I arrived at Burro & Alici in the early afternoon. The courtyard was especially sunny and the long table under the porch, together with the colourful chairs, was screaming both summer and seaside, even if Pasquale and Gaetano Torrente’s new restaurant is far away from their hometown Cetara on the Amalfi Coast, but it opened in the farthest north of Italy, halfway between Bergamo and Brescia, in the renowned wine region of Franciacorta.
The kitchen was closed and so, after a glass of sparkling wine, I decided to go for the next thing I love more after good food: an exploration of the beautiful surrounding area, which is full of interesting places to discover, from the historical towns of Bergamo and Brescia, to Lake Iseo and all those pretty villages within Franciacorta wine region.
Eating out in Franciacorta > BURRO & ALICI, Erbusco (BS)
Dinner at Burro & Alici was exquisite.
The atmosphere of the restaurant is homey and genuine, with the caption “Locanda di Mare” re-evoking a simple cuisine and the sea. I had paccheri with anchovies, anchovies with provola cheese, anchovies meatballs with pine nuts and raisin, tuna steak with stewed vegetables, rum baba and figs pie… no need to say it was an especially delicious dinner!
The restaurant itself is extremely cute, with a sunny courtyard, a bar where you can taste the best of Italian sparkling wines and three colorful rooms.
Exploring Franciacorta > Erbusco (BS)
Burro & Alici Restaurant is in Erbusco, a small village of nearly 8.000 inhabitants well-known for the production of the renowed DOCG Franciacorta sparkling wine.
I had a nice walk across Erbusco’s characteristic alleys admiring both its stone buildings and the elegant historic mansions owned by the noble families from Brescia and Milan.
What else can you visit before or after a delicious meal at Burro & Alici?
Exploring Franciacorta > LAKE ISEO (BS)
Iseo is a nice village on the south-eastern lakefront of Lake Iseo, still part of the Franciacorta region. I arrived just in time for a relaxing walk along the lake shores at the sunset, which reminded me of several summer evenings spent strolling with my family in a similar background: old people chatting on a bench or fishing, families strolling on the lakefront, the smell of grilled meat coming from the restaurants overlooking the lake and vintage speakers all around the village radiating some Italian popular songs from the ‘70s, those cross-generational songs everybody knowns and whistles. The lake was magnificent, nested calm among high mountains (the beginning of the Alps mountain range) and radiating a spectacularly warm sunset light.
After the sun went down, I adventured into the inner part of the village, discovering hidden courtyards and secret alleys, marveling at all those rough and scraped walls just a few streets away from the fancy town center.
I have the whole town at my feet; its red roofs, bell towers, tree-lined avenues, domes… I can see the whole town of Bergamo as far as the airport, with its planes too far to be heard. What I hear, instead, is the cicada sound and the wind passing through the leafage of the panoramic avenue. Bergamo already sounds amazing to me, even before stepping into its upper city: Bergamo Alta, the historic centre of Bergamo, surrounded by Venetian walls built in the 17th century.
From the panoramic road, I entered Bergamo Alta and wandered across its paved streets, which were surprisingly crowded with tourists! But I didn’t find it difficult to avoid them by entering some lateral alleys, taking some charming stairs leading to secret squares and walking under different arcades as far as a more original point of view to admire this beautiful town, whose beauty is just the same as it was four centuries ago.
Actually I couldn’t stop marveling at how, simply turning around a corner, I happened to discover a church or a bell tower peeping from behind an ancient building; the concentration of Bergamo cultural heritage is pretty impressive and the upper town itself looks as a fairytale village… I can’t help wonder how beautiful its skyline can be when seen from the valley on a foggy day!
Brescia is sunny and colourful, dynamic and multiethnic… so different from the idea I somehow had of this town of the north! It is elegant and clean, of course, but still very lively and with several charming ancient corners.
I wandered around Brescia for a couple of hours while waiting for my connecting train and I regret I didn’t have the time to explore it further ’cause from what I saw -mostly the colorful area around the farmer market- it is definitely worth a longer visit!
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