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Bergamo Old Town is a Miniature of Italy

Easy to get an overview of Citta Alta


BERGAMO, ITALY: A ticket with Ryanair to Bergamo is normally insolent cheap and this airline has connection from many cities from around Europe. From airport to Citta Alta, Bergamo’s old town on the hill, you can go by bus, however, a taxi costs 15 euro. In addition to the bus it is a lift from the lower and modern district Basso to the historic surroundings in the height. In many ways, Bergamo is mini edition of Italy.

Ceiling with exuberant paintings in Colleoni Chapel

Albergo Il Sole

Check In. Piazza Veccia is a beautiful open space in the heart of the old town surrounded by a mixture of architecture from the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Here is Albergo Il Sole, a family-run guesthouse and the town´s most popular restaurant. Would you rather stay in a former monastery San Lorenzo it´s a bit more expensive option.

Piazza in Old Town surrounded by historic buildings
Piazza in Old Town surrounded by historic buildings

Old Town or Citta Alta

It’s easy to get an overview of Citta Alta. A long main street through town, piazzas, palaces and a variety of religious buildings, the huge Cathedral and the church of Santa Maria Maggiore . But walk some side streets and you will find cafes, delicatessen, local wines and sumptuous bakeries. The district also has some nice parks with great views of the mountains – excellent for picnics.

Whether you go out for lunch or prefer your meal at restaurant Il Sole, it is the traditional Italian tariff that dominates the city’s restaurants. Paolo di Pilato is the chef at Sole and he serves various dishes of pasta and pizza and his Osso Bucco along with polenta is one of his specialties. The range of excellent local wines are great, just like the list of desserts.

Bergamo Old Town
Bergamo Old Town on top in this picture shot from the city

Two more restaurants

Trattoria 3 Torri is a small restaurant where you most likely will find several local guests than tourists, which is a good sign. The casoncelli is part of Bergamo’s proud culinary traditions. In terms similar to the ravioli, but the taste of casoncelli is far more delissious.

Franco in Via Colleoni 8 is also an excellent restaurant. In the same street is a popular take- away outlets with varieties of pizza.

Tourist buying pizza

Shopping. There are plenty of shops in both districts. In Citta Alta can spend money on both classy Italian fashion and especially local food products to bring back home. In addition, the shops in Milan are just half hour train ride away.

Comic art in a Chapel

Bergamo is rich on history, but it carries its history lightly and with dignity. By all means stop by at Colleoni Chapel and watch the domed ceiling with exuberant paintings, one of the finest buildings from the Renaissance. The painting of the Last Supper in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is more like a comic book than a work of religious devotion.

Early evening. If you follow the church bells in Bergamo, then it becomes an early night. The bells start at 10pm and after 180 strokes it’s all over, a reminder to guests and residents that it is time to go to bed . Although the old town lacks of night life, there are few if any that follow this eternal reminder that has been repeated over the past 600 years.

Football and art. Atalanta is the city’s football team in Serie A and Saturdays are normally matchday. Bergamo has several exciting museums and Accademica Carrera as one of the oldest in the whole of Italy, founded back in 1796 and has art works of a number of famous artists. And if you bring a gift, then Paolo Di Pilato , the chef at restaurant Sole, has a collection of 1200 original football shirts. But for sure he miss one from your club.

More inspiration: Ischia full of history

Gudmund Lindbaek
Gudmund Lindbaek
Journalist founded King Goya online travel magazine. Meeting people for engaging stories. I´m off to uncover the best strategies for long life living. This is part of my venture “Around the World in 80 Lanes” – about travel, run sprint, staying fit! I just want a tiny slice of adventures to feel alive, and then excited to return home.


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