Thursday, May 27, 2010
Stage 18: Along Lago di Garda to Brescia
Too bad it's raining today, because the terrain of this stage is just ridiculously beautiful, in full sun it would be like a dream you had once. 18th century castles, monasteries with campanile topped by the curly gothic cake frosting-like turrets of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Medieval basilicas. Cyprus trees, piers leading out into the lake. Today you just watch the race for the helicopter shots. It's so pretty, it almost hurts. A lot of it looks like Naboo. And if you don't know what that is, you aren't as big a Star Wars geek as I am. Which is good, because if you were, someone might need to plan an intervention.
This area is midway between Venice and Milan. A lot of the towns around here began as Roman resort towns, and a famous Roman poet, Catullus, had his villa here. This area also had strategic value because it's close to the Brenner pass, which leads up into Austria.
In Lombardia they make a fizzy wine called Franciacorta--see above, and the pastries are supposed to be particularly good--see the columba pasquale above--an Eastertime sweet.
Wow--okay, I just want to be done with this blog post, because this stage is gorgeous! Watch it! They are re-running it on Universal Sports again later. I bet if you visit Lago di Garda you won't find your typical busloads of American tourists in the white sneakers and fanny packs. I bet the shopping is unbelievable.
I know what this landscape looks like to me--the Greek myth part of the movie FANTASIA! It looks like some animator's fantasy of Arcadia. Cue Beethoven's La Symphonie Pastorale!
Oh, my. Just watch it!
Viva il Giro! Viva Italia!