Bergamo was but a brief stop on the way to Como and beyond – a convenient destination in northern Italy courtesy of Ryan Air’s seemingly endless expansion. Situated at the base of the foothills of the Italian Alps, to the north of the flat plains of the Veneto – the hips of Italy’s leg, if you will – Bergamo was welcomingly dry and bright after some variable early spring weather in England. I recall very little about Bergamo, outside the photographs I took, and don’t remember how I arrived at this point, aside from taking a bus into town from the airport. I can only assume I was drawn to this vantage point from the views it promised to offer. Tired as always on day one of a trip from having had next to no sleep the night before, I felt almost high and elated from the bright light and elevation.
It was around 1030 in the morning and, being a Saturday, the town had a pleasingly slow pace to it. There were plenty of people about, but no one was in a hurry. The air was cool enough for most to be wrapped in coats, yet the sun had a clear, if entirely dry warmth to it – a welcome break from damp. This acropolis of sorts was a favoured place for people taking their constitutionals. A couple of old gents played chess, women waited as their lap dogs sniffed at things and some cool kids smoked cigarettes with the carefree air of not having anything else to do. Initially I had been impatient to get on my way to Como, yet the welcome sunshine and sense of space held me in thrall for a few hours.
This remains my favourite photo from that brief visit. Whilst I liked it from the start, as with so many photos, it wasn’t until, on Facebook, my friend Chris appended it with the quote contained in the caption that I really came to appreciate it. Sometimes, even when confident about a piece of work, it takes a second opinion to convince myself that I do truly like it. The quote from Borges may not actually suit the narrative of this old gent’s life, but it certainly goes well with the image, and for that I have Chris to thank. Cheers, buddy.