Bergamo is a city more “collected” than Milan , offers historical beauties and moments of worldliness, but it is also at the same time far from the smog and stress of the big cities. With its 120 thousand inhabitants, the accessibility of any means of transport (the airport of Orio al Serio is just steps away) and the perfect mix of history, nature and points of interest, locations punctuated by the perfect division of the city in the upper area and low area , Bergamo is configured as one of the most interesting Lombard destinations for couples, families, groups of friends.
Here we leave our personal list of what is unmissable.
# Go up to the upper town with the funicular and walk along the walls
For 120 years the funiculars have crossed the walls of Bergamo, connecting the contemporary center to the medieval heart of the city. During the journey the view is superb and when you re-open the doors, in the upper area, you will already be in love with Bergamo . You can then walk along the 5 km of the UNESCO Walls of Unesco, and enjoy the views of Milan on the horizon or a magnificent sunset from the stands.
Directions on how to get to the funicular with -> Google Maps
This is the link to the official ATB Bergamo transport website
# See the historic center
Piazza Vecchia is the symbol of Bergamo Alta as well as the main square of the town. All the most interesting buildings are concentrated here:
- The Palazzo della Ragione
- The civic tower, also called “il Campanone”
- The library building
At the center of the square is the historic and characteristic fountain, and into the portico below Palazzo della ragione you come out into Piazza Duomo, which houses four other beauties:
- The Duomo of Bergamo
- The Colleoni Chapel
- The Baptistery
- The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore
Take some time to also admire the ancient sundial under the arcades.
Reach the Old Square with -> Google Maps.
# A sweet break
When you feel the sweet desire, allow yourself the luxury of tasting the typical “polenta e osei” . Originally only salty recipe, or birds of fresh catch, plucked, cooked on the spit and brought to the table accompanied by polenta steaming over time has been transformed into chocolate marzipan birds placed on a cake covered with yellow marzipan similar to the color with polenta . The sweet version is found almost everywhere. Look at the pastry counters and the windows of the bars to see the various bills. Choose the most inviting, sit back and enjoy it bite after bite.
# Visit the Castle of San Vigilio
Before dipping into the colors and the ferment of the Lower City , continue a little further north to the Upper Town and make a stop at the Castle of San Vigilio, on the homonymous hill. At a height of 496 meters the Castle enjoys a breathtaking view of the Valbrembrian and the entire plain of Alamenno. Because of its privileged position, in the fifteenth century the stronghold was used as a sighting place: its structure still features four towers with gunboats and loopholes.
# Visit to the Carrara Academy
Going back to the center of Bergamo it is a must to stop at the Carrara Academy Museum, one of the most prestigious art galleries in Italy , which contains more than 1800 paintings from the 15th to the 19th century. Mantegna, Canaletto, Botticelli, Raffaello Sanzio (touching his San Sebastiano), are just some of the great names on show at the Bergamo Academy.
In front of the gallery, however, is the Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art ( GAMeC ), ideal for lovers of the most contemporary painters of our time: a vast offer for all those who want to rediscover the greatest masters of painting , and not only, of all time.
Here the directions of the navigator to reach the Gallery of Modern Art .
# Via XX Settembre
The area in charge of shopping in Bergamo has a name and is marked by a number . We are talking about via XX Settembre, a lively area located in the Lower City where you can really buy everything, thanks to the countless different shops along the entire stretch of road. (how to arrive with Maps )