Ultrapadum Festival

The Anchorage Concert Chorus open the Ultrpadum Festival which is one of the most prestigious music reviews in Pavia, Alessandria, Lodi and Milan provinces and one of most well-recognized in Italy.



Dinner At Da Guilio Restaurant

Our group started wandering back from our free time.  We ended up sitting outside having a drink until time to go in and eat.  Once again we had what they called beef but it looked more like more white meat.  We kept asking what kind of meat.  The waiters kept telling us beef.  Everyone at our table were mooing and oinking trying to figure out the meat.  We had the waiters so confused that some were saying pig and some cow.  The dessert made up for it, cream puffs with milk chocolate sauce on them.


Covered Bridge in Pavia

We were told we had free time before dinner, so off we went to find the covered bridge we were told about. We got directions which we immediately screwed up. This means that we went sightseeing a little more. Finally, the covered bridge was in sight. There were tons of people on it and closed to vehicles. To our surprise I there was what kind of festival going on.
In 1431 there was a clash between the fleet of Filippo Maria Visconti, Lord of Milan, led by Pal of Eustachi, Bunting and Captain General of the Naviglio Ducale and the boathouse, and the impressive fleet of the Serenissima Republic of Venice, led by Nicolò Misrepresent. The navigli ducali, set sail from Pavia to prevent an attack on the city near Cremona, they stumble into the fleet of the Serenissima, bolstered by a hundred ships loaded with soldiers, went up the river right to move to besiege the ancient Ticinum ( the current Pavia). LL return to Pavia was triumphant!




Basillica San Pietro in Ciel d’Oro


After going to the castle in Pavia I went back to the Basillica.  I was checking the church out and found out that St Augustine was buried there.  The chorus was singing right in front of him.  I am not sure if that is good or bad.  They were going to have to change in the crypt too.  Some of the woman were freaked out both times they had to change in front of all the dead people.  I thought it would have been pretty cool.  At least, I did get to go into the crypts.


The chorus had sound check.




We arrived in Pavia and the chorus went to do a short rehearsal and sound check.  I went and checked out the castle gardens.  Looked like pretty new castle to me.  I didn’t bother to go in but enjoyed the shade of the gardens because once again it was very hot.  David tell me that I can’t complain about the heat until it reaches 80.  Well I got to complain everyday.


Dinner at Calafuria Union Restaurant

After rehearsal we headed back to Milan for our dinner, wondering what kind of white meat with gravy we would have next.  We were so surprised when the roast beef came out on the tray.  It wasn’t over cooked.  We were asked 2 or 3 pieces and everyone was 3 or more.  Boy did we miss the red meat. I remember there used to be a commercial with two old ladies that were asking, “Where’s the beef”.  We finally found the beef in Milan.  I didn’t even take a photo of it because I was too much in a hurry to eat it.  The desert was wonderful.



Rehearsal for Last Concert

The chorus went to rehearse with Orchestra Filarmonica dei Navigli at their normal rehearsal place.

The orchestra was founded by the will of its members to make music together and to have fun doing it. This, at first sight may seem trivial, it embodies the anything but subtle difference between making a business out of duty, and doing an activity to derive pleasure and personal fulfillment.

The orchestra members do not pursue professional purposes, but spiritual. Each one comes with his own technical and cultural background and it does not matter the difference in ability. Therefore they  meet at different levels, from the graduated person to that one who started a few years ago the study of an instrument. All work together with the aim of improving the[r playing together and enjoying themselves in doing so.

It is an amateur orchestra  and therefore making profit is not its purpose. The orchestra  also has the desire to propagate music and musical culture as a whole, in addition to promoting the music for fun, sharing intentions and musical spirituality among its members.

More about the orchestra and a picture of Anchorage Concert Chorus can be found on their web page


Grant was working with the strings on his arrangement of Simple Gifts.  The strings were having a difficult time.  Grant said, “I don’t know if you know but this is my arrangement and it means a lot to me.  Puccini is dead, but I am still here.”  The chorus thought that was rather funny.  In the end they did a good job.

The village was more like a subdivision because there was not much there.  It was mostly houses.  We did find a bar where we got some water.  Von managed to find the lake where he came across a strange looking animal.  He showed me a picture and I told him it was a river rat or coypu.  Our guide said it was a porcupine.

There was a very quaint little church nearby that I did explore.

Lake Garda

We checked out of our hotel in Padua and headed for Milan.  We stopped for lunch at the southern end of Lake Garda where we viewed the Alps and the Dolomite Mountains. Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy.  We had lunch in the historical center of Sirmione at Modi Restaurant.  We were all wondering what kind of white meat or chicken it would be this time.  To our great surprise it was the most wonderful salmon trout.  The restaurant was so nice and breezy sitting outside, instead of hot and stuffy like all the other places.

We kept seeing these huge gelato’s that people were carrying so we went on the hunt for the biggest ones we had ever seen.  After wandering around a bit, the chorus went down by the lake and sang the Alaska Flag Song. It was so cool to see all the people gathering around and taking photos of them.




We boarded our bus and headed for Pordenone where the Anchorage Concert Chorus was going to have a concert in Duomo Concattedrale di San Marco.

We had some free time and we just sat and had a drink with friends.

The Coro ANA Fruili-Montecavallo sang too.  They were fantastic and just a wonderful group of men.  The choir Montecavallo consists of two dozen Alpine manly voices young and old. It is born in the spirit of the Statute of the Anas with the aim of keeping alive the traditions of mountain folklore and cante degli Alpini, veneto and Friuli. It was directed by the Foundation until January 2008 by Maestro Alessandro Pisano. In addition to regular concerts, the performances are also addressed to educational interventions in primary and secondary schools, both concert works, both with training interventions. In recent years attempts to maintain active relationships with popular songs from all regions of Italy, triggering musical growth projects with the cooperation of other choral groups.

We were all tired after our long day, even our tour guide fell asleep on the bus.


The Search for the Borsalino

The only thing that David ask for in Italy was a Borsalino hat.  He had a used one years ago and had always wanted to get another one.  He started asking in Rome and no one knew where to get one.  Then our guide said he thought he could get it in Florence. In Florence David kept asking people and no one knew.  We then went on a tour with our local guide. After the tour David ask our guide.  She took him to the side and said down that road a few blocks and it is on the left.  We thought we had finally found it, but when we got there it was closed on Sunday.  David got a picture of the store and that was it.  In Padua while we were on our walking tour we walked past a hat store.  After the tour we had a coffee and then headed to the hat store.  When we got there the shutters were pulled down and the door was locked.  The owner was still in the store.  He came to the door and told us he would open again at 3.  David told him our bus was leaving before then and that he really wanted to buy a Borsalino.  The owner let us in and helped David pick the right hat.  The owner handled the hat with love. He told David how to take care of it.  He was so nice.  So David walked out with the hat on his head.

I even got a picture of him with his Borsalino and his short green shorts.