Monday, June 18, 2018

Bergamo – Street Sign Language Lesson XXV

Street Sign Language Lesson 24 < Street Sign Language Lesson 25


We’re back in Italy! And everyone here has told me three things loud and clear: I’m heavier, I’ve gotten grayer, and I’ve forgotten my Italian. I love these Italians, they are so honest!  Heavier, yes. Four months in the USA equals 10 pounds added. Grayer? Maybe, but could just be that I arrived with longer hair and it seemed grayer. Forgotten my Italian? Well those dirty dogs. I don’t need them. The sound of church bells, the scents of tilia (lime trees) and false jasmine, and gelato shops on every corner are enough welcome back for me.

As to language, day one back in Bergamo I started noticing signs and taking notes. Therefore, let’s pick up where we left off with Street Sign Language Lesson™.  In this episode we learn about the Italian alphabet, male fruit trees and their female fruit, and rail against KFC. Let's begin.

A Shop Called Erre Esse or RS.A Shop for Plus Size Clothes, Taglie Forti.Verderosa Gelaterie announcing the arrival of cherries.
Left: A shop called Erre Esse or RS. Center: A shop for plus size clothes, Taglie Forti. Right: Verderosa Gelaterie announcing the arrival of cherries.

Erre esse – R S.

I’ve stared at this shop sign many times, but tonight as we were passing, I realized it’s just the letter R (erre) and S (esse). A big head slap.

While speaking about the letters of the Italian alphabet (alfabeto), remember that there are 21 "official" letters with 5 “foreign” ones added to make a total of 26 letters, the same as the English alphabet. The 5 added letters are j, k, w, x, and y.

Taglie forti Plus sizes.

And another shop sign that stumped me for two years. I thought it meant cool styles, or literally strong styles. As we passed by the other day in Santa Caterina I finally looked it up. The phrase translates to plus sizes. Una taglia is a size, pluralized as taglie.  Forte is an adjective that pluralizes as forti regardless of gender. Together, they make the phrase taglie forti. (Speaking of putting on weight.)

Le ciliegie sono tornate. Gustale come non le hai mai provate solo da Verderosa.  The cherries are back. Taste them as you never have only at Verderosa.

Gelateria Verderosa is the best gelato shop in Bergamo, in our opinion.  Gustale is a command built from the verb gustare – to taste – and its informal imperative form gusta with the article le referring to the plural, feminine cherries.

Now is a good time to take a slight detour and talk about fruit trees and their fruit. Many fruit trees are masculine in gender and the fruit feminine. I bring this up because cherry and cherries fall into this category. Here's a partial list of trees and fruits where this is true:

tree (fruit):  l’albicocco (l’albicocca), l’amareno (l’amarena), l’arancio (l’arancia), il banano (la banana), il corbezzolo (la corbezzola), il carrubo (la carruba), il castagno (la castagna), il ciliegio (la ciliegia), il cotogno (la cotogna), il giuggiolo (la giuggiola), il mandorlo (la mandorla), il melo (la mela), il melograno (la melagrana), il nespolo (la nespola), il noce (la noce), il nocciolo (la nocciola), l’olivo (l’oliva), il pero (la pera), il pesco (la pesca), il susino (la susina)

Be aware of the biggest exception il fico – fig tree – with its fruit il fico and not la fica, which means pussy. Also, almost all citrus trees and fruits uses the same word, for example, il limone to refer to both the tree and the fruit. L’arancio/l’arancia is the only exception. Darn these exceptions!

La fica or la figa (depending on where you are in Italy) are vulgar terms. However, they are also very close to a number of ways to say “cool”. The web site Una finestra sull’Italia does a nice job of summarizing these terms. 

Croce dei Morti warning: we were like you, you will be like us.Reminder to validate parking.A comment of immigration in Europe?
Left: Croce dei Morti warning: we were like you, you will be like us. Center: Reminder to validate parking. Right: A comment of immigration in Europe?

Voi viandanti che passate inchinatevi a noi. Eravamo come voi sarete come noi. - You wayfarers that pass, kneel before us. We were like you, you’ll be like us.

