Bergamo (emphasis on the first syllable) was originally built 2,500 years ago by Germanic people. Its city wall was completed in the 1500s, and there has been no new building or demolition inside the wall since then (only refurbishments). Clay for bricks was in short supply so the city is built almost entirely of stone. Luckily Bergamo is in a very low risk earthquake zone and the inflexible buildings have survived. A funicular connects the 250m height difference between the walled old city and the lower new city.
Then on to Verona via a long lunch stop at a vineyard near Brescia. I've found the wines, red and white, to be generally very good, with a couple of exceptions. High alcohol (6.5%) beers are common but too strong for me. "Normal" strength beers are available and I seek them out.
Bergamo PiazzaFrank Lloyd Wright declared this the prettiest piazza in Italy. There was a lift up the tower and we appreciated the commanding view. It didn't seem as gloomy as this at the time?
Tower viewThe church on the piazza below was built by a hero of Bergamo. Corleon was rich, vigorous (he still fought battles in his seventies) and 195cm tall. He was very vain and liked to compare himself to Caesar and Augustus, and even Jesus.
Local sweetThe polenta e osei cake (polenta with wild birds) can only be found in Bergamo. Two generations ago they were eaten with roasted sparrows but the birds are now made of chocolate. It is delicious and very rich.
Brescia vineyardFrancesca (fourth generation vintner) with Robyn and Lani from LA.
Prosecco is a sparkling wine that has undergone the first fermentation only (it is not bottle fermented). It is light and a little sweet. It's usually available at our breakfast buffets and I enjoy it with pulpy orange juice.
Hotel rooftop terraceWe arrived in Verona about 6:00pm. Our coach couldn't get into the narrow streets around our hotel so we stopped across the Adige River and mini-vans brought us to the hotel. Robyn is drinking an Aperol Spritzig - an orange liqueur with proscecco and soda water. Very good. That's our director, Tina, with Elizabeth sitting.