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A short article I wrte for tattoo magazine about Bologna Tattoo Convention 1985

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Shotsie Gorman

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Shotsie Gorman First North American Serial Rights

19 Capstan Road About 545 Words

West Milford, NJ 07480 Copyright 1995 Shotsie Gorman

201-728-1150

"HAVE IT, AND THEY SHALL COME"

If incredibly beautiful women, dark handsome men, the most delicious meals on the planet, thousands of years of art, excitement, and one of Europe's best tattoo convention does nothing for you, then read no further.

This past December, organizer and host Marco Leoni, presented his third annual three day event at the Palazzzo Dei Congressi in the city of Bologna (said "Ba-lone-ya") in northern Italy. "Have it, and they shall come", and in they came, approximately 8000 members of the public, and tattoo artists from around the planet.

On the main floor all the tattoo artists, and exhibitors booths were buzzing. On the second floor, Luca, of Body Decorators Tattooing, in Bologna and his cohorts, including Gippi Rondinella, author of Mark Of Cain, from Rome, put together an interesting exhibition of paintings, traditional tattoo equipment, and exploration photos from the South Pacific, India, and Asia.

It's too bad the Italians are not hip to the rest of the worlds ideas about health. It seemed like people had two cigarettes in hand. Considering that it was, as cold as a witches tit in a tin bra outside, the overheated, and smoky working conditions were rough on the artists. There were compensations, such as: the hottest looking babes getting tattooed, people who truly appreciated artists, lastly and surely more close to the tattooist heart, they had some cash to spend.

This predominantly medieval city of Bologna, was in the 13th century one of the ten largest cities in Europe. It was then called Bologna "La Dotta," the learned because of it's university. Bologna has also been called" La Grassa," or "the fat." Consider that lasagna, tortelloni, tortelline, and spaghetti la Bolognese, really ragu, or meat sauce and of course bologna (pronounced "Ba-lone-ee"), better known in Italy as mortadella, were all invented here, it is easy to see why.

Everywhere you look there are inspirations for food, sex, and new tattoo designs. Come here next year and you will find every aspect of this town of Bologna friendly. There are arched roofs covering every path; each sidewalk is tiled and lined with shopping of every description, Art is everywhere, making it fun in the worst of weather.

Bored? Then there is the ultra-techno Bologna. As seen during the largest motor expo in Europe, held next to the Palazzzo Dei Congressi just days after the Expo. The motor show displays some of the hottest in new motorcars, motorcycles, and half naked models available in the world.

Side trips from the Tattoo Expo are plentiful. Nearby is the Ducati motorcycle factory, and one of the larger Harley shops in Europe, called Numero Uno. A great place to shop for Harley stuff marked with an Italian logo. Exciting Italian cities are within quick reach by train. In fifty-five minutes, traveling south, you can be in the city of Florence and visit the great Ufizzi Gallery. To the north, in less than two hours by train lies Venice, and a ride on an Italian version of a "low rider", a customized gondola.

Since Gorgio Ursini organized the first tattoo exhibition, during which I represented the East Coast of the US ten years ago in Rome, tattooing has literally exploded. As a result there are tattoo shops in every major city in Italy. All of the artists are happy to meet and share ideas with foreign travelers. So bring your English to Italian dictionary, or just smile, eat, and say "Ciao Bella".

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