Bergamo

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Bergamo is a scenic town in Italy's Lombardy region.

Understand[edit]

Bergamo is a pretty town of some 120,000 people nestling in the foothills of the Alps. Widely acclaimed as a city of rare beauty, Bergamo is famous for its wealth of artistic treasures and enchanting medieval atmosphere. It is a real life tale of two cities: “Città Bassa”, the busy and modern lower city, and "Città Alta", the upper city with its rich heritage of art and history.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

Bergamo is the location of the Orio al Serio International Airport (IATA: BGY) (Phone number: +39 035326323), an airport oriented around low-cost airlines (Discount airlines in Europe). ATB no.1 bus to the city are €2.00 per trip, €4.50 for 24h ticket and €7.00 for a 3 day ticket. There is a ticket machine at the bus stop. You can find schedules and route maps on the site of ATB [1] the local mass transit authority.

Cabs will take about 15 min but are quite expensive given the length of the journey - cost around €15 (€21 after 21:00 in the evening).

Note that buses can be both unreliable and not punctual. You'd better take the no.1 city bus 30 or 45 minutes before the time you actually have to be at the airport.

By train[edit]

Milan is about 50 minutes away by train. There is no train station at the airport in Bergamo. The 1-airport bus to Bergamo city, taking around 20 minutes, leaves you just in front of the train station. From Bergamo city regular trains to Milan, Lecco and Brescia, on to Verona and Venice. You can check schedules and fares on the website of the Italian Railways [2]. There is no left luggage office at the train station but you can leave your bags just 50 metres outside in the automatic left luggage behind URBAN CENTER and behind McDonald's [3]. Alternatively, you can leave them in the airport, but it's rather slow and works just in the daytime. If you are at the airport and your destination is Milan or Venice, just take one of the regular coaches. However be warned that the autostrada connecting Bergamo and Milan carries a lot of trucks and gets easily congested - do not therefore rely on the 'stated' journey time especially on weekdays. An alternative is to take the bus into Bergamo (see above) and take the train.

By bus[edit]

Regular buses to Milan. You can check schedules and fares on the website of Autostradale [4]. The trip takes approximately one hour, depending on traffic conditions. The bus stop in Bergamo is located near the train station and there is a counter where inquiries can be made. Here you can found a very interesting service: a Mini Electric car and Electric Bicycle rental that permit to visit the upper town without limitation of traffic circulation and pollution rules. Renting a car is possible for just €5 per hour or €39 a day.(http://www.eco-rent.it)

Get around[edit]

Porta Nuova

The town is not large, and most of the sights can be seen comfortably on foot. To get from the Città Bassa up to the Città Alta can be quite tiring on foot, though, due to the steep and winding streets, but there is a funicolare (or cable railway) linking the two parts of the town. You can see a map of bus routes, schedules and fares on the website of the local mass transit authority [5] (in Italian). The ticket that you purchase for the funicular is valid for 75 minutes and you can reuse the same ticket for travel on the network, including the funicular to San Vigilio. Walking from the train station to the Città Alta funicular station is pleasant and takes about 20–30 minutes. You can also walk from Città Alta to San Vigilio instead of taking the funicular, which will afford you great views of the surrounding areas, as well as the quaint narrow streets and houses along the way.

See[edit]

Fontana Contarini (1780) in Piazza Vecchia
  • Piazza Vecchia. The heart of the old town, displaying a mix of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
  • Santa Maria Maggiore. A 12th century church with later alterations.
  •    Colleoni Chapel (Cappella Colleoni).
  •    Rocca. A walled stronghold which houses a museum.
  • Archeological Museum (Museo Archeologico).
  • Science Museum (Museo Civico di Scienze).
  • Donizetti Museum (Museo Donizettiano), Via Arena 9. Devoted to one of Bergamo's most famous sons, the composer Gaetano Donizetti.
  • Accademia Carrara. One of Northern Italy's most important collections of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
  • GAMeC. The city's gallery of modern and contemporary art, which usually hosts several interesting exhibitions.

Do[edit]

  • Ride the funicolare from the Città Bassa up to the Città Alta. Easier than walking, and the views on the way up are spectacular.
  • Visit San Vigilio - a small hilltop village that can be reached on foot or by a second funicolare from Città Alta. It offers walks with spectacular views, and a ruined castle. Entry into the castle is free, and is part of a public park. Climb all the way to the top of the castle for more views.
  • Walk down the quiet narrow streets of the old town.
  • Walk along the city walls for views across Lombardy.
  • Visit one of the several churches and art galleries.
  • Stroll in one of the pedestrian streets and enjoy shops and cafes.
  • Ride a mountain bike in the beautiful "Parco dei Colli" just behind the old town. You will feel as if you are riding in the mountains.

