Bergamo, Italy: attractions, weather, hotels, vacation, reviews
This old town, located near Milan, tourists often deprive of their attention. And it’s a pity, because the real treasure of Italy is famous for amazing architectural monuments and a relaxed atmosphere, which large settlements of the country cannot boast.
Excursion into the history of the city
The stunningly beautiful Bergamo, which has retained its unique spirit, is located in the Lombardy region and is divided into two parts - historical and modern. About 120 thousand people live in the administrative center of the province of the same name.
Located at the foot of the Alps, Bergamo (Italy) was founded in 49 BC by the Celts, and it was named after the deity Bergimus. The settlement was owned by Roman warriors, who turned it into an economically developed city. The convenient geographical position made the settlement very attractive to invaders.After the fall of the Roman Empire, he survived the invasions of barbarians, Franks, Spaniards, Austrians. This continued until the 15th century, until Bergamo became part of the Venetian Republic. This ensured prosperity and peace to the ancient city for many years.
A century later, the authorities built a new ring of defenses that defended Bergamo from attacks. The powerful construction with watchtowers and bastions was not useful to the citizens and was soon abolished. Now along it paved road for walks of local residents.
And only in the XIX century, the city became part of Italy.
Weather and climate
Due to the proximity of the Alps, the weather in Bergamo, located in the foothills, is extremely comfortable for tourists, although it can be hot in summer. The moderate continental climate presupposes snowy winters and slight frosts. In spring and late autumn too much rain falls, and during this period there are high rainy days (from one to two weeks).
July is considered the hottest month, and January is the coldest. It is worth considering that the weather in Bergamo in the fall and winter can change dramatically in a few days, so you need to stock up on appropriate clothing in advance.
High and low seasons
Those who want to walk a lot in the fresh air and wander in search of interesting monuments can be advised to come here in spring or early autumn, when it is sunny and not very hot. The high season is traditionally the period from May to September, as well as Christmas and New Year holidays. It was then that there is an influx of guests and an increase in prices for hotel rooms.
The hospitable city of Bergamo receives tourists all year round, and to feel its amazing spirit, it is best to go here when there are no noisy crowds of foreigners. Low season begins in late autumn and continues until early spring. The fewer people in the Italian pearl, the cheaper the cost of living and eating in restaurants. And also there are no queues to visit the main architectural sites.
Citta Alta: what to see?
Where do you begin to get acquainted with the picturesque Bergamo? Italy is a unique, colorful country, ancient and very beautiful. The upper city in Bergamo is an area where history is alive. Located on a hill, at an altitude of 350 meters above sea level, it is a concentration of ancient monuments, and on a small piece of land concentrated a lot of interesting tourist attractions. Citta Alta, founded by the Celts, is connected to the Lower City by a funicular.The historical center is a corner reinforced during the Middle Ages, which arouses great interest among holidaymakers.
The heart of Citta Alta, which has remained almost unchanged, is the Old Square. This is the most visited place of Bergamo, so adored by tourists, it is not surprising that most of the beautiful photos for guidebooks were made here. Protected by the stone wall of Piazza Vecchia, which appeared during the Venetian rule, the territory is a marvelous ensemble of narrow cobbled streets, medieval cathedrals, majestic palaces, luxurious fountains and mansions. Here are the main attractions of this island of tranquility.
Two town halls
On the square is the town hall, built in the XII century. Palazzo della Ragion, in which the municipality was located, destroyed fires to the ground several times, and local architects even doubted whether to start its construction again. The restored town hall, decorated with beautiful columns, exceeded all expectations of residents. Its facade attracts the keen interest of the city guests with the image of a lion leaning on an open book.This is a sign that at the time when the bas-relief was established, peace reigned. In the war years, the predator, which is a symbol of the domination of Venice, attacked the closed volume.
Nearby is the new town hall - Palazzo Nuovo, made of snow-white marble. Now it houses a huge library, the books of which can be called museum rarities: many priceless publications were published more than two centuries ago.
What to see in Bergamo yet? Wandering through the streets of the Upper Town, you can admire the main cathedral of Sant'Alessandro and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in the shape of a Greek cross. It was erected in the 12th century on the site of an old temple by residents who feared that they would be left without a crop because of drought. The townspeople wanted the deities to appreciate the magnificent structure and send the long-awaited rain. The Romanesque temple was often reconstructed, and after the 16th century the basilica was completely rebuilt, and it acquired its present appearance. Opera composer Donizetti and his teacher Mayr found their last refuge in a religious building.
Later, the Baptistery was added to the historical monument, where the sacrament of baptism was performed, a bell tower and a sacristy were erected. And the dome was decorated with his works by the famous artist Tiepolo.Tourists dreaming to touch the beautiful must keep their way here.
The single-nave cathedral of Cattedrale di sant'Alessandro, dedicated to the patron saint of the administrative center, the holy martyr Alexander, seats up to 1,200 people. It was destroyed several times to the ground and rebuilt again, changing the facade and the bell tower. The efforts of the parishioners preserve the ancient altars of the XVI century, which are of cultural value. After the reconstruction of the cathedral, which has the shape of a Latin cross, a crypt was added to it - an underground church, where, due to lack of lighting, it is very gloomy.
