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