Milan, besides its obvious advantages such as numerous ancient museums, perfect shopping opportunities and luxury restaurants, is also a convenient destination because of the fact that you can always easily escape from it if you want.
Well, if you’re tired of Milan’s mediocrity, of its permanent crowds of tourists and endless rows of boutiques and shops, you can set off to any of the nearby cities, for example, Bergamo.
Why Bergamo? It’s an amazingly beautiful, serene and cozy city. Located in the fascinating foothills of the Alps, it allows you to forget about bustling city and for a moment to feel a unique ambience of the primordial Italian town.
So, if one day you decide to visit Bergamo, in this article you will find everything you need to have a fine time in this charming city.
Bergamo is separated in 2 parts: the Upper and the Lower Town
The upper part – is the sample of well-preserved medieval city with the presence of certain Renaissance and Baroque heritage. The lower part is a direct opposite of the other – it’s full of modern and wide streets, has a well-developed public transport and lots of shops.
So, tourists’ interest is mostly concentrated on the upper town. You can easily get to this part of Bergamo using the funicular (one-way ticket is about 1.2 Euro), which is located at Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII.
The Upper Town is located on a mountain and is completely surrounded by the fortress wall. It stores the charm of the real Italy: its old stones, carved facades of churches, narrow streets and alleys, fully composed of steps will impress even the most indifferent visitors.
The city center is Piazza Vecchia, traditionally surrounded by the elegant palazzos.
And one of them – is Palazzo Della Ragione, which reminds of the three and a half centuries of domination of the Venetians and beautifully decorated with the lion.
Right at the square there’s an ancient building – Torre del Campanone, a tower, where every day at ten o’clock the bell tolls announcing the closing of the city gates. The tower offers spectacular views of the city, the admission to the tower costs 2 Euro.
A little further from the Piazza Vecchia is Piazza del Duomo with baroque cathedral. You should certainly get inside to enjoy its breathtaking interior: the walls are painted in soft blue and golden colors, and they are perfectly combined with black and white marble floor. So, that all looks incredible and elegant.
A beautiful Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore with stone-made Cappella Colleoni completes the amazing ensemble of the Piazza Vecchia.
Pinacoteca dell’ Academia Carrara – is the next sight you shouldn’t miss in Bergamo.
The gallery is named in honor of its founder – Giacomo Carrara. He was a collector, died in 1796 and the city authorities took away his collection, which later was expanded and supplemented.
Now the collection consists of more than 1,800 works of art. The museum is situated in the modern part of the city, the admission is 3 Euro.
Next to the gallery you’ll also find a museum of modern art. Its collection is not large, but sometimes interesting exhibitions are held there.
The hill of Saint Vigilio – is your final destination.
Climbing the hill of St. Vigilio will be the best completion of your trip to Bergamo. You can reach the hill using the funicular (the station is located near the gates of Porta Sant’Alessandro). The length of the line is 630 meters.
The funicular will take you to the castle of St.Vigilio – the highest spot of the Upper Town, where you can enjoy views of the whole Bergamo. By the way, when the weather is clear you can even see Milan situated 51 km from the city.
The castle of St. Vigiloi is fairly typical – the sturdily built stone walls and thick towers. Inside of the castle you can also visit two small museums: the first one dedicated to archeology, the second one – to the natural sciences. Of course, you can skip them in case you have not enough time.
Where can you eat for cheap in Bergamo?
The eateries which can be recommended to you are:
“Colleoni and dell’Angelo” (location: Piazza Vecchia, 7) – a lovely restaurant with affordable rates. It’s suitable both for family and romantic dinners.
“Nuova Brasserie” (location: Via Provinciale, 94) – a cozy café which offers numerous kinds of pasta, pizza and seafood.
“Tratoria Parietti” (location: Via Costantino Beltrami, 52) – an excellent place to eat and relax with the whole family.
“Gennaro e Pia” (location: Via Borgo Palazzo, 41) – a great solution to have a bite with your friends.
What is the best way to travel around Bergamo?
During your city tour in Bergamo you’ll have to move a lot from one place to another. So, if you want to spend your trip with pleasure, it will be better to get a rental car. With rental car you can easily overcome steep slopes and feel comfort.
Cheap rental cars are always available at Bergamo Airport. By the way, using rental car you’ll be able to visit Milan whenever you want.
Well, we expect you will enjoy your trip to Bergamo and get lots of unforgettable emotions. Thanks for your attention and don’t miss to check out our next interesting articles.