Monday, September 7, 2015

Monza, without the GP

We stayed in a town about 35 KM from Monza, called Bergamo.  A note to would-be travelers to Italy.  The Italians are even bigger pricks about pronunciation than the French.  The first morning we went to Monza, we asked the proprieter of the candy store for tickets to "Mahnza" and he 
"couldn't" figure out what we meant. Finally, with a roll of her eyes at us, clearly meant to convey that he was being an ass, a teenaged girl said very distinctly "Moanza" and all was well.  We were routinely corrected about the pronunciation of Bergamo, too, but there didn't seem to be any agreement.  I think the natives were just messing with us.  

Bergamo is a small town, kind of quiet, with nothing much to draw tourists.  On Saturday night, we finally found the main town square and had dinner with a ringside seat to the nightlife of the town. Families were out walking, having dinne, or eating gelatto ( the Bergamo townspeople consume a LOT of gelatto.)

We found out later, that there was a buskers's festival going on down the street, which would explain the street performers, including a pair of fire twirler, who were quite good.  Even without the street performers, we both felt like we had a ringside seat to a fantastic show.  There were hundreds of people out on a beautiful, warm night, and the opportunities for people watching were endless.  

At the risk of burying the lead, we did have one final highlight of the weekend.  We were having dinner at an outdoor cafe after the race.  I looked over and noticed a large group of very well-dressed, clean-cut men.  I figured there were two possibilies:  either it was the Knights of Columbus having a meeting or it was one of the F1 teams.  Upon further inspection, I recognized Stewart Hamilton, the winner of today's race, sitting at the head of the table.  In the elevator ride up to our room later, Rob said "You know what the best way to end this weekend is?  That was it. "  Lancia Romancia strikes!

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