Eat[edit]

  • Cafe della FunicolareVia Porta Dipinta, 1 (In the city Alta Funicolare station.). For snacks, a drink or simply the great view.
  • Da Franco Ristorante PizzeriaVia Colleoni 8 035238565. Closed Mondays. Try it for lunch or an evening meal.
  • Il SoleVia Colleoni 1 (on the corner of Piazza Vecchia and Via Colleoni.).
  • Antico Trattoria Dei Tre Gobbi20 Via Broseta. A very good place to eat.
  • La Bruschetta (in the Citta Bassa, just off Porta Nuova). A good value restaurant/pizzeria in the cellar of a building and worth a mention.
  • La CiotolaViale Papa Giovanni XXlll, 86 (in the Citta Bassa area). A good restaurant/pizzeria near the Mercure hotel.
  • Giopi e MargiVia Borgo Palazzo 27 (in the residential area just a short walk from city center). Traditional restaurant serving lomabrdy cuisine is worth a visit if you fancy having an Italian meal not just pizza and pasta. Family run business is a well kept secret between locals.

Drink[edit]

  • Il Circolino (right around the back of the Biblioteca Angelo Maj). Locals here play bocce and drink lanterna (a huge drink made of white wine and campari rosso).
  • Bobinopiazza della Liberta. 7AM-02AM daily, except Sundays. is a cool bar/restaurant with a long wine & cocktail list (including Champagne).
  • Ristoranti dei Mille... saporti. A selection of restaurants by the local Chamber of commerce offering a typical menu. Refer to the site to know dishes and prices.

Sleep[edit]

Città Alta (Old Town)[edit]

  • Bergamo Charme B&B's. A selection of B&B's in historical homes in Bergamo and its province. The quality mark is awarded by the Bergamo Chamber of commerce.

Città Bassa (New Town)[edit]

There are a number of good hotels in Citta Bassa - many on Viale Papa Giovanni XXIII (The main street from the station to the funicolare).

  • B&B Romeo and JulietVia Zambonate 47 (in the centre of town),  +39 3343841994. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM. Bed & Breakfast and residence with cmnfortable double rooms or apartments for 2-4 people.
  • B&B FragolinoVia Bartolomeo Bono 25 (near town center and main station),  +39 3349038874. Check-in: flexible. B&B/Hostel with great atmosphere, modern and comfortable rooms, courtyard, WiFi, flat screen and Playstation.
  • Best Western Capello d'Oro.
  • Mercure Palazzo Dolci.
  • Excelsior San Marco Hotel. Great location offering a beautiful view of the Citta Alta from the breakfast terrace. Not exactly new, yet tons of character. Comfortable rooms, very clean, Wifi, flatscreen and a wide range of services. Great for business travel.
  • Hotel Donizettildo Moro 28, Lallio. Donizetti Hotel is located near Bergamo, and access to the motorway linking Milan and surroundings
  • NH BergamoVia Paleocapa 1/G +39 035 2271811. Located in the modern area of the city, this hotel prides itself on its top quality services. The rooms are very modern yet comfortable with wifi and family rooms also available. From €90.

Stezzano[edit]

Stezzano is a commune 8 km south of Bergamo. It is very easily reached both by train and by bus. The train takes approximately five minutes and Milan is also easily reachable.

  • Art e HotelVia Santuario 43, Stezzano (opposite the train station of Stezzano),  +39 0354379300. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM. Beautiful four star hotel at a price much lower than in the city centre. Modern rooms, television, mini-bar, leisure centre, spacious bathrooms
  • Grand Hotel del ParcoVia Galeno 8, Stezzano (close to Piazza Liberta' in Stezzano),  +39 035591710. Check-in: noon, check-out: 11AM. Another quality four star hotel with prices lower than city accommodation. Good decor, well equipped rooms.

Go next[edit]

Other places of interest around Bergamo

  • The Bergamo area is in the foothills of the Alps, and has a handful of Ski resorts within a one-hour drive. Notable is the Brembana Valley which contains the resorts of Foppolo, Carona and San Simone.
  • Lake Iseo, one of the smallest and less touristy among the Northern Italian lakes. Go by bus from the Bergamo bus station (opposite the train station) to Tavernola [6]. Then take a ferry to Montisola [7].
  • Crespi d'Adda is a planned industrial village between Bergamo and Milan. It has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Como (one of the main cities at the shores of beautiful Lake Como is also accessible by train, but requires almost travelling back to Milan (you change at Monza). It is worth visiting from Bergamo and vice versa. The journey takes between one and a half and two hours.
  • Stezzano At only 6 km from Bergamo, it is perfect for those who may want to visit Bergamo but stay in a more rural and peaceful setting. The town is well-equipped with nice cafes, two pizzerie, shops, two gelaterie and a bank.
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