We saw this little shrine at a spot just outside of Bergamo called Croce dei Morti (location on OpenStreetMap). It’s easy to get their by car, bike, or on foot (see this post for how to hike there from Bergamo). The temple was constructed in 1930 in memory of the 1630 plague (reference).  The part that reads Eravamo come voi sarete come noi – uses imperfect (eravamo) and the future (sarete) of the verb to be. You can also find this saying using the distant past tense of passato remoto, which yields Fummo come voi sarete come noi.

Ricordarsi di far vidimare il biglietto del parcheggio alle casse.   Remember to validate your parking ticket with the cashier.

I was curious about this sign because I’d never seen the verb vidimare, which means to endorse or approve. Far vidimare is to get endorsed or approved. In English, validate is closest to the intended meaning. This sign was sign at the supermarket Esselunga on Via Corridoni.

Looping back to the first sign we talked about in the post, Erre Esse, I will mention that it took me several years to realize that Esselunga meant literally “long -s” as is completely obvious in their logo.  Another head slap.

Europa - Grazie mamma per avermi portato.Europe – Thank you mom for having brought me.

Grazie mamma per avermi portato was a slogan used by the Accademia Carrara around the city to – I’m guessing – encourage parents to take their kids to the museum because their kids would thank them for doing that. The image used in the publicity is Giovanni Bellini’s “Madonna col Bambino” and also called the “Madonna di Alzano”, painted around 1485 and which is in the Carrara’s collection.

With all the recent news about refugees in Italy and the general crisis in Europe as to what to do with refugees, the scrawled “Europa” added to this advertisement gives it a whole new meaning.

Damn KFC and their irresistible chicken.More bad dog owner behavior in Bergamo.More bad dog owner behavior in Bergamo.
Left: Damn KFC and their irresistible chicken. Center and Right: More bad dog owner behavior in Bergamo.

L’irresistibile pollo fritto ti aspetta. – The irresistible fried chicken is waiting for you.

We saw this ad on scaffolding shortly after arriving. I was taken aback by how out of place KFC food looks here in Italy. Go home KFC. You made me fat in the USA and now you’ve followed me here. Don’t you know that the letter -k is not even really in the Italian alphabet?

Per favore, non fate fare la pipì ai vostri cani nelle piante. Muoiono. Un po’ d’educazione. Grazie. – Please don’t have your dog pee on the plants. They die. Some manners. Thanks.

What Street Sign Language Lesson would be complete without bad dog (owner) behavior? This one was seen on Via Pignolo, just a little north of Piazzetta Santo Spirito. Mouiono is third-person plural of the verb to die, morire.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

A Short Hike to Cinque Laghi, Above Valgoglio


Approaching Capanna Lago Nero under ominous skies.Trail (sentiero) 268 with our starting and stopping point.
[Crassulaceae] Sempervivum montanum- Mountain Houseleek (Semprevivo montano).[Lamiaceae] Ajuga pyramidalis – Pyramidal Bugle (Iva piramidale).[Lentibulariaceae] Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort (Erba unta comune).
Upper Left: Approaching Capanna Lago Nero under ominous skies.
Upper Right: Trail (sentiero) 268 with our starting and stopping point.

Lower Left: [Crassulaceae] Sempervivum montanum- Mountain Houseleek (Semprevivo montano).
Lower Middle: [Lamiaceae] Ajuga pyramidalis – Pyramidal Bugle (Iva piramidale).
Lower Right: [Lentibulariaceae] Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort (Erba unta comune).

Overview


Length: 8 km (5 mi)
Duration: 5.5 hours total, with 45 minute lunch break at Capanna Lago Nero
Elevation: 1200 m (3,937 ft) @ start/end of hike at Ristoro Cinque Laghi; 1,997 m (6,551 ft) @ Capanna Lago Nero – highest point
Location: Italy, Lombardy, Bergamo, Alta Val Seriana

Details


Today’s hike to Cinque Laghi (Five Lakes) followed sentiero 268. We started higher and ended sooner than the respective start and end of the trail as documented on the CAI site. A loop around the lakes is a considered one of the classic hikes of Bergamo. However, we were hiking in a group of six and most of the group didn’t want to continue farther on the trail or go for a loop around the lakes due to the threat of rain and the desire to leave early to avoid valley traffic.  Therefore, Travelmarx was overruled and hence “short” in this post’s title. For what we didn’t get to do in terms of length was certainly made up with interesting flowers we saw.

