Thinking of visiting Bergamo, Italy? Here’s what you need to know!
Location: Lombard, Italy (40 km northeast of Milan)
Brief History: The Celts (peoples of Central Europe) founded Bergamo 2000 years ago. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy. It is full of historic buildings, the Citadel (castle), St. Maria’s Church and the library are just a few of them.
City Guide – Going to Bergamo, Italy
The town of Bergamo in northern Italy, about an hour from Milan, is truly a small hidden gem. Although often overlooked in Milan’s proximity to Milan, Bergamo Italy will captivate you with its gorgeous cobbled alleys, chilly weather and historic surroundings!
Even better, this beautiful Italian city is also referred to as the city of art and it is certainly beautiful in a rare and unique way.
Now in all clarity, we knew about the place to visit Bergamo from where our flight was leaving, and the only reason to think was that it was the nearest town. So, at that time it seemed like a convenient choice!
We originally planned to stay in Milan, but since none of us wanted to go there – we googled Bergamo instead. Some guy named ‘Irish Tony’ just convinced us – and we’re glad to hear his advice! We started with one of our best travel experiences, but more …
Bergamo is divided into two parts – An old part, Cítta Alta (upper city), and a new more modern part, the lower city of Citta Bassa. The old part of town is really something extra and should be your main destination. So, don’t forget to give yourself enough time to explore what it has to offer.
When you get out of the little ‘funicular’ that takes you from the new part of town to the mountains, it directly feels like you’re back in time.
Bergamo has a long history dating back about 2000 years. It belonged to the Venetians, so the architecture is very similar to what is found in Venice.
We are immediately fascinated by the medieval character of this city.
The best way to enjoy Bergamo is to walk down the street. The old town is quite small, so you’ll probably walk around and see everything.
It looks old but very well preserved. It’s a relaxing feeling to wander, strolling the narrow stone streets, small chocolate and cheese boutiques, wineries and cafes selling their own specialties.
All the shops and restaurants blend well with the house. They really look like they’ve been around forever, and a lot of them are around. The restaurants have old photos of them showing the same restaurant in their 40s and older.
The town is perched on a hill with a great view of the new part of Bergamo (Sitta Basa) and (on a clear day, which we have never seen) a view of the Alps.
Food in Bargamo
The price of Bergamo food is almost the same in all the restaurants. Margheritas about 4 euros, and it’s about 8 pizza with more stuff. But it’s worth it. I never thought I would leave the taste of a pizza fresh, healthy ..!
What I didn’t enjoy most was the cakes … in every cafe window you can see these yellow little polenta cakes of all sizes. These are delicious to look at, but as with most cakes and chocolates in Italy it tastes better.
Tip: Here’s a great food tour of Bergamo that includes traditional cuisine from rural Lombardy to contemporary Italian cuisine from Bergamo.
Speaking of which, one thing that looks better on the inside than on the outside is their cathedrals.
I’ve never seen such an incredible church in such a small space. Usually a town has a nice church and a bunch looks boring. In Bergamo, we went to every church with an abundance of gold and irrationality, beautiful really old paintings and architecture that would make anyone religious.
If you only want to visit a cathedral, let it be Dumo And the Chapel of Colion in the Old Square of the old town.
It is an urban church and inside you will find traces of architecture from time to time.
They have already started a small construction in 600 BC and since then they have built more and the church has grown bigger and bigger.
You can join a walking tour of Bergamo to discover the Upper Town of Bergamo and its hidden cultural and architectural heritage. Book here.
It is in the heart of the old square, Citta Alta (old town). Here you will find the 400-year-old library Biblioteca Civica, the 12th-century Venetian Gothic Palazzo della Ragion (Court of Justice) and the 12th-century Tor Civica (Civic Tower).
If you Walking 230 steps to the top of the 54 meter tower gives you a 360-degree view of Bergamo.. The 15th-century bell rang 180 times every night at 10 a.m., commemorating the city’s medieval curfew.
Bargama is wandering around
Quite pleasant to walk around, it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk from the train station to Funicular.
Otherwise bus number 1 goes from the train station to Funicular which takes you to Cítta Alta (old town). The funicular connects Citta Bassa with Cítta Alta.
You can Get a day pass where you can travel as much as you want for the whole day with all the buses and finiculars (24 hours from the time you purchased it). The price is no more than a one-way ticket, so this is probably the best deal.
You can also buy other tickets, such as a 3-day pass or a 1-day pass with an airport bus.
You can buy these tickets from the ticket office, bus station and ticket machine at Bergamo Airport.
How to go to Bargama
About ten minutes from the city is an airport called Milan Bergamo Airport.
Budget airlines like Ryanair and Wizair fly here, even though they advertise it as Milan – that’s exactly what you know! Search flights here.
From the airport you take a 15-minute bus ride (bus number 1C) to the train station in the center of Bergamo’s new town. The ticket is valid for 90 minutes so you can use the same ticket to catch another C এরtta Alta funicular bus that takes you to the old town.
You can also travel by train or bus from Milan, which takes about an hour.
Or, book a personal transfer.
Where to stay in Bergamo
I really recommend ‘B&B al vicolo’. We’ve been there ourselves and it’s a great place. It is like a large apartment with three bedrooms (one with a double bed and the other two with several beds).
Upstairs two very nice and clean bathrooms and downstairs a dining area and TV lounge. Also you get a big good yummy breakfast!
B&B in the alley
- Vicolo Sant Andrea, 2a – Bergamo – Italy
- [email protected]
- Mobile: +39 338 3848911
- It costs about 40 euros for a double room.
Things to do in Bergamo Italy
Go to Tempieto de Santa Cruz
This is one of the best secrets of this incredible city because you will immediately be amazed at all the stone structures and history of this place – we must have been! This is an 11M-Century Chapel which you can easily miss, so pay close attention while walking.
Once inside you will be greeted by a huge selection of murals. All of which dates back to the Middle Ages! Just remember that it is only open at selected times throughout the year. That being said, standing out is magical enough.
Have dinner at El Cicolino
This may be surprising as this location is actually a former prison but it adds to its unique charm and thrill. If you walk down the sidewalk you will see a vintage wooden door – walk through it for the ultimate Italian food experience.
You will be served authentic Italian food while playing street music behind your back. There is also plenty of perishable wine for you to enjoy and an impressive dessert emu too!
See also Donizetiano in the museum
You can’t come to this part of Italy and don’t even have a cultural experience, which is why this amazing museum is making its debut on this list! This particular museum dates back to 1906 and is a collection of works celebrating the famous Italian composer Donizetti.
The interior of this building is unadulterated in the amount of interior art. From painting to frescoes and backyards, you’re in for a lifetime of experience – even if you’re not too into art, it’s a must see!
See Civic Tower
It’s actually the local Bell Tower, and it offers you some of the most spectacular panoramic views of the city, as well as the whole Piazza Vecia (located in the middle of the Old Town). It is the tallest tower in the area, and it is located about 52 meters high.
Take a locally guided tour through Bergamo Italy
If you’re looking for a more holistic approach to your travel adventures through Bergamo Italy, I recommend doing things at a higher local level and taking one of the many guided tours the city has to offer!
With guided tours you will have less freedom to do your own thing, this is your best way to see as much as possible in a short time. You can also choose between more food-based tours or historical sites – the choice is yours!
We highly recommend this private walking tour which includes exploring the fascinating old streets of Bergamo and discovering many of the top attractions including Piazza Vecia, Palazzo del Podesta, Palazzo della Ragione, Civic Library and Cathedral.
Now, all you have to do is start your journey in Bergamo Italy – the city you will fall in love with in seconds!