30 Days of Indie Travel Project Day 20: “DRINK – Just as the cuisine of a place reveals clues about its culture and history, so does its signature local drink. What’s the best drink you had on the road, and did the drink have any connection to the place where you drank it or the people you drank with? To Read the blog in Italian click here
It is a typical Sunday morning in Bardolino, a small town on Lago di Garda. We are seated in front of the church in the main piazza and we are enjoying a “spritz”, a lovely alcoholic beverage the color of amber. According to my friends, this is the thing that one does on a Sunday in Bardolino. You sit yourself down at a table in the piazza and you people watch, while imbibing a spritz! There is no other place to be apparently. It is from this optimal vantage point that you idly check out people as they exit Sunday mass, you talk with friends and you observe the little kids sliding down marble banisters of the church. I imagine that this is something the the children of Bardolino have been doing since the church was built decades and decades ago. Davide, the six year old son of Rossella and Massimo, is no different front the rest as he entertains himself by turning portico of the church into a giant playground. At the table we make jokes and we are introduced to friends of our friends, and we settle into normal everyday life of a typical Sunday in Italy
After our drinks are finished we go for a walk around the piazza. We wander by an open door with a sign “Pesca pro missioni” (Fishing for the Mission). I am curious as to what this is, so my friends invite me to enter the shop. Inside two older ladies are positioned behind a counter on which rests a great big glass bowl with little pieces of tightly wound paper and a sign that indicates their purchase price. In back of the women is a wild disarray of items. There are shelves, baskets and boxes over flowing with games, wine bottles, books, clothes and a wide assortment funny looking gadgets and tools. And still, I have no idea what this is all about!
Giggling at me, Davide goes first to show me how this game is played. His mother pays the price and then Davide “goes fishing”. He puts his hand into a bowl and pulls out a tightly rolled scrap of paper. He unfurls it and reads the number that is written there. Ninety-nine! The woman mobilize into action and they bustle around trying to find the same number displayed on the stock pile of items behind them. Finally the number is located and Davide is given his prize! With a big smile he proudly show me he has won a frisbee that lights up when you launch it. How cool is that! Now I want to play. I pay the price of admission, pick out my tightly bound paper and watch as the ladies hunt down my prize. They pass by the baskets of wine and the bottles of olive oil (what a shame!) and zero in on a small red box. What have I won? It is a pepper grinder! Something every kitchen shouldn’t be without!
Pesca pro missioni is a benefit to raise money for the Church’s mission. Through out the week the women collect all kinds of items from households & local businesses and on Sunday the shop is opened to the public. My friend revealed that once she won a doll, but then she realized that is was a doll her aunt had given to the mission. The doll made the full circuit from family to church back into the family again, all in the name of charity.
Davide and I leave the the shop and with our prizes under our arms we continue on with our stroll along the shore of Garda lake. With the heat of the sun above our heads and the warmth of the spritz inside me, I am feeling quite lazy and content. I am looking at Bardolino through rose colored glasses, or actually glasses filled with amber gold, and I find it an extremely lovely place.
Un beneficio simile a quello di Bardolino: