Discovering Bergamo - An Easy Day Trip From Milano
Reachable by train from Milan in 1 hour, this historic city at the foot of the Eastern Alps makes for a perfect day trip away from Italy's Northern Metropolis
located in the Lombardy region of northern Italy, not far from Lake Garda, Bergamo is a uniquely charming city with a rich history, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking views. Whether you're a history buff, foodie, or just looking for a relaxing old world stroll, Bergamo has something to offer for everyone.
History of Bergamo
Bergamo dates back to pre-Roman times, when it was a center of commerce and trade. During the Roman era, it was known as Bergomum and was an important military hub. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Bergamo became part of the Lombard Kingdom, and later the Holy Roman Empire. The city was later ruled by the Venetian Republic and the Austrian Empire. Today, Bergamo is a modern city that has successfully preserved its rich history and cultural heritage, especially within the ancient walls of its old town, referred to as Città Alta
Where To GO
This historic hilltop town of Città Alta is a must-see for anyone visiting Bergamo. With its narrow cobblestone streets, stunning views, and beautiful architecture, Bergamo's old town is as picturesque as any throughout Italy. Sitting high above the rest of the city and confined by ancient stone walls, Città Alta is best reached by the taking the "funicolare" which has been connecting the lower and upper parts of Bergamo for over 120 years and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area as you glide up to Città Alta's main gate. You can reach the funicolare by foot from the central station in under 15 minutes.
Other important sites to behold in the old town are the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, a beautiful church dating back to the 16th century that is known for its ornate interior, including frescos, gold leaf, and intricate carvings, as well as the nearby Piazza Vecchia, a charming square is the heart of Città Alta surrounded by historic buildings, restaurants, and cafes.
Also Make sure to head over to Colleoni Chapel, a small chapel dedicated to Bartolomeo Colleoni, a famous mercenary and leader, known for its intricate frescos and beautiful marble sculptures.
Besides the historic beauty and old world charm of the upper town, lower Bergamo also offers endless shopping and dining along its famous pedestrian fashion zone on Via XX Settembre.
Eating your way around Bergamo
Bergamo is famous for its traditional northern cuisine, which is a fusion of Italian, Austrian, and Lombardian flavors. Some of the most popular dishes in the city include Casoncelli, a
type of stuffed pasta filled with meat and spices, and garnished with pancetta and sage (pictured here at one of our favorite restaurants in Città Alta, Da Franco), Polenta Taragna, a cornmeal dish served with cheese and meat, and Ossobuco, a slow-cooked veal shank in a tomato sauce. Bergamo is also known for its excellent wine, including Valcalepio, which is made from the grape varieties grown in the surrounding hills. Finally, Bergamo is famous for its signature Polenta e Osei, a unique dessert made from sponge cake, hazelnut cream and topped with a small chocolate bird. You will see these yellow treats displayed in window throughout Città Alta but our favorite spot to grab one is at Panificio Tresoldi.
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