Need a dolce vita fix? Located 50km away from the hustle and bustle of Milan, Bergamo is a city full of old-world Italian charm.
The city’s defining feature is the ancient hilltop Città Alta (Upper Town) surrounded by the Mura, over 5km of well-preserved Venetian walls. A wander through the cobblestone streets leads to several wonders of medieval Renaissance and baroque architecture. The Piazza Vecchia, the old central square, features the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and the Colleoni Chapel. Head up to the top of the Campanone tower for breath-taking panoramic views of the Alpine foothills and southern plains. A funicular connects Città Alta with the more modern Città Bassa (Lower Town) that includes the Via XX Settembre shopping district and the Accademia Carrara and Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (GAMEC) art galleries.
A highlight of any trip to Bergamo is indulging in the regional Lombard cuisine. Try an aperitivo of Valcalepio wine and Taleggio cheese on the outdoor terrace of Al Donizetti, named after famed 19th century composer Gaetano Donizetti. At the Trattoria La Colombina you can sample typical local dishes including casoncelli alla bergamasca (a slightly sweet ravioli stuffed with sausage, fruit and spices and topped with chopped pancetta and sage) and polenta taragna con funghi (cornmeal and buckwheat porridge with cheese and mushrooms).
No trip to Bergamo would be complete without sampling the gelato. The winner of the 2014 best artisanal gelato competition in Bergamo was the Artigel Gelateria located just outside of the town center in Azzano San Paolo – ask for the “I tre ori” flavour that contains the “three golds” of the local area: mountain wildflower honey, saffron and ground cornmeal. Also, the world-famous “stracciatella” flavour – a mix of creamy gelato and fine chocolate shavings – was created by Enrico Panattoni at the popular La Marianna gelateria in Città Alta.
Bergamo’s rich heritage of art and history, outstanding culinary traditions and vibrant modern culture make the city a great weekend getaway right around the corner!
To find out more, go to www.turismo.bergamo.it