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Notify me of new posts via email. We at 'Bologna or Not? Throughout the years, we have interviewed countless witnesses to strange and paranormal activity. Sometimes they turn out to be crackpots, but sometimes it's hard to discount them as credible. We have searched far and wide to collect new details on the legends you already know and to discover brand new supernatural tales to bend your mind as well. Finally, these paranormal stories are available for you to read in our various collections in ebook or print form.

We invite you to grab a copy for yourself and decide for yourself, are these tales Bologna or Not? Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to secondary sidebar Skip to footer Bologna or Not? Paranormal Stories. The goodbye was hard, we were integrated in a perfect group full of kind people. We left Petina heading to Naples with unforgettable memories. We arrived in the morning; backpacks fastened, eyes open and ready to discover our third stop. Every Summer University is different and unique in its own way and when we got there, we expected to be mere guests.

And boy, our experience could not have been more different. However, when we started to get to know the group, we realized that we simply could not just stand beside and observe them, because both organizers and participants made us feel part of the family. AEGEE-Torino had prepared a program full of activities that balanced fun and learning, all dressed with wine and sight-seeing.

We discovered the city on the following day with a short city tour around Torino, where we were told about its history. However I must admit that the organizers were so good at bullshitting us that at this point it is hard to recall what was truth and what was a joke. Now that I think of it, probably the stories about phallic references were made up. The next day we visited Asti, which is a small medieval city located near Torino. After lunch, we got on the bus again and drove to Canelli to visit the Bosca cellar, where we learnt about the art of wine-making. But if I was to pick my favourite activity from this part of the journey, I would choose the aperitivo linguistico, hands down.

We went to this big kind of restaurant where we were given a card at the entrance. The aim was to find the person with the other half and have a little chat with them.

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There were other random tasks that got you points there was a price at the end! During three days we shared long walks around the city, delicious pizzas, debates, laughs, music, ice-cream, stories, and of course, wine, and when Friday came and it was time to leave we could not believe that three days had already gone so fast and felt like we knew them for three months. Balkans — one of those holiday destinations that gains in popularity each year.

But why is that so? What is so special about that region of South Europe? What do you actually know about the former Yugoslavian countries, apart from the fact that not that long time ago there was a war over there? They are said to be very extravert and stubborn. Well, there is usually at least a kernel of truth in each stereotype, but is this the reason for visiting those countries?

Our final stop was Belgrade. Unfortunately, this time I had to travel alone. Reaching the Serbian capital a day before the event started, I had plenty of time to discover the city on my own. First impression? Much more vivid city then I expected, probably because of numerous greenery places, where whole families spend their afternoons. Passers-by were really talkative and there was no language barrier — almost everyone speaks communicative English. The only thing that may be tricky while visiting Serbia is the alphabet that is used there.

So yeah, maybe you should consider buying a traditional paper map instead of relying on Google maps? Anyways, it was not only me who decide to give Serbia a try to steal my heart this summer.

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Over 20 AEGEE members from all around the network have chosen Belgrade and Novi Sad as their summer destination and to most of them if not even all it was the very first time to visit Serbia. Did the event meet their expectations? The second day of my stay in Belgrade I finally got a chance to meet both organizers and participants of the summer university.

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I really enjoyed the fact that for the first time during the whole route I was there during the first day of the event. Thus, I could join all ice-breaking games and take part in all integration activities from the very beginning. But as the main objective of each SU is to get acquainted with the culture of the place you stay at, there were also plenty of activities connected strictly to Serbian heritage.

And believe me, you would never image how much Serbia can actually offer. But everything comes to an end at some point, so did route2's adventure. After travelling around km in 10 trains through 7 countries, visiting 4 different SUs and one special stop in Zagreb I could finally head back home and spend the next 24 hours in buses and trains. This was the northest point of our long journey. As an university town, Groningen has a pretty young population. Our accomodation was near the train station.

On the first day we had a luck to enjoy the amazing dinner cooked by the locals. As a whole this day was pretty calm, we had a movie night and some chat with the locals and the participants. As we were not spending the night at the same spot as the participants we also head a qick trip through the city. On the next morning we started with a WS about equal rights. This was a great and informative workshop which involved the participants and made them think about a topic that is not always as well represented as it should be.

After that our workshop seemed to be enjoyed by the group. Later came something more physically demanding: dance. Such activities lifts the mood and builds a better community as a whole. For sure not everyone is going to be a professional but it seemed like only a couple of feet were stepped on, so it turned out to be a lot of fun. At night we participated in a gala. As we were told this is a local custom. The night went on with a nice dinner, some classy clothes and nice conversations.

