In which I go to Bobbio and walk The Devil’s Bridge like the true queen I am. And eat a lot of food.
I’m glad to report that I (barely) survived the first week of classes at UCSC in Piacenza! They weren’t too unpleasant since I have some of them in English (Corporate Governance and International Tax Law), but for the ones I have in Italian (Corporate Social Responsibility and Supply Chain), I’m not exactly sure what language I should take notes in.
I’m at the point where I basically understand ~87% (on a good day) of what’s being presented in class, but although I understand what the professor is saying, I can’t really verbalize it back in Italian yet. Taking notes is a struggle because I kind of automatically translate to English when I’m jotting them down and I know I’ll study better in English, but if the exam is ultimately going to be in Italian, I also know that I’ll probably be better off trying to take notes in Italian. Hopefully I figure this out soon. Stay tuned.
Anywho, UCSC (which stands for Università Cattolica Del Sacro Cuore, BTW) has a group called SMINT (Studente del Management Internazionale) composed of students who organize activities for international students studying business. I am an international student studying business, if anybody cared to know. SMINT organized a trip to Bobbio on the Saturday after the first week of classes, and despite going a little too hard at Venerdrink (which I guess is the Italian equivalent of Thirsty Thursday, but on a Friday…?) the night before, I went on said trip.
Bobbio is a small town in the province of Piacenza and it’s about 45 minutes away from the university. We made it basically intact, save for the small trash bin with owls on it that so nobly sacrificed itself due to the activities of the night before. I’m not pointing any fingers, but I’m glad to say I wasn’t the one utilizing the bucket.
When we got there, we went to L’Abbazia di San Colombano, which is a monastery built by san Colombano in the early 600s. Spoiler alert: san Colombano is like, kind of a big deal here in Bobbio. They talk about him a lot and there are depictions of the “miracles” he performed throughout his tenure in Bobbio. In one instance, he apparently caused a bear to evacuate his cave, as well as tied a bear to a plough and using it to tend the fields after said bear ate his cow. Not sure if this is the same bear or not, but RIP to the cow.
After, we went to The Devil’s Bridge, or Ponte del Diavolo. Although this bridge is officially called Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge) or Ponte Gobbo (Hunchback Bridge), many people think it’s the literal work of the devil. Legend says that san Colombano (told you he was a big deal) wanted to build a bridge over the river to connect the two banks and received a proposition from the Devil. Apparently, good ol’ Diavolo said he could build it in one night as long as he could have the soul of the first person that crossed it. NBD. Colombano agreed and the Devil was able to build the bridge, which turned out to look pretty irregular thanks to his crew of homies of different heights and builds.
San Colombano, the good man that he was, also followed through on his promise the next morning, but since the bridge wasn’t “normal,” sent his good pal the bear across the bridge in the morning. I don’t know about any of you, but I’m starting to feel sorry for this bear. Poor guy just came out to have a good time and honestly got so attacked.
Because I’m no quitter, I trekked along said Devil’s Bridge and managed to take a few good pics. The river was kind of dried up due to the season (I guess), but once upon a time, it apparently flooded the whole city.
PS: If you happened to catch one of my more recent Instagrams, it featured me on the bridge as well:
After making our merry way back across the bridge, it was time for the best part of the day… lunch! Let me just say that when it comes to lunch, the Italians don’t f*** around.
Lunch consisted of two plates of four different types of salted meats, bread, cheese, and a pasta dish. And wine, of course. Prosciutto and anything remotely similar to prosciutto is like my favorite thing in the world, so I was in Meat Heaven. Take that, Devil.
Overall, Bobbio was really cute for a day trip, and I got to eat a bunch of salted meat, so I can’t complain. 10/10, would recommend.