0572 Meeting an old friend in Bergamo (Ita 072—new)
Bergamo Travel Blog› entry 197 of 201 › view all entries
Massimo picks me up at the train station and shows me true Italian hospitality. After two months of just showing up in random cities where I don’t know a soul, it’s a refreshing change. He drives me up to the Cita Alta-- the hilltop walled fortress of
In one of the cathedrals there’s a shrine to a son
Massimo and I talked about a lot of things.
He also helped answer a lot of questions I still had about Italian history and culture. I’ve found throughout my trip, Italians feel very at ease poking fun at their own country and talk freely about its shortcomings-- the divisions in the country, the north versus south, the mismanagement of the government….
I also enjoyed my first “real” meal here in
Next day we come back to
It’s a fun game to watch-- especially seeing Ronaldinho in action. But the real experience is being among the audience. See it seems that Italians bottle up all their frustrations during the whole week, and on Sunday afternoon let it all out in the football stadium.
And it’s not just the men. This is a family affair. Women scream insults just as loud as the men-- and young boys are also being apprenticed in the art of Creative Insulting of Football Player and Refs… On one corner a couple of guys wave an enormous inflatable male reproductive organ whenever the opposing team comes to make a corner kick… It’s all a hilarious glimpse into another side of Italian culture…
Massimo explains some of the insults to me. For example, when one player is called “terrone” or “clod of dirt”, it’s a reference to the fact that he’s from the more agricultural south of
Finally the game is over and we head out-- I suddenly realize that I haven’t yet officially parkbenched Bergamo, and tomorrow when I come through on the way to the airport I won’t have my guitar with me.