The Impossible Village: Cornello dei Tasso

My daughter’s research takes her (and me) to some really off-the-beaten track places! Yesterday, we took a local bus to a tiny village that clings to a mountainside about an hour north of Bergamo, not far from the Swiss border.

Cornello dei Tasso is located above the only slightly larger Camerata Cornello where the bus from Bergamo stops. After a pizza lunch at the Ostello di Tasso, we headed up the Via Mercatorum, a medieval stone road running through the Brembana valley, to Cornello.

Noon day winter sun on the buildings of Camerata Cornello.
Noon day winter sun on the buildings of Camerata Cornello.

An old trattoria on the edge of town.
An old trattoria on the edge of town.
Straight up the mountain!
Straight up the mountain!
Almost there.
Almost to the village. Yes, it was very cold up there! But sunnier than this picture would indicate.

The village itself is very vertical. A large stone arcade runs along the curve of the hill, and the houses are sort of piled on top and hanging below that structure.

Entering the gate.
Entering the gate.
A "front porch" under the arcade.
A “front porch” under the arcade.
A house straddles the arcade.
A house straddles the arcade.
On the upper level, this trattoria is the only business in town other than the postal museum.
On the upper level, this trattoria is the only business in town other than the postal museum.

Size can be deceiving: tiny Cornello dei Tasso is the home of the postal system!

In the 13th century, Omodeo Tasso created the first “company of couriers” to run mail between Milan, Venice and Rome. Omodeo’s descendants, also named Tasso or Tassis (later translated to the German house of Thurn und Taxis) eventually set up an impressive network running between the German states and Italy. This was the ancestor of the modern postal system.

corneto-13
An old mailbox in the village.

Cornello is therefore home to the Museo dei Tasso, a small postal museum and research library which was the objective of this trip. While my daughter looked at old letters and puzzled out Italian manuscripts, I wandered a bit and enjoyed a cicciolato caldo in the little trattoria. (Sometimes I can’t believe my life, either.)

A diorama in the museum.
A diorama in the museum.
Great view out the window!
Great view out the window!
The old Romanesque church in the village was unfortunately closed for renovations.
The old Romanesque church in the village was unfortunately closed for renovations.
corneto-10
The bell tower above some houses.
I love how you can see the traces of older buildings in so many walls in Italy.
I love how you can see the traces of older buildings in so many walls in Italy.
corneto-16
Houses spill down the mountainside below the arcade.
Leaving the village, a view of the Brembana valley and the village of Camerata below.
Leaving the village at twilight, a view of the Brembana valley and the village of Camerata below.

I never would have thought to visit this tiny village on my own, but I’m glad I tagged along. What a cool trip!

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. Kelly, the photos are fabulous. What an amazing adventure. Glad you are having a good time. Maybe you can start your PhD now.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s