One of the richest and most elegant cities in Italy, Bergamo, is situated in the Alpine foothills just 50 km from Milan. The city is has its own two cities in it as it is structured in two levels, The Lower city and The Upper city. The Lower city is more modern and dynamic whereas the famous Upper city his a stunning historic place full of monuments and works of art. The area of the city is quite large 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 railway and its main square, the Piazza Vecchia which hosts the most important religious and civic buildings as well as forming the focus for most of the main commercial and historic streets. The Lower City which is the heart of the town, has some 18th and 19th century buildings grouped in a semi circle around the city’s hill.
Bergamo has a warm humid temperate climate with hot summers and no dry season. Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from -1 degrees to 29 degree Celsius and is rarely below -5 degree or above 32 degree. The warm season lasts from June to September with an average daily high temperature above 24 degree. The cold season lasts from November to March with average daily temperature below 11 degree.
How to get here?
Airport bus connects Caravaggio Orio al Serio Airport with Bergamo City every 20 minutes during weekdays and every 30 minutes during public holidays and on Sundays. All buses leaving from airport reach Bergamo station and Citta Alta directly. Trains run every hour from Milano Centrale to Bergamo which takes you to Bergamo station, from where you can reach upper town hotels just by a short taxi ride.
Accommodation and food
You would like to choose the right place in the lower town that will give you easy access to transport links to take you to the lakes and other towns and villages nearby. You can be handy too for the funicular or bus route to take you up to the upper town. Close to the funicular, there is Hotel Excelsior San Marco in the Piazza Repubblica with 155 rooms, deluxe or suites and free internet. There are many good hotels near Porta Nuova with modern comforts like bars, sauna and gym.
You will find the food extremely rich and with a high calorific value in Bergamo. Many dishes are meat based and you should at the very least try the ‘Casoncelli alla bergamasca’, which is homemade pasta parcels filled with beef meat, salami, amaretto biscuits and peers in butter sauce and Polenta e Brasato. Typical cake, Polenta e Osei is based on maize flour as well. There is a long list of restaurants, café, and bars like LIo Pellergrini in lower city, Roof Garden with panoramic view, II Gourmet with modern dishes, Café Balzer which is considered as the lounge of the city.
Places to visit
The Teatro Donizetti is a theatre owned by the Town Council of Bergamo which supervises its management. It always has been numbered among the best traditional opera theatres. Donizetti hosts, besides opera sessions, a remarkable Drama session and a number of shows which comprise an Operetta and Ballet season, the Festival Bergamo jazz, concerts of modern singers and symphonic concerts.
The Accademia Carrara is a jewel among Italian museums and a heaven for art lovers. It contains a range of masterpieces dating from the 14th to 19th century. At its core is a group of outstanding pictures from the Renaissance. It is a must visit place in Bergamo.
Santa Maria Maggiore
Located in the center of the Upper Town of Bergamo, is a roman catholic church. The decoration of the ceilings is simply phenomenal, may not be as remarkable as Sistine Chapel but still its worth visiting.
This hill overlooking old Bergamo can be reached by foot, car or by funicular train. The ruins of a medieval castle, which Venice transformed at the time of the construction of the walls, can be found at the top. You can also climb up to the Monasteries, which is filled with vegetable plots. Bergamo was provided with fruits and vegetables from these hills once.
The Malpaga Castle is in the communal territory of Cavernago, a village in the province. Its main features are the Renaissance frescoes by II Romanino in the interiors. You can come here and get some good photos with beautiful backgrounds.
If you are a fan of Baroque architecture then you should go and see the interior of this 18c Cathedral which accommodates extremely beautiful stalls sculpted by the Sanzi. It is dedicated to Saint Alexander of Bergamo and one of the most beautiful Churches in the whole city.
Iseo and Endline Lakes
These are two quite unknown lakes where nature and history have created an amazing variety of natural beauties. They offer of chances for fan of water sports. There are also interesting villages that are worth a visit like Lovere and Sarnico. You will also find the Val Calepio where the famous ValCapio wine is produced.
This eastern Lombard city offers a wealth of art and medieval Renaissance and baroque architecture, some breathtaking views and some fine dining. Just plan a trip and visit this amazing city.