Nestled in the heart of Lombardy, Bergamo is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists arriving at Milan Orio Airport. However, those who take the time to discover Bergamo will be rewarded with stunning medieval and Renaissance architecture, cobblestone streets lined with quaint shops and cafes, and a vibrant local culture. As a proud resident of Bergamo, I always recommend that visitors take the opportunity to explore the city rather than immediately heading to Milan. Trust me, it’s a choice you won’t regret!
Exploring Bergamo: Getting There and Around
- Parking and Transportation: If you’re driving to Bergamo, consider leaving your car near Hotel San Marco, where there’s a paid parking lot. From there, you can take the funicular to the upper part of the city. To avoid long queues and parking issues, especially on weekends, arrive early in the day. Alternatively, you can park at Piazza Libertà, a multi-level parking lot with security cameras, located only 800 meters from the funicular station.
- Funiculars: The funiculars are a convenient and quick way to travel between the lower and upper parts of Bergamo. One of the funiculars takes you to San Vigilio, where you can enjoy a spectacular view on a clear day. For the latest fares for individuals and groups, consult the website of ATB (“Azienda Trasporti Bergamo”).
Bergamo’s Rich Historical Center
- Ancient Buildings and Churches: Bergamo is home to a wealth of historical buildings and churches, easily accessible via public transportation (buses and funiculars) or slightly less convenient by car due to parking restrictions and weekend closures.
- Art and Monuments: For art lovers, Bergamo offers numerous churches and historical buildings to explore. The city is particularly renowned for its Duomo (Cattedrale di Sant’Alessandro) and Basilica (Santa Maria Maggiore), which are truly spectacular.
- Piazza Vecchia: The heart of Bergamo’s upper town, Piazza Vecchia, is a must-visit location. This picturesque square is surrounded by stunning architecture, including the central library, and offers a variety of charming shops, restaurants, and local businesses. Make sure to check out the tower and other historical landmarks in the area.
Attractions and Activities in Bergamo
- Accademia Carrara: As an avid admirer of both art and history, I’m thrilled to say that the Bergamo museums are truly a treasure trove of exploration and wonder.. I highly recommend a visit to the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. The museum’s impressive collection of Italian Renaissance and Baroque art is truly breathtaking, and the beautiful neoclassical building adds to the overall experience.
- Cathedral of St. Alexander: The Cathedral of St. Alexander is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history and architecture. Dating back to the 15th century, this stunning cathedral features a beautiful blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles, with intricate details and stunning artworks throughout. As a local, I highly recommend taking the time to explore the interior, including the breathtaking stained glass windows and the crypt. The cathedral also offers a panoramic view of Bergamo from its bell tower, which is definitely worth the climb.
- Breathtaking Views and Romantic ideas: The city of Bergamo is known for its marvelous vistas, especially from the higher vantage points. I highly recommend taking a walk along the Città Alta walls. These ancient walls offer stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside, and the atmosphere is simply magical at sunset. You can stroll hand in hand with your loved one while taking in the beautiful sights, or simply sit on one of the benches along the way and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The walls are also dotted with small parks and gardens, perfect for a picnic or a quiet moment together. Trust me, the Città Alta walls are the perfect backdrop for a truly memorable date in Bergamo.
- Local Cuisine: While exploring Bergamo, don’t miss out on the opportunity to try some local delicacies, such as casoncelli, polenta agli osei and coniglio e polenta taragna. You’ll find numerous quaint eateries, offering quality takeaway dishes and a pleasant atmosphere for a memorable evening.
- Leisurely Strolls: Bergamo’s charming streets invite you to wander and explore at a leisurely pace, making for an extremely enjoyable experience. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the city manages to maintain a pleasant ambiance even during peak seasons.
In conclusion, Bergamo is a city that never fails to impress visitors with its rich culture and history. With its stunning architecture, delicious cuisine, and lively local atmosphere, the city is sure to captivate anyone who ventures within its walls. From exploring the exquisite art collections at the Accademia Carrara to taking a romantic stroll along the ancient Città Alta walls, Bergamo is brimming with hidden treasures that await discovery. As a proud resident of Bergamo, I invite everyone to experience the beauty of this charming city and immerse themselves in its fascinating heritage. You won’t regret it!
Tej Gurung says
Fantastic article! Local cuisine appears to be really tasty. Thank you for the information.