Thursday, March 2, 2017

Walk from Bergamo to Maresana for Lunch

Left: Path from Bergamo to Maresana and back. Right: View from Trattoria La Maresana over the Po River plain on a not so clear day.
Path from Bergamo to Maresana and back.View from Trattoria La Maresana over the Po River plain on a not so clear day.

Length: ~ 12 km (7.5 miles)
Duration: < 3.5 hours
Elevation: 606m max; 543 m at Trattoria La Maresana, 255m min
Location: Italy, Lombardia, Bergamo, Colli di Bergamo

Today, we were having one of those we’ve-got-to-get-out-of-the-house days. When that happens, we pick a lunch spot a few hours away and start walking. We walk to eat. Today's destination was Trattoria La Maresana located in the hills northeast of Bergamo.

Our starting point in Bergamo, as usual, is the Fontana del delfino on via Pignolo in Bergamo. From there we headed to the Atalanta stadium, and then on to Quintino Alto in the Monterosso neighborhood. There we picked up CAI trail 533, up to Maresana and beyond. This first half of the today's walk was similar to the walk to Ponteranica.

To return to Bergamo, we walked east from La Maresana on CAI trail 502 to CAI trail 401 descending along the spine of the hill that ends at Centro Don Orione di Bergamo, in Redona. Here are the trails on OpenStreetMap. The hill that trail 401 runs on features a series of roccoli. Roccoli (sounds like broccoli) are particular to this part of Italy as explained in more detail in the post Walk from Albino to Bergamo. Here's a brief summary:
A roccolo is a big trap for birds, usually smaller migratory birds. You might say it’s a bird snare, but snare is a bit of an understatement to describe these structures. It’s better to describe them as architettura vegetale. Roccoli are built different ways, but commonly are in a circular shape of living material (trees and shrubs) and other materials (wire, poles, netting), and always on a hill top. 

Trattoria La Maresana was very good. We have walked by it a half-dozen times but had never eaten there. Today it was a 3-hour lunch, eating and talking. We had a great language lesson with one of the owners. We talked about: you guessed it, food!

Here are a few of the usual late winter plants we saw along the way. I always love to see the purple of the Hepatica against the brown leaves.

  • [Family] Genus species – {Common name in Italian} 
  • [Asteraceae] Bellis perennis – {Pratolina comune
  • [Cornaceae] Cornus mas – {Corniolo
  • [Helloboraceae] Helleborus niger – {Rosa di natale
  • [Primulaceae] Primula vulgaris – {Primula comune
  • [Ranunculaceae] Anemone nemorosa – {Anenome bianca
  • [Ranunculaceae] Hepatica nobilis {Erba trinità
  • [Violaceae] Viola alba – {Viola bianca
  • [Violaceae] Viola odoratum – {Viola mammola}

For more information on identifying plants, see the post Resources for Identifying Plants around Bergamo.

Left: Cornus mas. Right: Bellis perennis.Cornus mas near Maresana.Bellis perennis Maresana.

Left: Crocus spp. Right: Helleborus niger.
Crocus spp.Helleborus niger on trail 533.

Left: Viola alba. Right: Viola oderata.
Viola alba.Viola oderata

Left: Hepatica nobilis.  A welcome splash of color in the brown leaves. Right: Anemone nemorosa.
Hepatica nobilis. A welcome splash of color in the brown leaves.Anemone nemorosa.

Left: Hepatica nobilis. Right: Primula vulgaris.
Hepatica nobilis on trail 533.Primula vulgaris in a roccolo.

Views of roccolo on trail 401, descending toward Redona.
View of roccolo on trail 401, descending toward Redona.View of roccolo on trail 401, descending toward Redona.

Left: Sign at entry point of Parco Colli di Bergamo. Right: Roundabout  that gives access to Monterosso neighborhood and start of trail.
Entry point of Parco Colli di Bergamo.Roundabout  that gives access to Monterosso neighborhood and start of trail.

Easy trail through wooded areas that are periodically cut (referred to as ceduo) and roccoli.
Easy trail through wooded areas that are periodically cut (referred to as ceduo).Easy trail through roccoli.Easy trail through roccoli.

Trattoria La Maresana polenta starter, pasta mains, vegetables, dessert, and view.
Trattoria La Maresana food.Trattoria La Maresana food.Trattoria La Maresana food.

Trattoria La Maresana food.Trattoria La Maresana dessert.Trattoria La Maresana view.

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