Day 36: Cremona and the 3 Ts August 5
Milan to Cremona via Lodi by Train 38 miles
So, we are heading out of Milan and for Cremona today. We are taking the local train to Lodi, which is a town just outside of the Milan city limits. The hassle of trying to navigate out of a crowded Italian city is more than we need, so to the train station we go! As Bruce checked us out of hotel, one of the hotel managers asked him where we were going and Bruce responded, Cremona. The hotel manager said, "oh did you know that Cremona is known for the three Ts?" Bruce said, "no, what are the three Ts?" "The Tower, Torrone, and "teets'", the man replied. So in an explanation, Cremona has a huge tower that we need to see, Torrone is a Christmas candy first made in Cremona, and the ladies have large... tracts of land in Cremona. So we guess this is the place to go!
The train ride was pretty uneventful (yay!) but it was a steamy hot day. We broke the rules straight away as the train arrived at the island platform of Lodi station and the only way to exit was down the stairs....so instead we just rolled the bikes across the barrow crossing as the platforms were low level ones.....worked great except for the big signs saying not to do it.Although when we got out of the train station in Lodi, many people gawked at our passing and one older lady even crossed herself as we pedaled by... Are we really that odd looking? The canal path was pretty shaden (beat up), so we bumped along over tree roots and looked longingly into the algae green cabal wishing we could go swimming without growing a third arm or something... Definitely not the same water as the Aare or the Emme. We had part of our lunch on a bench and later a little more under a bridge... Any where with shade. We took the road all the way into Cremona. Beautiful old downtown with a huge duomo with an even bigger tower(T #1). We found our hotel after avoiding road construction and checked in early! Took a nap because it was so hot and we have air conditioning! When we woke up, we went out for a quick walk to go get something to drink but the gas station down the way did not have a shop... On our way back, we bumped into one of the ladies that works at the hotel. She offered to drive us to the grocery store, since she was going any way. Oh boy, She drove like an Italian! Little grandma in a tiny silver car, rocketed down the road just putting on her brakes when the lights are really red. She buzzed down one way streets the wrong way and practically did donuts to park her car in the right spot in the underground garage below the supermarket. Bruce was grinning ear to ear in the front seat. We all went shopping and she even gave us her discount card. Then on our way back, she had to stop at the best gelateria in town for their 50th anniversary sale. So we got 500g of fine gelato! She even offered to put it in the hotel freezer for dessert! To get back to the hotel she drove around a detour and then drove against traffic to park in front of the hotel. She also offered to drive us to dinner tonight down town. So an hour later we met her down stairs and she brought us to a place for dinner. She even escorted us in and sternly told the waitress to take care of us and give us the English menu. We had a very nice dinner of risotto and salad and bruschetta. After dinner we called and she picked us up since the restaurant was pretty far from the hotel. But we did not go directly back. She wanted to give us a tour of her city. She told us all about Cremona in 1/3 english 2/3 basic slow loud Italian. The city was in partial blackout so she was upset the we would not see her duomo illuminated at night. The tower was built in the 12th century but an earthquake bought it down and then it was rebuilt in the 1400s. It is 119 meters tall and the clock on its face still works. A little man climbs the 500 steps to wind it every day. She showed us the Torrone shop where you can get the famous Christmas candy (T#2). And we chatted all the way back to her tiny silver car. We drove back to the hotel Italian style and said our good nights. Her husband spoke a little more English (turns out they are the owners) and he still has a flat in Edinburgh on Dalkeith St. He was going there in a few weeks to get away from the Italian heat! Funny night! Although we did not quite experience the third T... Sorry Bruce.... Another good day in Italy! Thank you Loretta!!!
The World is Ours!