Many people connect Bergamo with the airport and they only see the airport before continuing their journey. Once they arrive at the airport they either take the bus to Milan, or they go to the train station in order to be transferred to other Italian cities. As a result, they never even think of visiting the old part of Bergamo, which ironically is perhaps one of the most historic small towns in northern Italy and has some of the oldest buildings and churches in the area. In the past, to give I was from those who listen to Bergamo and think of an airport, so I to give it a try. Let’s go to see if it deserved it!
I would say that my favorite features for a place is to be romantic, with art in every form and to be able to see and learn the history by walking, from buildings, traditions, food and not just from museums. And Bergamo has it all!
As soon as you leave the airport you will find the bus number 1 that takes you to straight to the center in about 10-15 min. The city of Bergamo is divided into 2 sections, the Upper part of the city known as "Citta Alta" and the lower part of the city known as "Citta Bassa". The top of Bergamo is the old city and it is one of those places that if you haven’t seen with your eyes you do not know how beautiful they are. The lower part of Citta Bassa is the modern and most commercial part of Bergamo.
The two sections are connected by both the road and the cable car. The experience for me started when I got the cable car to go to the old town. The view is really incredible. The funicular operates throughout the day and costs just € 1.25. My flight was very early, so I had the advantage of walking around peacefully and that made me enchant from the beauty of Bergamo even faster.
As soon as you start walking in the streets of the old town, it is not difficult to understand why this Upper Town has such a special place in the history of Northern Italy. It is one of these small cities that can take you back in time. The beautiful cobblestone streets, atmospheric coffee bars, restaurants, bakeries, beautiful churches and the medieval architecture surrounding the stunning square add to Bergamo's unique charm and character Citta Alta. This outdoor museum of buildings and life dating back hundreds of years is probably one of the best-preserved exhibits to be seen in any small area.
In the central square of the old town you will find Piazza Vecchia and its trademark, Contarini fountain, which was donated to the city by the Venetian governor Alvise Contarini in 1780. The donation was a gesture of friendship to show the strong relationship between Venice and the people of Bergamo.
One more place that impressed me was the Basilica di S.Maria Maggiore, which is located just 2 minutes from the main square. This church was built in 1137 and the building continued for over 200 years. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is considered to be one of the best buildings in the entire Lombardy region, and when you enter the building, it is not difficult to understand why. It is located behind the Palazzo della Ragione and next to Duomo.
After so many hours of walking, I looked for the best possible reward and I surely found it at Il Fornaio. I tried one of the tastiest pizzas I've ever eaten. I chose octopus and pesto and it was really delicious.
The medieval scenery of Bergamo will give you the fullness that every traveler seeks, will enchant you, will take you back to times and times where the Celts and the Dukat's prevailed. You will distinguish it and you will be rewarded for your choice to wander through its cobbled narrow streets. Bergamo is magical, and it is shocking how such a small city can offer you so generously as many emotions.
Photos and Text: Elina Aktipi
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