This town is a third the size of Victoria, B.C. but feels so much more urban. The landscape doesn't seem all that different from the prairies where I grew up, but the use of it is so vastly different. All the buildings are brick or stoneand the roads are all cobbled with river stones or brick or large stone slabs. They are built all squished together in that very Italian way, with beautiful ornamentation on the balconies and doorways. The streets are very narrow (in the old town part that we are in) and seem to be smaller than North American alleyways, although I am yet to find a dead end. Traffic is quite restricted, but the odd car still zips down them at a tremendous pace, leaving us to press up against the buildings while also looking out for dog poo. There is quite a bit of that. Everything opens up a bit as you get out of the old part of town, and it is just a few blocks to the river side, where we have walked a fair bit. There is a large stone and brick covered bridge that is a replica of a medieval one that got destroyed in the second world war. They used a bunch of the original stones from the old one in the reconstruction. I my jetlagged stupor the other day, I went for a run at sunrise along the river and caught my breath in the middle of the bridge, it was beautiful. There is much less greenspace in the downtown old city than we enjoy in most North American cities (finding a tree in the downtown part we live in is remarkable), but I imagine that in the end it leaves much more room for countryside than we North Americans do with our sprawl. It could also be that I don't know the city that well yet, to have discovered all the good parks and such.
The church that used to belong to the monastery that became Car College, which is still attached to our building