Saturday, June 25th
I went to Bergamo with Katia in the morning. While she attended a lecture, I walked around Bergamo Alta. To get to Bergamo Alta (the older historic area located above the rest of Bergamo), there is a funivia you can take. Katia dropped me off at the funivia and we planned to meet there later after her class ended. When I reached the top, I made sure to look around so I could find the funivia again.
In Piazza Vecchia, you will find the Civic Tower. I was excited to climb the 228 steps to the top of the tower.
Just as I reached the last step to the top, the clock struck 10 and the bell rang LOUDLY 10 times! This is not the first time this has happened to me when climbing a tower, but each time, it surely makes me jump! The views were spectacular! I took lots of pictures of the Duomo and the city of Bergamo from the top of the tower. I was up there alone for quite a while until finally another couple joined me at the top.
After my tower climb, I had a wonderful chocolate brioche and an espresso macchiato at Caffé del Tasso, a beautiful bar that is very popular and very old. T
hen, I walked over to the Duomo and took some more pictures.
There are many wonderful little shops with delicious food in the windows all over town.
I stopped at the tourist information center and found out about more things to do while in Bergamo. I decided to head for the 2nd funivia that takes you to San Vigilio, an even higher spot in Bergamo. At the top, there is an old castle that you can go inside to get to an even higher spot to see wonderful views. The weather was very hazy and humid and so the views were not very clear at the top that day. Somewhere to return to another time!
After riding back down the funivia, I headed toward the funivia I took to arrive in Bergamo Alta to meet Katia. Somehow, I missed the entrance and ended up walking much farther down a big hill. I realized that I was seeing things that I did not see before and I asked someone for directions and then walked back up the hill again!
After meeting Katia, we went back to her house to have lunch. Her mother made us a delicious rice salad. In the afternoon, Guido came to pick us up.
We drove to Cremona, the home of torrone and the violin. There has to be something with me and Cremona because as soon as we arrived, the skies turned black and a storm headed our way. The last time I visited Katia and Guido, we went to Cremona and as soon as we arrived the skies turned black and it started to rain!
We went into the Duomo and then to the Battistero. We were so fortunate that a woman working on restoring the large ancient leather bound books was willing to open the books for us while we were there! These books were were from the 13th or 14th century and were once used for the choir when they sang Gregorian songs. She said the reason why the books were so big was for the choir to see the music as a group. She showed us many pages including pages with pictures made from pigments made from vegetables and pages with pictures made from gold! Amazing!! I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures of the books, but here are some other pictures I took.
Since it was raining and there was not much else to do, I talked Katia and Guido into climbing the tower.
This tower had 502 steps to the top!! Although Katia is afraid of heights, she went almost all the way to the top with us. It was lightning and thundering outside, and since one of my biggest fears is thunder and lightning, I tried not to touch the metal railing that was attached to the last part of the climb where the steps became circular (the part Katia did not climb) thinking that would protect me. Cool views from the top!
After heading back, we went to have a pastry and drink and I bought some delicious torrone. Then we walked back though some of the streets of Cremona to head back to our car to drive back to Katia’s house.
When we returned to Katia’s house, we got ready dinner and then watched part of Carabinieri while waiting for Guido. It was fun watching the show together and talking about the “soap opera ongoings” of the show.
Guido came to pick us up and we went to this wonderful restaurant called Santissima in Iseo. I had the most delicious ravioli dish called Casoncelli filled with a very delicious mixture of cheeses cooked in burro and salvia. For my secondo, I ordered a delicious chicken with herbs on top. Again, no room for dessert.
Katia and Guido’s friend, Nicola was there. He is a very amusing person who always seems so excited and happy to see me when I visit. The first time I met him, he called out my name over and over and made quite a spectacle in the middle of the restaurant. We had fun sending SMS (text messages) back and forth. Katia has helped me understand the world of SMS and now it is so much fun! Here in Italy, it seems to be used like mini-emails. *[TECHNOLOGY 14 years ago in Italy!!]*
We saw a Smart forfour car when leaving the restaurant!! This car is the new larger addition to the tiny Smart Car. I love the Smart Cars here in Italy. They are so tiny and cute! Perhaps one day I will get a ride in one!
Both Bergamo & Cremona are interesting places to visit. Another wonderful day in Italia!