Also the previously learned dancing moves were handy through the night. The next day started with two workshops. The first was an interesting presentations about AEGEE as a whole and the opportunities that come with it if you are member. It was full of interesting and helpful tips, backgrounds about the organisation. Also it was really inspiring to hear it.

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  7. It was followed by a workshop about drugs. The whole presentation was well collected and professional. Of course drugs are an unavoidable part of the country but to hear about the effects of drug use, the longer term effects from people around our age was interesting and also very helpful. Later we played some dutch games at the park.

    Eating hanging cookies with backtied arms, balancing an egg on a spoon…all the soon to be olimpic games were represented there. Unfortunetly the next day was the time of the departure. The group headed to Amsterdam and I travelled back to home Zita went back home a day earlier.

    As the whole trip finished, I could not think about all the great memories that we were given by all the organisers and groups. The whole adventurer project was an amazing experience and I am greatful for being part of it. As I am writing this, I am thinking about that travel is not always easy. It can be hard, challenging, face you with obstacles.

    But it also teaches you how to improve yourself and solve the problems.

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    Also to make new friends, and to meet all those cultures and people that we did, makes the travel all worthwhile which is gonna be part of ourselfes forever. As a whole the whole route was a great experiences, which was not only fun but also very useful. After going through those SU I can only say: do not even hesitate about the application next year. Europe is waiting for you! The first stop of route 4 was Bergamo. Bergamo is an Italian city very close to Milan. Unfortunately we had to wait for the group because they were in a waterpark all day, but when they came back, they gave us a warm welcome and presented their dance to us.

    That was the last stop of this SU after Bologna and Bergamo. It was a really hot day, so after we arrived to the gym, we went straight to the beach. One of the organizers was leading us with a huge speaker backpack. The way was really enjoyable. The beach looked really cool, for example we took part in a game. It was taken in a little kid pool, lubed everywhere. The time goes on we went back to the gym to take a shower and get ready for the dinner.

    We ate a special Italian food called Trophy. Everyone should taste it, really delicious. After the dinner, we went for a walk at the coastline, watching the lights and drink some beers. The people were really happy and the night ended with a dancing event in the middle of the street. We had a very short but intense time between workshops, travels culture and good food with Train Your Taste.

    We really enjoyed our experience there! I hope you all remember moments of your life when you simply thought you were born lucky, even if the feeling lasted only a few minutes. When we were informed about the initial schedule of our trip a few weeks in advance we were totally unaware of how lucky we are gonna be… We got a list of cities we were about to visit in the upcoming weeks and Zagreb was simply one of them. But that was not the biggest surprise waiting for us…. Thus, we knew that Croatia was performing really well.

    And then, right before the Croatia-Russia quarterfinal, we got informed by Valentina, our host in Zagreb, that the initial schedule for our stay will change if the Croatian team keeps winning their games… And then we realised it — there is a chance for us to actually be in Zagreb at the day Croatia can play in the World Cup Final! Ever since then it was obvious which team to support in front of a TV. At that point we knew — our 4th stop will be unforgettable and full of real sport emotions!

    I have been to plenty of sports events and matches, repeatedly thawed my throat while cheering my favourite team, but what I have seen in Zagreb on July 15th cannot be even compared to any of my previous experiences. You should all know that Croatia is literally crazy about their national teams. It is also the case of other team sports, like handball, but of course, football is said to be the national discipline, just like in almost every European country. But believe me, regardless of where you come from, the way Croats support Hrvatska is incomparable.

    We took a direct train from Maribor to Zagreb on Sunday, the big match day, morning and the moment we got out of the train we already felt the magic atmosphere. The main railway station was crowded with Croats and their national team supporters coming from different regions of the country, there were numerous journalists catching random passers-by to make some interviews.

    You could literally feel that you are just about to be a part of the breakthrough for the whole Croatian nation. We were said that normally Croats love to argue. There are plenty of disputes and foreigners can easily get the impression that the nation simply does not like each other. Our host, Valentina, who was also the Incoming Responsible for the Summer University that took place a week later, turned out to be a huge football fan.

    As a result, along with Franjo, SU Main Organizer, we joined thousands of people who gathered on the square a few hours before the game began.

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    The atmosphere before and during the match was really incredible. Of course, we all know what the final score was. Nothing could be further from the truth! Of course there were tears as well, emotions got the better, after all it was so close to become no. Being the smallest country to compete in World Cup final since , Croatia has accomplished something that most of bigger and richer countries will probably never do. All Croats were proud of their team, which after all, did something amazing. Or passing by the police station where you can see a few policemen who instead of keeping an eye on the craziness on streets decided to join the crowd and start walking around waving national flag, smiling and singing national songs?