To be precise, our turnaround point was Capanna Lago Nero @ 1997 m (6552 ft), which is on the little lake, Lago Canali. We sat outside and ate sandwiches prepared with cheese from our Parafulmine hike two days earlier. But we were still hungry and ordered polenta with melted cheese (polenta con formaggio alla piastre) and a simple pasta dish. Everything tastes better after hiking.

This hike is dominated by the large pipe that transports water from the alpine lakes to the hydroelectric plant in the valley, Centrale Enel Di Aviasco, which produces energy for about 10,000 homes. According to the Bergamo Post, only two of the lakes (Lago Nero and Lago Aviasco) are used to produce energy. During the hike, you pass over and under the pipe several times. In Italian, the pipe is referred to as a condotta forazata.

Valgoglio is a small town in the upper part of the Val Seriana in the province of Bergamo. The town sits at the lower end of the Valle del Goglio, on the Goglio river. The sentiero 268 officially starts in Valgoglio. We drove on further up the valley to get on sentiero 268 at Ristoro dei Cinque Laghi, in the locale Bortolotti.

Flora


As usual, we used the resources listed in the post Resources for Identifying Plants around Bergamo for helping figure out what is what. If we had to give an accuracy score for our identifications, we say about 95% accurate for species and 98% for genus.


Key: [Family] Genus species – Common name in English (Common name in Italian)


[Asparagaceae] Paradisea liliastrum – St Bruno’s Lily (Giglio di monte)
[Boraginaceae] Myosotis – Forget Me Not (Nontiscordardimè)
[Campanulaceae] Phyteuma hemisphaericum­ – Globe Headed Rampion (Raponzolo alpino)
  • A Phyteuma definitely, but which one is a kind of hard to know. P. hemispheericum is more common and is found at slightly lower elevations. For these reasons, we went with P. hemisphaericum.

[Crassulaceae] Sempervivum montanum- Mountain Houseleek (Semprevivo montano)
[Ericaceae] Rhododendron ferrugineum – Alpenrose (Rododendro rosso)
[Fabaceae] Laburnum anagyroides – Common Laburnum (Maggiociondolo)
[Gentinanaceae] Gentiana clusii – Trumpet Gentian (Genziana di Clusius)
  • Based on absence of green inside of corolla.

[Lamiaceae] Ajuga pyramidalis – Pyramidal Bugle (Iva piramidale)
[Lentibulariaceae] Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort (Erba unta comune)
[Orchidaceae] Dactylorhiza maculata – Spotted Heath Orchid (Ochide macchiato)
[Orchidaceae] Orchis mascula – Early Purple Orchid (Orchide maschio)
[Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – Shrubby Milkwort (Poligala falso bosso)
[Primulaceae] Primula daonensis – (Primula della Valle di Daone)
[Ranuculaceae] Pulsatilla alpina – Alpine Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla alpina)
[Rosaceae] Sanguisorba spp. – Burnet (Salvastrella) [just leaves]
[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne striata – Striped Daphne (Dafne striata)
[Violaceae] Viola biflora – Yellow Violet (Viola con due fiori)

An ant nest on trail 268. We saw many in the forested part of the hike.An ant on a gentian flower.Two moths mating.A spider protecting her brood?
Left: An ant nest on trail 268. We saw many in the forested part of the hike. Center Left: An ant on a gentian flower. Center Right: Two moths mating. Right: A spider protecting her brood?

[Asparagaceae] Paradisea liliastrum – St Bruno’s Lily (Giglio di monte). [Asparagaceae] Paradisea liliastrum – St Bruno’s Lily (Giglio di monte). [Boraginaceae] Myosotis – Forget Me Not (Nontiscordardimè).A spider on an [Asteraceae] Centaurea flower bud.
Left and Center Left: [Asparagaceae] Paradisea liliastrum – St Bruno’s Lily (Giglio di monte). Center Right: [Boraginaceae] Myosotis – Forget Me Not (Nontiscordardimè). Right: A spider on an [Asteraceae] Centaurea flower bud.

