Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Part III: Bergamo
We stayed in Bergamo for 6 days and it was probably the slowest part of our trip. It was the most relaxing in some ways and the most stressful in others.
Unfortunately, sometime during our terrible couple of train rides trying to get to Bergamo, Jon got sick. Which really sucks for multiple reasons. 1) Being sick sucks in general. 2) He had just been sick the week before our trip and figured that it would at least assure he wouldn't get sick on our trip. 3) Jon really doesn't handle being sick very well.... boys.... hehe
Anyway, we got to our hotel room on day 2 and had a few hours to relax before Alberto's mom (Anna) picked us up to take us to see a little bit of Bergamo. We went up to this old city above Bergamo called Citta Alta (the high city).... not sure if that's the actual name or if that's just what they call it.... huh.. Anyways!! It was really cold but it was so cool to see all of the super old buildings, it was foggy that evening too so that looked super cool! Then she went and bought us italian hot chocolate, which ROCKED! It's a lot different from our hot chocolate. It's really thick and heavy, not as sweet but way chocolately! It's pretty much amazing! I couldn't even finish it!
The next night was Christmas Eve. We pretty much just relaxed most of the day, we went and looked around the town close to our hotel a little bit and that evening we met up with Alberto and Anna to have dinner and then we went to see a Christmas concert in the town. It was fun to listen to the music! On Christmas we left early in the afternoon to go over to that Pasta's house with Alberto and Anna. The Pasta family is a really prominent LDS family in Italy, they spoke english and were really nice! We spent Christmas with them. We ate so much food, it was amazing! We had so many things that Jon had made for me before and some things that he hadn't, it was an adventure. Later in the evening we watched as everyone opened presents. We even got a few from Alberto and Anna as well as from the Pasta family, it was a really sweet surprise. It was a great Christmas, it was a really interesting thing to see how people celebrate it in another country.
The next day was really busy. Alberto and Anna drove around to see all sorts of wonderful things! We went to this really cute little city called Sirmione. It was such a fun little city! I just adored it! They had this old castle that was just standing there in the city. We got to go up and look around it, it was really cool. Then we walked around the city and saw lots of gardens and cute little houses. The city is surrounded by a big lake on both sides and it was so gorgeous! Picture perfect, and I took a lot of pictures! It was fantastic. Then we went to the city of Verona, which is where the story of Romeo and Juliet takes place. While we were there we found out that Romeo and Juliet is actually based on a true story, that was cool. We went and saw Juliet's balcony! It was really fun!
After that we went to another city, no idea of the name of it, to see a live Nativity scene! It was one of the greatest things I have ever seen! In the city is a big hill that is owned by some rich guy who sets this up every year. They only do it for 6 days out of the year, it is amazing. They have volunteer actors who come to act as though they live in the city. It felt like we were really walking through Bethlehem back during the time when Christ was born. The first part was filled with Romans and the people who were rich and well off, then we moved into the small part of town where we actually watch people make things like candles, dolls, shawls, quilts, weapons, cups, plates, food, flour, spin wool, spin silk, just all sorts of things and they were really making them, not just pretending! And on top of it, everything was powered by water wheels that went down the hill!! It was really amazing, and they had light music playing. It was so beautiful. And at the end they had Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, it was special!!
On our last day there it was Sunday so we went to church. It was really intimidating for me since I don't speak Italian but it turned out to be really nice, I really enjoyed it! That night we went to Milan and saw the Duomo (a Duomo is the main church in each city), it was one of the most amazing cathedrals that we saw on our trip!! We also saw an old castle and the galleries where they have all of the really famous expensive stores! It was really fun!
We really enjoyed our time in Bergamo. Jon was sick through the whole thing, which was hard but he hid it really well while we were around our hosts. We ate tons of fantastic italian food which Anna made us!! I learned a few italian words and phrases and really grew in my desire to learn italian! It was fantastic!