    Welcome to Croatia! No more doubts whether sport unites or rather divides society. Doing any sport you will not always win but if you have done the best of yourself and lose anyway, you should take an example of Croatia. Thought the celebration lasted only one night? Well, for sure not in Zagreb! Next day was far away from typical Monday. Hardly anyone went to work as the prime minister had asked companies to relieve employees of their duties that day. So guess where have we spent that day? Of course waiting a few really long hours together with our AEGEE-Zagreb friends on the main square, singing Croats song, cheering the team and recalling the best moments of just ended World Cup.

    That time all of us really felt on cloud nine! Their unbreakable spirit is something indescribable! PS: Of course, apart from spending a great time watching the final game and welcoming the 2nd best football team in the world during our stay in Zagreb we had a chance to meet the whole SU core team, discuss their agenda and visit some places where later on also participants of the Summer Course: Smells like GREEN Spirit have been taken.

    If participants of your Summer University enjoyed their stay in Croatia and your spirit like we did, it was the summer of their lifetime for sure! First, as usual, we got introduced to the group and briefly explained what we were up to do with them. Then we participated in a WS which dealt with the art of exchanging stuff to other. This played a mayor role in the task that the groups were given: they had to start to trade and swap stuff that they had.

    The hosts also participated and helped in the game. This programe was not only a lot of fun but gave a great oppurtunity to explore the city in an unique way. We walked around the whole place and tried to get something better than the stuff we already had. Of course we were not the first one to play that game so most of the shops refused to participate, but local citizens were up for the fun and we collected some crazy stuff and some useful also. After a couple of hours everyone got more and more involved. Of course the route there and back again happened on bicycles.

    Utrecht provided, one of the loveliest sight in the whole route. The next destination was Rotterdam. Even at the train station we soon realised the extraordinary sight of the city. We had lunch in the park. Whole Rotterdam has an unique modern architecture style.

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    We had an interesting sightseeing tour in the city, where we were informed about, not only the past of the city, but also about the the backgrounds of some landmarks. Fortunetly we could use the elevator to climb up to the top of Euromast, an observation tower. The sight of the whole city was amazing and an unforgetable memory. The best part of the city is that, wherever you go you see amazing buildings all over. Later on we also explored the night life of the city with some explanation about the local customs.

    After that we stayed at the city, and moved from there to the next stop before we waved goodbye to another great group of new friends. The first day of the Summer University we had a gymkhana visiting the city centre; it was a sunny day, so we were able to appreciate the city in all its splendor. We watched the World Cup in a pub and then headed to the sleeping accommodation. We finally had some time to adjust and relax, but not before having given a session on the 30th anniversary of the SU project.

    The participants explained what they thought the SU project was and what they wanted to keep doing for the next 30 years. The second day we took a bus to Segovia, we visited its castle and ate some amazing tapas in the city centre. It was really interesting to see how Spanish people kept Roman buildings and adapted them to their own culture. Tapas are a very tasty dish made of several different things from ham and tomato to fried calamaris, and we had the opportunity to try all of them at lunch. Then we came back and had a party in the accomodation. Mezzofanti, an Italian cardinal, was fluent in at least thirty languages and studied another forty-two, including, he claimed, Algonquin.

    In the decades that he lived in Rome, as the chief custodian of the Vatican Library, notables from around the world dropped by to interrogate him in their mother tongues, and he flitted as nimbly among them as a bee in a rose garden. But his gifts were certified by an Irish scholar and a British philologist, Charles William Russell and Thomas Watts, who set a standard for fluency that is still useful in vetting the claims of modern Mezzofantis: Can they speak with an unstilted freedom that transcends rote mimicry?

    Mezzofanti, the son of a carpenter, picked up Latin by standing outside a seminary, listening to the boys recite their conjugations. Rojas-Berscia, by contrast, grew up in an educated trilingual household. His father is a Peruvian businessman, and the family lives comfortably in Lima. His mother is a shop manager of Italian origin, and his maternal grandmother, who cared for him as a boy, taught him Piedmontese. He learned English in preschool and speaks it impeccably, with the same slight Latin inflection—a trill of otherness, rather than an accent—that he has in every language I can vouch for.

    Maltese had been on his wish list for a while, along with Uighur and Sanskrit. And, when I fall in love with a language, I have to learn it. My own modest competence in foreign languages I speak three is nothing to boast of in most parts of the world, where multilingualism is the norm. People who live at a crossroads of cultures—Melanesians, South Asians, Latin-Americans, Central Europeans, sub-Saharan Africans, plus millions of others, including the Maltese and the Shawi—acquire languages without considering it a noteworthy achievement.

