Weekend in Lombardia

Venue: Bergamo, Milano, Varenna, Belaggio

Lens: Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4

Music: J-Ax – Maria Salvador (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrtpl9aDDrk)

This spring, for Easter weekend, I travelled to Italy in order to visit a modern art exhibition in Milano, the capital of Lombardy. Apart from the exhibition (coming soon in a separate art post) we had time to visit Milano and the nearby town of Bergamo, as well as the lake of Como. These are all places I have visited multiple times during the three-year period of my life spent in Milano, so I am certainly very biased towards Lombardy and the Italian style of life with its eclectic blend of modern and traditional. Hopefully I managed to catch some bits and pieces of the whole picture in my photos and comments below.

 

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We start with Bergamo and its “citta alta”, the “high city” which is the historic old town situated on a hill in the pre-Alps.

 

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A typical façade of a house in the old town of Bergamo, which could easily be found in pretty much every town and city all across the Apennine peninsula.

 

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Part of the main cathedral (duomo) of Bergamo and the baptistery building in front of it.
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Moving 50km southwest to Milano and its Navigli district with old canals and many bars and restaurants. Two ducks are disrupting the calm reflection of the houses on the main canal.
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This old lady is enjoying the cool shade in a backyard on the side of the canal, full of little art workshops.
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Opposite of Navigli from the centre of Milano one can find another hip neighborhood with many trendy bars and restaurants – the Isola district. This is my favorite piece of street art I have seen there, the flamingo astronaut. 
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Right next to Isola one can see the Milanese skyline where the most famous and interesting residential skyscrapers are the pair of “vertical forests” with various trees and other big plants growing on the balconies of each apartment. 
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The entrance of “Cimitero Monumentale”, one of the old historic cemeteries in Milan. It is a popular tourist destination for its abundance of artistic tombs and monuments making it a large open air free museum with a very special atmosphere.
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To show you a few examples of artistic gravestones, here are Filiberto and Albertina…
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…and here the monument of an older woman.
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A typical family tomb of a rich Milanese family from the 18th or 19th century. The cemetery is full of such imposing family monuments that keep the remains of many generations through the centuries. 
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Another medieval Italian tradition kept through the centuries and still exercised today: the confession. The green light above the left cabin is signifying the presence of the priest sitting in, while the red light on the right means the confessionary is occupied as clear from the kneeling silhouette.
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Changing the mood completely: time for sightseeing at Lago di Como. This is the view to the lake and surrounding mountains from the town of Varenna.
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A typical tourist café in Varenna with people enjoying the amazing views. 
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And a typical steep cobblestone street leading visitors straight to the lake.
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These flowers are also enjoying the spring sun and wonderful sights from the top of Varenna.
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After a short ferry ride we find ourselves in Bellagio on the other side of the lake. The view is not even slightly less stunning, and the colorful houses and street ornaments are as abundant here as in Varenna as also seen at the photo on top.
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A little restaurant overlooking the lake in Bellagio with plenty of flowers and lanterns used as decoration.
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Unfortunately on the way back with the ferry there is a huge line and lack of organization leaving us waiting for quite a while. On the positive side, queueing with such a view in front of you is definitely easier.
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And back to Milano’s central train station on the way home from the short trip. The modern sculpture right in front fits strangely with the dominant background of the huge concrete building from the fascist times and the historic old Milanese tram from the 1920’s passing by on the left. Eclectic and beautiful, just like Milano and Lombardia.

 

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