In the place of an old sacristy in the 15th century, a unique Renaissance building was built. Cappella Colleoni was at first the personal temple of one of the most respected and wealthy inhabitants - the condottiere B. Colleoni. The architectural ensemble in the Lombard style attracts the eyes of a chapel decorated with medallions depicting Caesar with a gothic rose window and multi-colored marble in the facade.
Here rests the valiant warrior Colleoni and his daughter, who died at the age of 15 years. Inside, the chapel is as charming as it is outside, and all visitors are breathtaking at the sight of the magnificent frescoes of the master Tiepolo, numerous sculptures of saints and walls decorated with paintings.
Towers and the Venetian Wall
The sandstone 51-meter high tower Gombito (Torre del Gombito) is another architectural landmark of the Lower Town. Perfectly preserved from the 12th century, it had previously performed defensive functions, therefore it has almost no openings.
Another tower with an interesting history is located in the heart of the Old Square. The fact is that in the Middle Ages, wealthy families erected structures of this kind, which were used for living. The wealthy people built high towers to show their status. So there was a square Torre Civica - a powerful structure, owned by the Suardi family. A century later, in the Torre Chivika tower, the bell of which notifies residents about the closure of the city gates, the residence of the mayor of Bergamo was located.
The sights preserved from the time of the Venetians reign delight impressionable tourists. The powerful six-meter-long city walls surrounding the city and a height of about 50 meters reached their descendants unchanged. Mura Venete consisted of bastions, guard booths, loopholes, and it was possible to get inside the architectural structure only through four protected entrances.The construction of the Venetian wall lasted for 20 years, and the locals rather painfully reacted to the fact that the soldiers destroyed their trade shops and houses, hindering the construction of the fortification, which became the hallmark of Bergamo (Italy).
One of the entrances was the marble gate of San Giacomo, built at the end of the 16th century. They closed after a huge bell on the tower of Torre Civica struck 100 blows.
Behind the fortress walls is the Lower Town with modern buildings. To get there, you will have to use the funicular, which takes tourists directly to the main attractions. The length of the trip in a nice old trailer is 228 meters, and during this time the guests will better examine the historical center and take many memorable photos from a bird's eye view. Citta Bassa consists of united suburbs and is the opposite of Citta Alta.
Here are the two main museums of Bergamo - the gallery of modern art and the art gallery "Carrara Academy". Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea opened only 26 years ago, and everyone can see the works of modern masters of Italy and Spain in it.
Accademia Carrara, founded at the end of the 18th century by Count Carrara, who collected a rich collection of paintings, exhibited paintings by great Italian masters, among whom are works by Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, Rubens and many others. The works of famous painters and sculptors of Italy can be admired for hours, forgetting everything. Citizens and local authorities continue the work started by the collector, and now not only world masterpieces, but also chinaware, furniture, collections of medals and engravings are exhibited in the restored Pinakothek.
Natural and man-made sights of the suburb
The picturesque surroundings of Bergamo will not leave anyone indifferent. Tourists admire Lake Iseo, located between Brescia and the administrative center. A year ago, an unusual floating bridge built of polyethylene appeared on it. Walk on the paved road dream of all the tourists who fall into this beautiful corner. In its center is located the largest island in Europe - Montizola, on top of which stands the powerful fortress of Rocca Martinengo, surrounded by defensive and patrol towers.
Another wildlife-rich lake is in the Val Cavallina valley. Sheltered with thickets of reeds, Endin will appeal to all those who seek peace and long for solitude. The peaceful atmosphere and serene landscapes have made it one of the best places to relax.
It is impossible not to visit the fantastically beautiful Borgo (village) of Gromo, which rises above the valley of Valle Seriana. Perfectly preserved from the time of the Middle Ages, he seems to carry the guests of Bergamo into the past era. Raw stone predominates on the streets of Borgo, roofs of houses are covered with plates of rocks, and all buildings were built in an era when residents had to work a lot, so there is no question of decorations and excesses in the exterior of buildings. In Gromo, tourists will enjoy the view of an old stone church and a luxurious castle, which now houses a famous restaurant in the whole country.
Castello di malpaga
Not far from Bergamo, the sights of which made its appearance unforgettable, is Malpaga Castle - the former residence of the famous Bartolomeo Colleoni. The square-shaped, powerful stone building was previously surrounded by deep moats filled with water and two rings of stone walls.
A well-preserved landmark, inside of which there is an interesting exhibition about the life of Italian peasants for several centuries, is located not far from Bergamo. The military fortress of Pagazzano inspired the great poet Petrarch, who spent some time here, on the creation of the poem "Triumph".
In the vicinity of Vilminore di Scalve, about 60 kilometers from the city, are the ruins of the Gleno dam, which was built of low-quality materials. Her project did not have accurate calculations, and when Diga del Gleno was put into operation, due to prolonged rains it collapsed and the water completely flooded the valley. Four hundred people drowned, and two small settlements were wiped off the face of the earth. The dam, next to which a monument to the victims of the tragedy was erected, was not restored, and a small body of water formed between its walls, attracting tourists with its amazing beauty.
