We celebrated Easter by getting the family together at Olmo al Brembo, this sleepy town in the province some 40km north of Bergamo where my father grew up, and where i was raised surrounded by my father’s closest family. The tradition of driving up to spend the day eating and laughing heartily used to span every Sunday, every birthday and every major holiday; we’d all meet up at the old house on Via Roma, no matter the weather (and it gets pretty grey and wet over there). We’d invade the living room with makeshift seating arrangements where the adults would claim the long table and the ‘kids’ would be assigned to a smaller, more cramped area well out of the reach for alcohol. My grandma would serve her classic dish Polenta and every other woman at the helm of her family would follow it up with a dish of her own. So it is we used to spend hours upon hours just sitting there and eating, catching up, chatting and conversing as though it’d been absolute ages since we’d last had the chance to, but mostly eating.
In line with the tradition, we once again gathered together and spent the better half of the day ignoring the rain outside and focusing instead on the hearty servings of butter-soaked Polenta and roast lamb followed by fruit salad served with gelato and (why not) a slice of Colomba, the traditional cake Italians put on the table on Easter.
Speaking of tradition, did we all know the Easter Bunny originated in Germany, where it was first introduced as early as the 1500’s?