Bobbio. Funny name for a town. Funnier still, the Bobbiese celebrate the culinary exquisiteness of garden snails every December around Christmas time. (See Pilgrimage to Bobbio: Snails and a Christmas Fair)
There is, the the Emilia Romagna town of Bobbio, a famous medieval bridge:
Now some art historian is claiming she can see the bridge in the background of Leonardo’s famous Mona Lisa clearly enough to announced to the world that this “hunchback” bridge of Bobbio is the one sitting pretty behind the enigmatic Mona Lisa in Leonardo’s famous (and untitled (by him)) work. The bridge is shown on the right. There’s not much of a hunchback, or at least as far as these medieval bridges go. Evidently, there is the possibility that there was an earlier Roman Bridge on this site, but this is a medieval bridge.
In any case, all of this attention could bring throngs of folks to little Bobbio who’ve developed an infatuation with Leonardo’s cuddly Mona. There are a couple of restaurants, so that’s good. But what’s even more interesting is that there is an old Abbey which once held a magnormous medieval library. The abbey, folks also say, was a model for the one Umberto Eco stuck famously in The Name of the Rose.
Ok, so here’s the lesson. Just because you haven’t heard of it; just because it’s way out there on a lonely road; just because the people are fond of eating things which crawl slimily over your garden veggies, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go there. Bobbio is, after all, near Piacenza—not a bad place to visit either. There are castles all around, including one which tops a conical hill over Bobbio.
You see, people are wearing out the rest of Italy. We’re trouncing on the monuments of Rome, flinging our slovenly bodies in holy fountains like the Trevi, slogging across ruined footpaths in the Cinque Terre—all of this when there is virgin tourist territory to explore! C’mon people!
Ok, so to wet your tourist whistle, here are some more pictures of Bobbio, including the one picturing snail polenta. I’m sure the village looks spiffier in summer sun, but we went in December.
Be the first of your state to visit Bobbio. I’m sure they’ll be producing a pin for your lapel sometime soon.