    If people in Chelsea spoke one thing and people in SoHo another, New Yorkers would be multilingual, too. Linguistically speaking, that taxi-driver is a more typical citizen of the globe than the average American is. Adul grew up in dire poverty on the porous Thai border with Myanmar and Laos, where diverse populations intersect. His family belongs to an ethnic minority, the Wa, who speak an Austroasiatic language that is also widespread in parts of China. Nearly two billion people study English as a foreign language—about four times the number of native speakers.

    And apps like Google Translate make it possible to communicate, almost anywhere, by typing conversations into a smartphone presuming your interlocutor can read. Ironically, however, as the hegemony of English decreases the need to speak other languages for work or for travel, the cachet attached to acquiring them seems to be growing. There is a thriving online community of ardent linguaphiles who are, or who aspire to become, polyglots; for inspiration, they look to Facebook groups, YouTube videos, chat rooms, and language gurus like Richard Simcott, a charismatic British hyperpolyglot who orchestrates the annual Polyglot Conference.

    This gathering has been held, on various continents, since , and it attracts hundreds of aficionados. Neither willingly uses English, resenting its status as a global bully language—its prepotenza , as Marini put it to me, in Italian. Polyglottery is an antithesis to linguistic chauvinism. Much of the data on hyperpolyglots is still sketchy.

    But, from a small sample of prodigies who have been tested by neurolinguists, responded to online surveys, or shared their experience in forums, a partial profile has emerged. An extreme language learner has a more-than-random chance of being a gay, left-handed male on the autism spectrum, with an autoimmune disorder, such as asthma or allergies.

    Endocrine research, still inconclusive, has investigated the hypothesis that these traits may be linked to a spike in testosterone during gestation. It was a subject we explored at the conference last year. Simcott himself is an ambidextrous, heterosexual, and notably outgoing forty-one-year-old. He lives in Macedonia with his wife and daughter, a budding polyglot of eleven, who was, he told me, trilingual at sixteen months. His flawless German, acquired post-college, as an au pair, made Dutch a cinch.

    He also found a sense of identity that had eluded him. There was, in particular, a mysterious polyglot who haunted the same rooms. He founded the conference partly to pay that debt forward, by creating a clubhouse for the kind of geeky kid he had been, to whom no tongue was foreign but no place was home. A number of hyperpolyglots are reclusive savants who bank their languages rather than using them to communicate. The more extroverted may work as translators or interpreters.

    Simcott joined the British Foreign Service. On tours of duty in Yemen, Bosnia, and Moldova, he picked up some of the lingo. Every summer, he set himself the challenge of learning a new tongue more purposefully, either by taking a university course—as he did in Mandarin, Japanese, Czech, Arabic, Finnish, and Georgian—or with a grammar book and a tutor.

    It is also political. Standard accents and grammar are usually those of a ruling class. It was his online survey, conducted in , that generated the first systematic overview of linguistic virtuosity. Some four hundred respondents provided information about their gender and their orientation, among other personal details, including their I. Nearly half spoke at least seven languages, and seventeen qualified as hyperpolyglots. The awe that tribe members command has always attracted opportunists.

    Erard pursued another much hyped character, Ziad Fazah, a Guinness-record holder until , who claimed to speak fifty-eight languages fluently. Fazah flamed out spectacularly on a Chilean television show, failing to answer even simple questions posed to him by native speakers. When I asked Simcott if he had any secrets, he paused to think about it. A neurolinguist at the City University of New York, Loraine Obler, ran some tests on me, and I performed highly on recalling lists of nonsense words.

    Each one bangs more storage hooks into the wall. Back at home, he turned to drills in grammar and phonetics, logging the time he had devoted to each language on an Excel spreadsheet. Erard is a pensive man of fifty, still boyish-looking, with a gift for listening that he prizes in others. We met in Nijmegen, at the Max Planck Institute, where he was finishing a yearlong stint as the writer-in-residence, and looking forward to moving back to Maine with his family. We had been walking through the woods that surround the institute, listening to the vibrant May birdsong, a Babel of voices.

    His subjects, he reflected, had been cut from the herd of average mortals by their wiring or by their obsession. They had embraced their otherness, and they had cultivated it. Yet, if speech defines us as human, a related faculty had eluded them: the ability to connect. Each new language was a potential conduit—an escape route from solitude. Rojas-Berscia and I took a budget flight from Brussels to Malta, arriving at midnight.