We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
On our way driving over and up up to Lake Garda from Milan in our cool Costco International Benz, we stopped to check out Bergamo for a few hours. We had read that it is undeservedly overlooked, a hidden treasure. Home of Donizetti.
The medieval citta alta overlooks a clearly prosperous modern town. We parked the car and took the funicular up to the old hilltop town. We strolled around the town and had a great lunch. Most of my pics are food, classic Lombardy cooking.
They are famous for a polenta-based dessert.
More Bergamo pics below the fold -
It was Porcini season - the best mushroom in the world
Lombardy-style pizza. The front one has eggplant, with ricotta on top.
Plain and Romanesque on the outside, Santa Maria Maggiore (begun 1100s) had a baroque make-over but in some places you can see the original decor.
Donizetti's tomb in the church
A cool array of column styles on the Colleone family chapel next to the church
We had a fancy and delicious lunch at Colleone & dell Angelo on the old piazza.
I started with the Asparagus Mousse with a cream sauce
then a primi of grilled baby octopus on polenta
then a secondi of Cod (baccala) Salad with potato and olives. This is what I call Italian food. I rarely can handle all the courses, but this was our first real Italian meal in 2 years.
With our caffe, they brought a tray of cookies
I always wonder what's behind those big doors in old Italian cities. Usually a courtyard, and a place to park your car or motorcycle. Northern Italy is a prosperous place. I suspect that they are pretty good at tax-avoidance too. I would say that 50% of the cars on the A-4 highway are BMWs, Audis, Volvos, Citroens, and Mercedes, with a sprinkling of Alfa Romeos, Range Rovers, Volkswagons, and Jeeps.
Well, that's the last time I'll ever wonder why all those Italian guys in the movies are so fat. It's not just the amount, but the focus. Here in 'Merica, we just grab sumpin', shove it down our throats and get back to what we were doin'. Actually treating food as important, at least things like lunch, is kind of alien.
If there's one real, definitive difference between here and pics like these, it's those streetswalkwayspaths things between buildings with people actually doing that "walking stuff" on them. Talk about alien concepts! I don't even have a word for those "walkway" things. "Vehicularless streets"? "Pedestrian thoroughfares"?
Anyway, a great display, BD, and it looks like you had pretty good weather along the way.
Beautiful, just beautiful. My Italian heritage approves!
I wonder, though, with those high Italian taxes and the PIIGS debacle, how can they apparently spend so much money on luxuries?
As a lifelong student of history, I give thanks for what the Roman Empire [and the Republic before it] gave to America and the West.
What would we be without them? Detroit?
Even Caligula had his good points.
Dr. Everett V. Scott
The top photo reminds me of the Italian bakery my family frequented during my childhood. Granted, a lot of what they sold was American, such as apple turnovers, but they had their fair share of Italian baked goods.