Resorts for athletes and beginners
In an hour's drive from the city there are the ski resorts of Bergamo, which can be safely called a paradise for both beginners taking their first steps and professionals.Montecampione (Montecampione) is a real gem of the Alps. More than 40 trails, picturesquely situated and well prepared for guests, a modern snow park, lots of entertainment, hotels, and spa centers are just a small part of what will delight tourists who dream of skiing on snow-covered slopes.
The small resort of Presolana, located near Bergamo, will appeal to families with young children and people with disabilities. Presolana will seem boring to experienced athletes because it provides its guests with only one track. However, budget holiday lovers will be delighted: the prices in local hotels and restaurants are pleasantly different from those that are characteristic of the rest of the country's ski resorts.
Bergamo: how to get there?
The fastest (and cheaper) to get here from Milan, located 58 kilometers from the city. For example, the journey by express bus, which drives off from the central station, takes no more than 60 minutes.
You can get there by train, and the schedule is best seen on the official website, since the departure time may vary. Tourists arrive at Bergamo Railway Station, located on Guglielmo Marconi Square. Both local and international trains run through it.Cash terminals often can not cope with a huge flow of people, and a modest building does not attract the special attention of foreign guests.
Tourists wishing to travel by car should drive along the A4.
Next to the priceless pearl of Italy, just three kilometers away, is the modern Bergamo Orio Al Serio airport. After the air harbor of Milan, this is the second largest airport, where low-cost airlines arrive. From Orio al Serio, you can get to the provincial capital by bus number 1.
Bergamo Airport, which has only one terminal, serves up to ten million people a year. According to tourists, because of the focus on low-cost airlines, it is not very convenient. In waiting rooms equipped with metal and plastic seats, it is difficult to spend more than three hours. Therefore, guests of the city, waiting for a transplant for a long time, go to one of four hotels located near the airport.
Here charter flights fly from the capital of our country, but you should know about their availability in advance in order to plan your vacation.
One of the most beautiful cities of Lombardy - Bergamo, the reviews of which are full of enthusiasm and excite the imagination - welcomes guests at any time of the year. Beautiful both in winter and in summer, it makes the hearts of the tourists, carried to the medieval fairytale, more often beat.
Guests celebrate an incredible number of architectural monuments, so it’s impossible to bypass the old Bergamo in 1 day. But even if travelers have a limited amount of time, you should not give up on a walk around the city - the settlement will be pleasantly surprised by incredible beauty.
Many warn that it is not worth visiting the administrative center on Monday, because on this day numerous museums are closed, and religious monuments do not work all the time.
If someone travels without a map, he should be careful: you can get lost in the city. Guests admit that time flies to Bergamo very quickly, and it’s not possible to get acquainted with all the sights even in a week, but this is an excellent reason to come here again.
Tourists who want to have fun at nightclubs remain disappointed,since the city is not very rich in entertainment facilities, but fans of a relaxing outdoor recreation will be rewarded in full. The village boasts numerous parks and gardens, which will give positive emotions and make you forget about all the problems.
Shopping in Bergamo
In pursuit of fashionable novelties, shopaholics who do not want to waste their time on excursions prefer to come here during the winter and summer sales, despite the heat or cold. Unlike the fashionable Milan, the city is not as rich in boutiques, but even those who have only a few hours between flights will be able to make purchases, since the largest shopping center is located opposite the airport. Oriocenter is a paradise for lovers of branded items. Here you can find cheap shops and affordable brands of clothing.
Just ten kilometers from the pearl of Northern Italy is the popular La Galleria Outlet Center outlet Bergamo, offering year-round products for adults and children, home and interior. During sales, discounts on branded items can go up to 70 percent.
Where to stay?
Tourists visiting the Italian pearl, do not worry about the fact that they will have problems with accommodation in a cozy Bergamo.Hotels, pleasing their diversity, will satisfy even the most discerning travelers who have visited the major cities of Italy. It offers both fashionable hotels and comfortable apartments, as well as cheap hostels in which you can settle down with the whole company. The five-star Relais San Lorenzo with a spa and spacious terraces with panoramic views will appeal to those who are not used to saving on housing and are ready to pay more than 200 euros per night.
The three-star San Giorgio, located within walking distance of the train station, will gladly accommodate tourists in luxurious rooms, which cost starts at 70 euros per day.
And if guests of the city take their pets with them on vacation, then Casa Camilla & Caterina will suit them - small apartments, where they will happily accept guests with pets (a single room will cost 60 euros).
From inexpensive hostels, you can advise Central Hostel BG, Central Hostel with helpful staff and nice prices.
If you are going on a trip, be sure to visit the delightful Bergamo (Italy), where life flows measuredly and slowly. This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a beautiful view of the picturesque Alps, wander through the ancient streets, get to know interesting historical monuments.The city provides a lot of options, as you can unforgettably relax, and those who are bored with peace of mind, can go to the bustling Milan, located nearby.