Cornello dei Tasso

12 April 2015

It was a sunny Sunday in May.  We headed up for our half-day trip to Pellegrino and thereafter Cornello dei Tasso via San Giovanni Bianco.  Cornello dei Tasso is an isolated village in the Bremado Valley. It is considered as one of the most beautiful towns in Italy which is best preserved medieval architectural and urban structure.  During its glorious days, it was the centre of commerce. The famous Tasso family, Thurn und Taxis (known for breweries and castle building skills in Germany) and later the founder of the postal system in Europe has its root there.

You can have a beautiful view from Cornello dei Tasso.  It is over a river and surrounded by green meadows and nice houses.  Far away is a snow mountain.  Romantic!  Walking passed the entry arch, you will see old houses on different levels.  Pebble streets that are centuries old.  Tools and stuff used in the historical time were shown, not sure intentionally or unintentionally.  It brings you back to the old days, to imagine how people lived, gathered together in this small helmet.  The fading colours do not diminish the beauty and appreciation worth.

Walking further up will bring you to the Romanesque church of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian.  It has been there since 12th century.  Apart from being very old, it has a large cycle of frescoes dating from 15th and 16th centuries.  The clothing revealed both lower and upper class people.

A great fresco sits in the apse-shaped altarpiece.  It was burried under a blade perviously.  The middle pane shows the Virgin and Child enthroned and angels on either side the Saints Cornelius and Cyrian, patrons of the church.

There was a guided tour when we were there.  It lasted for one hour and free.  The woman explained everything in detail.  Unfortunately, I did not understand Italian at all.  So, I took snapshots outside, enjoyed the blue sky and the natural beauty around.

We also had a look of the postal museum.  It is a two level building.  It shows many of the original documents of the family Tasso.

On the way back we returned to Sedrina to see a beautiful painting in a church.


Vaprio d' Adda

19 April 2015

Vaprio d'Adda is a tiny town about 30 km away from Milan. It has a river, Adda and it is how the name is associated. Beautiful houses and retired factories buildings are sitting on both banks. It is a gorgeous view.  But Before the end of the visit, I noticed then Leonardo da Vinci lived here, in the enormous Villa Melzi.

We started the visit by a 12th century Romanesque church, Chiesa di San Colombano.  It was closed on Sunday afternoon.  Outside stand a few pieces of sculpture.  They are cute.  A mermaid, unintreccio tape, a lion with two bodies and individual head, an angel protecting a child, a lion tearing its prey, etc.

We walked towards the river Adda.  A spectacular walkway over Naviglio Vaprio welcomed us.  The design was inspired by the whirlpool so dear to Leonardo da Vinci. It received an award at the Biennale of Architecture in Venice in 2014.

Walking down the spiral staircase, go left and cross the other bridge.  Look to the right, you will enjoy the picturesque houses on the bank accompanied by the beautiful blues of the river. 

Looking to the left you will see very nice factory buildings, Visconti di Modrone-Velvis factory and Munksjo Paper. Yup, they are much nicer than the modern industrial buildings.

If you turn to the left side after crossing the bridge you will reach a quiet corner of the river.  Locals, families were enjoying the serenity and sunset there.   There was a faded castle miniature (my words).  Beautiful scenes!

Approaching to the end of our trip is to glimpse the outlook of Villa Melzi which Leonardo da Vinci stayed between 1506 and 1513 when he was in a service at the Sforazmilanese court.  Francesco Melzi worked for da Vinci.  They were closed friends.  Francesco inherited da Vinci precious artistic and scientific works, manuscripts and collection of Leonardo.  Two generations later, Leonardo's collections were sold.

My friends were hungry already two hours ago.  We had to head back.  On the way were a beautiful old house and a old fashioned fashion store.  A smile.