BergamoIn the Alpine foothills, just 50 km from Milan, Bergamo is the most striking city in Lombardy. Built on two levels, the Lower City is more modern and dynamic, whilst the famous ‘Upper City’ boasts a stunning historic centre full of monuments and works of art. In the area around the city the Iseo Lake is well worth a visit, as are the sanctuary at Caravaggio and Crespi d’Adda – the most important company town in Italy, listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
The CityBergamo is one of the richest and most elegant cities in Italy. The splendour of the city is in large part thanks to the domination of Venice, who ruled the city from the beginning of the 15th century until the end of the 18th century. The Venetians also constructed the city walls around the centre. The upper city is easy to reach with the funicolar railway – and its main square – the Piazza Vecchia – hosts the most important religious and civic buildings as well as forming the focus for most of the main commercial and historic streets. Another funicolar railway – built in the beginning of the 20th century – leads up to the San Vigilio hill, from which you can enjoy a marvellous view of the city and the Lombard plain. The heart of the city lies in the less tourist lower town, where 18th- and 19th-century buildings are grouped in a semi-circle around the city’s hill.
Do & See
Bergamo is the perfect city to enjoy a nice weekend or a longer stay. Just walking around the city center and finding a nice café to enjoy a good cup of coffee is relaxing itself. If you however are interested in one of the many galleries, then Galleria d´Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and Accademia Carrara is worth paying a visit to. If you love culture, you have come to the right city!
Bergamo cuisine is extremely rich and with a high calorific value. Many dishes are meat based and you should at the very least try the “Casoncelli alla bergamasca” (homemade pasta parcels filled with beef meat, salami, amaretto biscuits and pears in a butter sauce) and polenta e brasato (braised beef with herbs). Typical cake - polenta e osei - is based on maize flour as well. The local Wine is the ValCalepio (DOC) produced in the surroundings of the Iseo Lake.
If you are in the mood for coffee or something sweet you will find plenty of cafes to choose from.
Bars & Nightlife
All kinds of people generally go to cafés or bars for a tea or chocolate and cake around 4 pm-5 pm. The apéritivo is common as well in the late afternoon (after 6 pm). At night, Bergamo offers a wide range of nice cafè-bars where you can listen to live music or just chill out and chat. In the summer months it’s fun to just stroll up and down the streets either in the Città Bassa or the Città Alta. If you’re looking for discos you need to go out of the city.
If you love fashion, Bergamo is the place to go. Look at the people – they are so chic! In fact, in this city you’ll find boutiques and shops of all kinds. The main shopping streets are in the Lower Town: between via Sant’Alessandro, via Borfuro, via Sant’Orsola and via XX Settembre there’s what can be defined as “Bergamo’s quadrilateral for shopping”. In the Upper Town there are some nice shops in via Colleoni. If you are still hungry for more, remember that Milan is a shopping paradise and is only about an hour away by bus, train, or car. Aside from clothing, you will find many boutiques and great pastry and food shops throughout the city. Bergamo is particularly known for its sweet cakes and delicacies in the pastry stores. Try, for instance, the Panificio Tre soldi and Mimì, la casa dei sapori, the first in Lower Town and the other in via Colleoni - Upper Town.