[Crassulaceae] Sempervivum montanum- Mountain Houseleek (Semprevivo montano).[Ericaceae] Rhododendron ferrugineum – Alpenrose (Rododendro rosso).[Fabaceae] Laburnum anagyroides – Common Laburnum (Maggiociondolo).
Left: [Crassulaceae] Sempervivum montanum- Mountain Houseleek (Semprevivo montano). Center: [Ericaceae] Rhododendron ferrugineum – Alpenrose (Rododendro rosso). Right: [Fabaceae] Laburnum anagyroides – Common Laburnum (Maggiociondolo).

[Gentinanaceae] Gentiana clusii – Trumpet Gentian (Genziana di Clusius).[Lentibulariaceae] Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort (Erba unta comune).[Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – Shrubby Milkwort (Poligala falso bosso).
Left: [Gentinanaceae] Gentiana clusii – Trumpet Gentian (Genziana di Clusius). Center: [Lentibulariaceae] Pinguicula vulgaris – Common Butterwort (Erba unta comune). Right: [Polygalaceae] Polygala chamaebuxus – Shrubby Milkwort (Poligala falso bosso).

[Orchidaceae] Dactylorhiza maculata – Spotted Heath Orchid (Ochide macchiato).[Orchidaceae] Orchis mascula – Early Purple Orchid (Orchide maschio).[Lamiaceae] Ajuga pyramidalis – Pyramidal Bugle (Iva piramidale).
Left: [Orchidaceae] Dactylorhiza maculata – Spotted Heath Orchid (Ochide macchiato). Center:
[Orchidaceae] Orchis mascula – Early Purple Orchid (Orchide maschio). Right: [Lamiaceae] Ajuga pyramidalis – Pyramidal Bugle (Iva piramidale).

[Ranuculaceae] Pulsatilla alpina – Alpine Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla alpina). [Violaceae] Viola biflora – Yellow Violet (Viola con due fiori).Detail of [Rosaceae] Sanguisorba spp. – Burnet (Salvastrella) leaf.
Left: [Ranuculaceae] Pulsatilla alpina – Alpine Pasqueflower (Pulsatilla alpina). Center: [Violaceae] Viola biflora – Yellow Violet (Viola con due fiori). Right: Detail of [Rosaceae] Sanguisorba spp. – Burnet (Salvastrella) leaf.

[Primulaceae] Primula daonensis – (Primula della Valle di Daone).[Primulaceae] Primula daonensis – (Primula della Valle di Daone).[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne striata – Striped Daphne (Dafne striata).[Thymelaeaceae] Daphne striata – Striped Daphne (Dafne striata).
Left and Center Left: [Primulaceae] Primula daonensis – (Primula della Valle di Daone). Center Right and Right: [Thymelaeaceae] Daphne striata – Striped Daphne (Dafne striata).

[Campanulaceae] Phyteuma hemisphaericum­ – Globe Headed Rampion (Raponzolo alpino).[Campanulaceae] Phyteuma hemisphaericum­ – Globe Headed Rampion (Raponzolo alpino).[Campanulaceae] Phyteuma hemisphaericum­ – Globe Headed Rampion (Raponzolo alpino).
All three photos: [Campanulaceae] Phyteuma hemisphaericum­ – Globe Headed Rampion (Raponzolo alpino).

Pasta at Capanna Lago Nero.Polenta with melted cheese (polenta con formaggio alla piastre).Signs along trail 268 to Cinque Laghi.Signs along trail 268 to Cinque Laghi.
Left: Pasta at Capanna Lago Nero. Center Left: Polenta with melted cheese (polenta con formaggio alla piastre). Center Right and Right: Signs along trail 268 to Cinque Laghi.

Scenes from the trail with the ever-present water pipe bringing water from two of the alpine lakes down to the Valgoglio hydroelectric plant in the valley.Scenes from the trail with the ever-present water pipe bringing water from two of the alpine lakes down to the Valgoglio hydroelectric plant in the valley.Scenes from the trail with the ever-present water pipe bringing water from two of the alpine lakes down to the Valgoglio hydroelectric plant in the valley.
Scenes from the trail 268 with the ever-present water pipe bringing water from two of the alpine lakes down to the Valgoglio hydroelectric plant in the valley.

Views from the trail 268. Looking down to the valley.Views from the trail 268. The ENEL village.Start of the hike at Ristoro dei Cinque Laghi.
Views from the trail 268. Left: Looking down to the valley. Center: The ENEL village. Right: Start of the hike at Ristoro dei Cinque Laghi.