|By Kromatika - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0|
Monday, October 4, 2021
Thursday, September 30, 2021
September 9, 2019
While visiting friends in Cadoneghe, near Padova, I had the chance to visit several unique and interesting villages, thanks to their willingness to provide transport and share their knowledge of the area. Gianluigi and Ilde were welcoming, generous and amiable hosts during my short stay in their home.
|The medieval wall surrounding the city of Marostica.|
|The main square of Marostica|
|A view of the main square from above.|
|Bassano's main square|
However, the name actually refers to Bassano of Mount Grappa, a memorial to the thousands of soldiers killed in WWI on Mount Grappa. Ernest Hemingway was an ambulance driver during the war and spent many days in Bassano, as did Scott Fitzgerald, and Hemingway drew from his experiences there when writing his book, “A Farewell to Arms.”
The main attraction in Bassano is its famous wooden bridge, Ponte degli Alpini (Alpine Soldiers’ Bridge), which has existed in various forms from 1209, though it has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. Palladio designed the current version of the structure, built in 1569. During our visit, however, it was being restored yet another time and was covered with scaffolding, so was not a pretty sight. Still, the views of the mountains to the north of Bassano were spectacular, and we spent a leisurely time sitting and enjoying the view.
|Looking north from Bassano|
|My wonderful friends, Gianluigi and Ilde|
Wednesday, August 28, 2019
|A view from the balcony of my hotel room in Stresa|
|A tourist couple doing the tango in Piazza Cadorna.|
|View from Monte Motterone|
|Coming down on the funivia.|
|Riding the seggiovia.|
|Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees: made famous by Hemingway. The hotel was used as a hospital for recovering war veterans like Hemingway, following WWII. He returned later to visit the hotel, |
and the room can still be reserved, for a hefty price.
|On the Lago Maggiore Express|
Monday, August 26, 2019
|Entitled "The Angel of Dozza."|
|Doors and windows are often cleverly incorporated into the paintings.|
The festival began in 1960, and there are still some paintings from that time period. Some of the older paintings have been refurbished in recent years to restore design and color.
We spent several hours perusing the art along the winding cobblestone streets of the village, which led uphill to a castle.
Rocca di Dozza dates back to the 15th century, when Caterina Sforza rebuilt areas of former Bolognese fortresses, dating back to 1250. We didn't take time to go in and visit the museum, which charges a 5 euro fee to enter. What was once the dungeon of the castle is now a Regional Enoteca, or wine cellar.
|The Rocca di Dozza|
|A local ristorante is highlighted in this painting.|
|Perusing the art in Dozza.|
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
We spent a rainy day in Bergamo on our way from Milan to Florence last year. We'd arrived in Milan by train from Paris and were eager to get settled in a smaller town, so headed 25 miles northeast to Bergamo. The quaint old town, nestled in the surrounding hills, is characterized by its cobblestone streets and the Venetian walls, once part of a defensive system, that encircle it. If you arrive by train in Bergamo, you need to take a bus from the train station to the funicular on the other side of town in order to get from the lower modern city to the old town, or Città Alta, a UNESCO heritage site.
|In the line for the funicular that takes you up to the old town.|
|We stayed in a BandB run by two brothers on the top floor of this tower.|
|It was furnished like a museum, and had been in the family for 500 years.|
|This is a sundial on the side of the tower where we stayed.|
|Capella Colleoni next to the larger Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.|
|Where women once gathered to wash clothes. Set in a lovely square, untouched by time.|
|Some local ravioli-like specialties, including Casoncelli and Scarpinotti, shaped like tiny handmade shoes. |
I had Scarpinotti di Parre, a famous local dish. The pasta was filled with cheese and herbs, in a sage butter sauce.
Monday, July 29, 2019
|The beach at Sperlonga|
|A view of the village from the beach: it's a good climb to reach the centro storico (old town).|
|Bougainvillea covered the walls of many buildings in the centro storico.|
|Another view of the village from below.|
|This beach is to the south of the old town.|
I had some of the best meals I've ever eaten in Italy during my stay...fresh fish creations that were not only tasty, but beautifully presented. And the prices were surprisingly reasonable. Like Ischia, I could easily return to Sperlonga, again and again.