conveyed us to Bologna's Collegio di Spagnia which was founded in the 14th Century. It is the oldest institution carrying the name "Spanish" outside of Spain. We were welcomed by the rector who spoke a very fluent French, and shown around the beautiful Renaissance two-floored building and gardens. The rector even took us to an unscheduled visit of the library where he brought out three treasures for our attention: a folio incunabula, a theological law illuminated manuscript and ... a Rabano Mauri manuscript! Nobody knew that there was another copy beside the one held at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. We were indeed lucky to discover it.
The mini buses took us to our lunch meeting, held in the garden of a most extraordinary 18th century villa, Villa Hercolani, where we enjoyed a picnic lunch and buffet on the beautiful front lawn. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the wine was flowing, and we all thought that it couldn't get any better.
But that was before the long awaited football match ...