Disclaimer: This one is for the fans of Luca Guadagnino’s masterpiece
While travelling through Italy, it was absolutely crucial that we make a stop by the town of Crema which was used as the location for one of my favourite films, Call Me By Your Name. I have been in awe of its nostalgic and idle aesthetic ever since the first (of many) times I saw it and so I wanted to walk in some of Elio’s footsteps by visiting the place where Guadagnino shot his famous work.
After some Googling, I discovered I could take my fantasy to a whole other level by going on the “Elio & Oliver Love Tour“: a day spent with a guide exploring not just Crema, but every single spot that was used for the film within the region (and yes, that included walking around Elio’s house!). So of course I signed us up.
We spent a day with Alberto, our lovely guide, who drove us around Cremona, from the WWI Memorial in Pandino (“Is there anything you don’t know?”), to the Pizzighettone train station where Elio and Oliver say goodbye. He quizzed us about the soundtrack in the car and shared stories about Italian pop music in the 80s. We learnt about secret details behind the film, such as the real Mussolini portrait which is still hanging at this reactionary man’s house (which we saw), and the popular tortelli cremaschi, a sweet and savoury pasta that’s filled with chocolate and that we got to try at a restaurant in the middle of the deep countryside, so deep they almost only speak a local dialect there.
I was so grateful for this experience which not only allowed me to fulfil my dream of visiting Crema, but also took us to wonderful places we would have never heard of otherwise, so I can’t recommend Alberto’s tour enough!
Our Call Me By Your Name pilgrimage went on after Crema as we hopped on a train to Sirmione, where we spent a night to take in the beauty of Lake Garda, and I do hope to visit Bergamo some day, to wrap up the full tour of Elio and Oliver’s story, as told by Guadagnino and screenwriter James Ivory (based on the book by André Aciman).