Saturday, December 26, 2009

Giazza (Ljetzan), Verona

Christmas Day was rainy and cold, but I couldn't pass the opportunity to travel higher up in the Lessini mountains.  Giazza, is a small village in the Lessinia, the mountainous (and hilly) region covering areas of the provinces of Verona (primarily), Vicenza, and Trento. The Lessinia was a frequent destination on weekends when I was a child since, on my mother's side, the family is originally from that general area.

We headed up to Giazza travelling from the house in Tregnago where we spent Christmas day, through the towns of Cogollo (well known for its wrought iron artisans), Badia Calavena,  Sant'Andrea, Selva di Progno.  Giazza is at a relatively high elevation of m.750 and, particularly in the summertime, it is still a quick (45 minutes from downtown Verona) getaway from the heat of the city.  Giazza has a particular bavarian look and feel.  It is the last remaining "cimbra" locality in the Lessinia that preserves a form of high-german medioeval language that originates from the occupation of the lands by the Cimbri, Bavarian or Tirolean colonists that established their residence in Lessinia in 1287.  Nice museum in the village by the church. Other towns of cimbran origin are Erbezzo, Bosco Chiesanuova, Cerro Veronese, Velo Veronese, Rover√® Veronese, San Mauro di Saline, Badia Calavena, and Selva di Progno.

Here is a link with pictures of Giazza (Ljetzan in cimbro) at a different time of the year.

The weather on Christmas day was not the best, it was raining, and the 30 cm. of snow that had fallen few days earlier had already melted.  We stopped at an albergo bar (in the picture), and were glad to drink our warm cappuccino and play a couple of card games of "briscola".  Pictures of the mountain above the albergo shows the cross on its top.

Had we taken a different turn in Sant'Andrea, and had we continued up the mountain we would have reached Bolca, a location frequented by visitors for its museum rich in local finds of fossils from a distant past when the area was covered by the warm waters of a sea rich of tropical plants and animals.

What was it like being there?  It was nice seeing the familiar mountains, but would have liked to travel a bit farther and reach the snow across a different route.  But dark and cold weather make travevelling the steep mountain roads a dangerous undertaking, and we headed back down to our warm house and put more wood in the stove.

1 comment:

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